Jenelyn Olsim is fully aware that expectations around her have shot up drastically following her rousing ONE Championship debut a few weeks ago.
The Team Lakay upstart left a trail of impressed heads in her very first match as part of the promotion’s main roster. She scored a submission victory over Maira Mazar in ONE: Fists of Fury III in Singapore last March 19.
Making that win even more emphatic, she is now the fifth-ranked fighter in the strawweight class after dislodging her Brazilian foe.
But instead of letting the pressure get to her, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games Muay Thai silver medalist sees it as a challenge. She also wants to prove that she rightfully deserves to be in her current position.
“Pinaghahandaan ko na lang po kasi nga rank number five, ibig sabihin malaki rin ‘yung expectations sa kanya,” Olsim told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast, Tuesday.
“And siyempre, gusto ko rin po na kapag nanalo ako, eh talagang nanalo ako, at talagang deserve ko po ‘yung rank number five.”
Now, she aims to climb the ranks gradually towards her ultimate goal of claiming the strawweight tiara, which is currently held by Xiong Jing Nan.
Singapore’s Tiffany Teo is the no. 1 contender for the title as of the moment, followed by Michelle Nicolini of Brazil, former ONE atomweight queen Angela Lee, and Japanese fighter Ayaka Miura.
“Bago pa lang din naman po ako … To make it worth it eh sisimulan ko po sa rank 4, 3, 2, 1,” she told the session powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corp., MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR.
“Or kung possible naman po, diretso na. Pero para mas worth it talaga, kailangan we climb the rankings.”
And while she makes that ascent to the top, Olsim is eager as well to showcase more of her skills than the ones she displayed in her debut.
“Siguro dun sa laro ko, wala po ako nai-apply na wrestling. Kumbaga puro defense ako. But I think I can show more sa next fight ko,” the 24-year-old offered.
“Kung hindi siya matatapos agad, I think I can show more through my striking, jiujitsu. Kasi nga lagi tayo nababrand na mahina raw tayo sa jiujitsu, ayun. Let’s prove them wrong.”