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Olsim faces tough Brazilian in ONE debut

DEBUT. Jenelyn Olsim (2nd, right) debuts tonight in the ONE Championship under the Team Lakay colors for the first time. Here she is seen with the Baguio side of the Philippine Muay Thai team who won medals in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games during the Silahis ng Pasko’s Kafagway/Kordillera International Sports Luminary Awards Podium awards after winning a silver in the SEAG. In photo from left: Jerry Olsim (gold, kickboxing), Jearome Calica (gold, muay waikru), Islay Erika Bomogao (silver), coach Billy Alumno, Olsim and Ariel Lampacan (gold). Pigeon Lobien / RNG Luzon

Jenelyn Olsim debuts tonight for Baguio’s top mixed martial arts gym, Team Lakay, at the biggest MMA event, ONE Championship.

“I am very excited. I am excited to play for Team Lakay. And happy to play in ONE and happy to represent the Philippines,” said the 24-year old 2019 Southeast Asian Games as she gears up against the 33-year old striking expert Maira Mazar.

“Been working hard for this since it was twice postponed. Everyday training and I think that I learned more for this fight,” said the University of Baguio student, who moved to Team Lakay in June of last year to join his her brother Jerry, a 2019 SEAG gold medalist in kickboxing.

The move to Team Lakay, probably Asia’s top MMA squad, has opened door for the international campaigner as she also trains with the top acts including strawweight champion Joshua Pacio and former champions Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, Geje Eustaquio, Kevin Belingon and former Brave FC king Stephen Loman, who also moved to ONE to be able to compete against the bests.

Olsim said that with the formidable Team Lakay stable, her level of training has vastly improved as she tries to better her 2-3 win-loss record in MMA.

“I am fully confident with my team and my coach because they have proven themselves in various (MMA) events,” she added in Filipino.

But Olsim will face a veteran wushu striker in Mazar in on one of the undercards in the ONE Fists of Fury III in Singapore which will be headlined by lightweight kickboxing championship fight between Regian Eersel of Suriname and Italian Mustapha Haida.

Team Lakay top honcho Mark Sangiao said that they concentrated in giving Olsim’s already formidable striking skills with wrestling and grappling to balance it.

Sangiao admitted that Mazar is a tough fighter as she started out as a striker being a sanda (wushu) expert and had been trained by a world champion coach, a reason why they developed the Bokod, Benguet native’s grappling skills.

“Kahit saan mapunta ang laban pwede (Where ever the fight will go, Jenelyn will to go toe to toe),” said the former SEAG champion for wushu sanda.

Mazar who holds a 7-3 win-loss card. Mazar is fresh from her win via technical knockout by way of punches on Jung Yoon Choi in The Matrix series in October 20 last year to avenge a loss via submission, scarf hold armlock, to Ayaka Miura in January 10 also last year.

In the 5.5” Sao Paolo, Brazil native’s seven wins, five came via TKO, one through submission and one by decision. Mazar whose losses came via submission, started out in wushu sanda before taking up Brazilian jiujitsu and eventually mixed martial arts.

Four other fights will be featured: the atom weight muay Thai fight between Kiwi Alma Juniku and Janet Todd of the United States; MMA bout between Eduard Folayang conqueror Alex Silva (US) and Japanese Hiroba Minowa; bantamweight muay Thai face off of Han Zi Hao (China) and Adam Noi; and, MMA flyweight match of Thai Yodkakaew Fairtex and Chinese Hu Yojg in the curtain raiser.

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