Jenelyn Olsim made it two in a row in ONE Championship, but it was far from easy.
The fifth-ranked strawweight overcame a tough stand from the veteran Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen in her atomweight debut, scoring a unanimous decision win at ONE: Battleground III on Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Olsim matched her foe’s intensity from start to finish as Nguyen gave her different looks all night long, shooting takedowns and engaging the Filipina on the feet when given the chance.
“Thankful na rin ako na nakalaban ko siya kasi nakalaban na niya yung ibang high level na opponent,” said Olsim as Nguyen has faced the likes of Stamp Fairtex and Jihin Radzuan. “Pakiramdam ko na malapit na ko sa level ng mga nakalaban niya. Kinocompare ko yung mga laban niya dati sa ibang atomweight at puwede na.”
But the 24-year-old seemed to have answers to everything the Vietnamese-American threw at her, scrambling well on her back while looking for submissions and showcasing her Muay Thai.
The Bokod, Benguet, native showed great confidence on the ground game, as each time Nguyen had her there, she would threaten with submissions, evident in the first round when she was ambitious enough to go for an omoplata and gogoplata.
Her striking was equally as sharp.
“Nabigla si Bi,” said Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao. “Akala niya siguro aatras si Jenelyn sa kanya. Pero nung nakita niya na dinominate ni Jenelyn yung striking, siya nag-initiate ng take down. Hindi niya rin talaga alam yung level ni Jenelyn.”
Olsim’s punching power shined midway through the second round when she timed
Nguyen’s advances, connecting with a solid straight right that sent her opponent to the canvas.
From there, the Team Lakay star stayed one step ahead of the Xtreme Couture representative, using her takedown defense and reach advantage to keep her opponent at bay.
Nguyen did have one last flurry in her, as she finally got the dominant position she was looking for all night long. With 30 seconds remaining in the match, Nguyen scored an excellent hip throw and landed in the mount, where she unleashed some serious ground and pound on Olsim as the match ended.
That late flurry, however, was not enough for Nguyen to turn the tide as Olsim’s all-around work from start to finish weighed more in the eyes of the three judges scoring the bout.
“Siyempre, it feels satisfying and a little exhausting pero masaya,” shared Olsim.
With the win, Olsim announced her arrival in the loaded atomweight division in style after beating a confident and in-form Nguyen. It was also a nice way to follow-up her explosive debut in which she submitted Maira Mazar last May.