This post has already been read 5130 times!
While Jenelyn Olsim is embracing moving down to atomweight division and battles Bi Nguyen at ONE: BATTLEGROUND III this August 27 in Singapore, her rival is not about to roll and give her a win on silver platter.
In a matchup of athletes who tend to favor their striking, the Vietnamese-American anticipates their fight ending in spectacular fashion before the final bell sounds. And it’s not the “Killer Bee” who is going down.
“Somebody’s going to get finished. If I really screw up and run into one of her power punches that’ll be my fault, but I don’t see that happening, I’ve trained against it. I really just think I’m going to drag her into deep waters and drown her.”, she exclaimed.
This threat of Nguyen is not just talk as her confidence is well-founded with her coming off the biggest win of her career.
The Vietnamese-American snapped a three-fight skid in mixed martial arts competition, upsetting Ritu Phogat in May by a split decision victory. The win was the most significant of Nguyen’s career thus far, both in name value and the perspective she gained before and after competition.
“I learned that I was at a little plateau in my career and I needed something to light a fire under me and the Ritu [Phogat] matchup did just that,” Nguyen said.
“And now I’m only going up from here. I’m more motivated than ever, I’m hungrier than ever [the fight with Phogat] was great for me.”
Nguyen also emphasized the confidence was present since day one and her latest victory just gave her more push.
“I never lost confidence, I’ve always fought the best of the best, I’ve always put on great performances,” Nguyen said. “What the victory over Ritu did for me was give me momentum. I don’t think that’s the same thing as confidence. I’ve always believed in myself, always believed I was one of the best and could be the best one day. It was amazing for me emotionally and career wise as far as momentum and giving me that drive again.”
While Nguyen might be riding a momentum and set her sights on ascending the atomweight ranks in ONE, her performance against elite competition is suspect as bared by her MMA career record. She is carrying a 6-6 win-loss record. She is 3-3 under the ONE banner, including losses to Stamp Fairtex and Jihin Radzuan.
Meanwhile, Olsim is not taking solace on Nguyen’s history. The Team Lakay uprising start is instead acknowledging the dangerous threat Nguyen presents and understands that she has to truly be at her best if she is to beat her rival.
Although still lacking fights against better competition, Olsim has four wins in six fights to her credit including two submission finishes despite coming from a background in Muay Thai. She is 2-1 in ONE Championship fights including a guillotine choke induced submission over Maira Mazar in her last fight.
Aside from the better win-loss percentage, the reported 5’3” Olsim holds a size and reach advantage over the 4’11” Nguyen.
Nguyen, however, knew the obstacle being accustomed to over the years.
On the other hand, what Nguyen has over Olsim is twice the amount of professional MMA experience. She is taking to the bank that what she lacks in size is made up for in her more know-how and the newfound motivation.
In step with her brimming confidence, Nguyen maintains a level-headed approach, recognizing the dangers that each new opponent possesses.
“I have a good ego, I don’t have a bad ego. Which means I’m not here to prove anything to anyone and I know myself,” she said.
The “Killer Bee” has identified areas of concern as well as best practices to combat Olsim.
Nguyen lauded Olsim’s toughness and ability to hit harder than the average atomweight. However, when it comes to speed, Nguyen expects to have a decided advantage over her foe, opening up various paths to victory for the Xtreme Couture product.
With a strong sense of self, Nguyen relishes in the clarity of mind she has achieved following her last bout, explaining the intricacies of the mindset that she intends to bring to the Circle in her upcoming matchup with Olsim.
“There are things in my career I need to do… I need to keep winning, [defeat] new names, keep climbing the ranks so that I can get into title contention sometime.”
Early last week, it was announced that the winner of this bout will move on to face debuting American Grace Cleveland at ONE Championship’s historic all-women’s fight card, ONE: EMPOWER, on September 3, 2021. That bout will serve as an alternate for the highly anticipated ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix.
By Armando M. Bolislis