ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix: Ham Vs. Stamp, Hirata vs. Phogat Set For Semifinal Round

Published 09/28/2021, 5:25 AM EDT


Martial arts fans worldwide are in for two world-class matchups when the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix semifinals commence. 

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Fans were given the chance to be matchmakers for this historic tournament, and the results of their votes were revealed during ONE: REVOLUTION last Friday. The fans have spoken, and the matchups they created are absolutely massive.

Japanese sensation Itsuki “Android 18” Hirata will take on Indian wrestling queen Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat in the first semifinal matchup, while South Korean veteran Seo Hee Ham squares off against Thai striking dynamo Stamp Fairtex in the other.

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Both winners will seal a spot in the final round and an opportunity to become the atomweight division’s #1-ranked contender, who will go on to face Angela Lee for the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship in the near future.

Rather than a classic grappler versus striker matchup, the fans seemed to have preferred to pair athletes based on their knowledge in respective disciplines. 

The first clash brings together two elite grapplers in the form of Phogat and Ham. Phogat has repeatedly displayed her world-class wrestling skills in ONE Championship, while “Android 18” has used her sublime judo knowledge to maintain a flawless 5-0 record in her professional mixed martial arts career.

Both athletes booked their semifinal tickets at ONE Championship’s first all-women’s event, ONE: EMPOWER, which took place on 3 September. Phogat, who trains at Evolve MMA in Singapore, defeated a determined Mengo Bo in their quarterfinal battle while Hirata secured a win after a closely-fought battle with promotional newcomer Alyse “Lil’ Savage” Anderson. 

On the opposite side of the bracket, Ham and Stamp will undoubtedly trade heavy leather when they clash in the other semifinal bout. Both athletes were forced to dig deep into their striking arsenal during their quarterfinal matches at ONE: EMPOWER, coming out victorious in razor-close matches that ended via split decision.

Former atomweight kickboxing and Muay Thai titleholder, Stamp, earned a much-needed win against Ukrainian grappling sensation Alyona Rassohyna – the only athlete to have defeated her in her professional mixed martial arts career thus far. Meanwhile, Ham handed Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga her first career defeat in a battle that was so close, it could have gone either way.

There is no date and time set for the semifinal bouts, but all four athletes seemed more than ready for the showcase based on their social media channels.

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Stamp posted a picture of her and the three semifinalists on her Instagram with the caption: “This is the result of fans’ votes to make this battle happen, and I hope this fight, I will not disappoint my fans.”

Hirata uploaded the same picture that read: “The fight was decided. It’s only natural to win. This is the first time a game has been played in a short period of time. Even if it’s hard every day, I’ll do it. It’s my ordeal. It’s my destiny.”

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The winner of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix will have the customary silver belt on their shoulder, but more importantly, become next in line to challenge for Angela Lee’s atomweight throne.

Stay tuned to ONE Championship’s official site or the ONE Super App for more breaking news on this epic Grand Prix.

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Raj Sarkar

2537 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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