Seo Hee Ham decided to make a stand when Itsuki Hirata failed to pass her hydration tests ahead of their fight at ONE 163. Instead of taking a percentage of her opponent’s purse and going ahead with the match she refused to fight the Japanese star.

As a result the bout was axed from the card. But Hirata will still get to face Ham in an atomweight fight, it will just happen a few months later than expected.

The two are set to face off at ONE Fight Night 8. Ham doesn’t sound particularly happy about being offered another fight with Hirat and clearly does not like the 23 year old,

“First of all, she’s not a fighter in my opinion because the basic thing that you should do as a professional fighter is to make weight and hydration.”

No love lost

There is no love lost between these atomweight rivals. Several fans suggested that Ham had done the right thing in refusing to fight Hirata but it sounds like the feedback she got was not unambiguously positive.

To complete a full training camp, make weight and then refuse to fight an opponent who was on weight but had failed hydration tests can’t have been an easy decision and Ham says that opinion was divided,

I want to finish my unfinished business with her. There were fans with different opinions about my decision to not accept the catchweight in our last fight, so I want to finish this fight with her

Next challenge

In her Instagram post announcing the matchup Ham pointedly told Hirata,

I’m ready, you make weight.

If she doesn’t Ham will be left with a dilemma. She turns 36 next month and must be keen to fight as regularly as possible in what is reportedly the most lucrative contract of her career.

But having made a stand against Hirata’s habit of coming in overweight last time out she can’t really go ahead and fight her if the same thing happens again. It is a situation both fighters will be desperate to avoid but the Korean is firmly focused on winning this fight and moving on to the next challenge.

I want to showcase that I’m the next in line for that title shot, that I’m the best in the division. I only see the world title shot next.