“It’s Either a Submission or Knockout” – Jenelyn Olsim Aims to Finish Ritu Phogat in Grand Prix Semifinals

Published 10/28/2021, 9:18 AM EDT


Jenelyn Olsim wants to advance into the final of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix, and she plans to do so in highlight-reel fashion. 

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The Filipina mixed martial artist entered the semifinals as an alternate after Japanese star Itsuki “Android 18” Hirata withdrew from the tournament due to non-COVID related fevers. Olsim now takes on Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat in the first semifinal tournament bout at ONE: NEXTGEN this Friday, 29 October. 

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“I will give everything I have. I will do everything to finish the game. It’s either a submission or knockout,” she said.

“I want to prove that I am not some alternate, and when it comes to wrestling, I think I can also grapple with her.”

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Can Jenelyn Olsim out-wrestle Ritu Phogat?

Olsim’s recent performances in ONE Championship proved that she could grapple with the finest athletes on the global stage. She demonstrated that in her recent outing against Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen in August and even submitted Maira Mazar in her promotional debut earlier this year. 

Though she might not have the same level of wrestling skills as Phogat, Olsim is prepared to wade into deep waters with the Indian star.

“My previous fight (against Grace Cleveland), which was canceled, was against a wrestler and a grappler too. I’m very confident with that training,” the 24-year-old said.

“I’m very confident in myself. I trust my training, coach, and my gym. I’m prepared for that kind of game. We trained at the gym not just on one aspect, but on everything.”

Defeating Phogat by wrestling, however, will be easier said than done. Phogat has used her world-class wrestling and overall game to earn six wins in ONE Championship in slightly under two years.

Olsim, though, is not worried about her future foe’s wrestling because if her plan to outwork Phogat on the canvas fails, her striking can get the job done. 

“I don’t underestimate Ritu, but I know I can outstrike her when it comes to that,” the martial artist said.

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Olsim predicts the winner for Stamp Fairtex vs. Julie Mezabarba

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Olsim’s battle versus “The Indian Tigress” will be a perfect teaser of what fans could expect when the main event and the second semifinal clash between Stamp Fairtex and Julie Mezabarba gets underway. 

When asked to pick who she thinks will advance into the final, the Team Lakay star does not see any way for Mezabarba to upset the Thai. 

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“She has improved on the ground,” Olsim said. “She’s physically strong and well-rounded. I think Stamp will outstrike Mezabarba.”

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Arman Khan

206 articles

Arman Khan is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He began following combat sports when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor competed in 'The Money Fight' in 2017. 'The Notorious' attracted Arman to the UFC, and he became an ardent fan of professional fighting as he could draw parallels with the action from his combat sports experience and break down techniques such as striking and striking defense lucidly for the casual fans.

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