ONE: Next Gen Virtual Faceoffs transpire as fight week unfolds.
Former ONE Atomweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing world champion Stamp Fairtex defends her number three ranking against Grand Prix alternate Julie Mezabarba. The two took part in Q&A prior to their semi-final contest in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix.
Also, #4-ranked atomweight contender Ritu Phogat and her opponent, another Grand Prix alternate in Jenelyn Olsim, spoke to ONE Championship ahead of the opposing bracket semi-final matchup in the Atomweight tournament.
These semi-final fights top the marquee for ONE: Next Gen. The broadcast goes down live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, October 29th. ONE commentator Michael Schiavello conducted the faceoffs with the four athletes and excerpts from those interactions are below.
ONE: Next Gen Virtual Faceoffs
Stamp Fairtex: “She is quite strong, quite tough, and a little bit bigger than me so it’s going to be a tough fight for me. I mastered Muay Thai and I have been practicing it all my life. I will try to knock her out if I can. In my mind, I only need a victory. [Julie] wants to knock me out, but she better be careful because she might get knocked out instead.”
Julie Mezabarba: “My fans can expect a very tough Julie with a lot of blood in her eyes, no playing around. I don’t think the fighting styles make any of us better than the other. I think both of us have our own qualities. To me, it doesn’t matter. A win is a win. I want to win by knockout but a win is a win, whatever way it may come.”
ONE Atomweight Grand Prix
Ritu Phogat: “Definitely do not underestimate me. I have the power, I have the strength to prove you wrong. Be careful. I was really hoping to fight Hirata. [The matchup] had come through popular public demand. I was prepared for her. Although the matchup with Jenelyn has come at the eleventh hour, I’m confident in my skills, my training, and I know I can take on anyone. It’s not something that shakes me up. I’m untouched by pressure. I don’t allow myself to get intimidated by pressure.”
Jenelyn Olsim: “I believe that wrestling is [Riut’s] biggest asset. I can handle her wrestling, I want to prove I’m not just some alternate. I don’t underestimate Ritu. But I can outstrike her, I also know her biggest strength is wrestling. I’m just not going to let her pin me down. First of all, I am very confident in myself. I trust my training, my coaches, my gym. Think I can beat anyone they give me. I accept every fight they give me. Very motivated right now. And focused. I want to win. I believe in the saying never leave it to the judges. Will give everything I have, I will do everything to finish her. It’s either submission or knockout.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.