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Her weakness is probably her age: Itsuki Hirata on Ham Seo Hee

LockerRoom Team
16 March 2023

Itsuki Hirata received harsh criticism after failing to make weight for her fight with Ham Seo Hee as planned in November of last year, but she's motivated to make amends in the rearranged bout at ONE Fight Night 8 on Prime Video on March 24.

As the fight in November was postponed, "Android 18" turned off social media in an effort to concentrate on the task at hand.

She has since reemerged with a desire to live up to expectations for this crucial atomweight MMA match against #2-ranked Ham.

Hirata increased the intensity of her training in New York, where she has been cross-training at a number of top gyms to make sure she is prepared for "Hamzzang" when they meet in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

She made the decision to do so by leaving her native Japan behind and dedicating a significant amount of money to becoming a full-time athlete.

Itsuki Hirata is ready for a very challenging matchup against Ham Seo Hee, a veteran of mixed martial arts and one of the most skilled and aggressive competitors in the ONE atomweight division.

"Android 18" believes that a grappling-heavy game plan will offer her the best chance of winning after studying the South Korean's play, yet she also wants to avoid looking vulnerable in the face of "Hamzzang's" powerful striking.

“I’ve been focusing [in training camp] on wrestling and grappling, just like the last time. I think Ham is good at boxing range. When I watched her fight with [Denice] Zamboanga, I felt that her range of wrestling, grappling, and takedown techniques was narrow. I’m good at takedowns and ground fighting, so I hope to take it there, if possible,” Hirata said in an interview with ONE Championship.

Hirata's capacity to pick up the pace throughout this 15-minute competition may be another crucial element.

As her opponent is 13 years older, "Android 18" intends to apply pressure to the veteran during their fight and take advantage of her physical advantages.

“Her weakness is probably her age. I think I have to win with my stamina due to my youth. I will fight for five minutes and three rounds, and I’ll keep attacking until the very end no matter what the situation is,” she added.

ALSO READ | VIDEO: When Itsuki Hirata showcased her battle wounds

What do you think of the take from Hirata? Let us know in the comments below.


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