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Jenelyn Olsim falls to Ritu Phogat in ONE GP semis

Jenelyn Olsim tries to defend herself after Ritu Phogat took her down to the mat. ONE Championship
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Jenelyn Olsim came up just short of shocking Ritu Phogat as the latter showed why she is among the top contenders for the ONE women's atomweight title with a win in the semifinals of the ONE Women's Atomweight Grand Prix on Friday night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

In the first of the two semifinal showdowns that headlined ONE: NextGen, Phogat, the world number four women's atomweight, put on a grappling clinic against Olsim, who never wavered and still got to bring the fight to the scorecards.

Aware that Olsim could take over in the striking game, Phogat quickly took her down midway into Round 1 and put her ground advantage into good use.

It was a similar pattern in the next two rounds, although Olsim looked to turn the tides when she flipped over Phogat and looked poised to do the ground-and-pound, which Phogat quickly averted.

Phogat, who has won her last three bouts to move up to 7-1 overall, will face Natthawan "Stamp" Panthong in the Grand Prix Final at ONE: Winter Warriors on Dec. 3 at the said arena.

Panthong, ranked third in the world among the women's atomweight contenders, beat Julie Mezabarba in the other semifinal to set up the finale.

In what was expected to be mainly a striking battle, Panthong showed that she can pose a well-rounded game, overturning Mezabarba's takedown in Round 2 and taking the ground control advantage away from her.

Like Phogat, Panthong also moved up to 7-1 in her mixed martial arts career ahead of their showdown, which will determine who Angela Lee will face next for the ONE women's atomweight title.

With the losses of Olsim (5-2) and Mezabarba (9-3-1), who were inserted into the semis as alternates after Ham Seo-Hee and Itsuki Hirata begged off due to health concerns, it was assured that two of the eight originally scheduled fighters in the GP would face off in the final.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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