Itsuki Hirata unfazed by critics ahead of ONE 163 battle with Seo Hee Ham: ‘I believe in myself’
All a success blended martial artists have their doubters, and Japanese judo professional Itsuki Hirata (6-1) isn’t anyt any different.
In fact, beforehand of her bout towards No. 2-ranked atomweight contender Seo Hee Ham (25-eight), humans assume Hirata doesn`t stand a threat.
However, “Android 18” believes she has the gear to win on Saturday, November 19, at “ONE 163: Akimoto vs. Petchtanong” and get in the direction of a shot at ONE women’s atomweight global champion Angela Lee.
While the Tokyo local acknowledges why a few fanatics have picked her because the underdog, she’s hungry to show them incorrect and display that she belongs the various atomweight elite.
“I determined to take this combat due to the fact there may be no benefit for me to combat with a fighter who isn’t always ranked.
“This combat is a huge undertaking for me. Everyone thinks I will lose, however I accept as true with in myself, and I assume I actually have a threat to win.”
At simply 23 years antique, Hirata has an extended profession beforehand of her, however she determined there has been no time just like the gift to head after her division’s pinnacle-ranked contenders.
While her 6-1 expert slate stands small subsequent to 35-year-antique Ham’s 25-eight record, “Android 18” desires to check herself towards “Hamzzang” whilst the latter remains on the pinnacle of her sport.
“Of course, I recognise she is the hardest opponent (I’ve confronted so far). I desired to combat her now whilst she is appeared because the strongest.
Itsuki Hirata unfazed by critics ahead
“Everyone stated it turned into too early for me. But I concept, ‘When is the proper time?’ If I wait too long, I do not know if she can be able to maintain her (function withinside the rankings). I would really like to have a healthy whilst she remains appeared as strong. I do not assume it is too early.”
Hirata desires to give up Ham’s time on the pinnacle
Ham has been one of the nice girl competition withinside the global for decades now, however Japanese supermegacelebrity Hirata thinks it is her time to shine.
Though the Krazy Bee consultant accepts that “Hamzzang” brings a large side in revel in and a few validated hanging abilities to this matchup, she has additionally visible gaps in her upcoming rival’s sport that she plans to exploit.
“She is only a striker, it really is it. No huge deal. She fought in more than one international locations and diverse events. But I need to make a alternate withinside the generation. We want to give up her generation. I want to make my generation now.
“I watched her combat with Denice Zamboanga. I concept that Ham did now no longer have tons high-degree floor abilities. And ONE Championship’s atomweight (division) is fifty two kilograms. I assume she is mild in weight. I assume I’m higher than her in phrases of physicality.”
As the No. 2-ranked contender, Ham could in reality be a huge scalp for Hirata if the Japanese sensation defeats the South Korean on November 19. However, Hirata isn’t always getting beforehand of herself.
Although ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong expressed hobby in putting “Android 18” towards Lee for the ONE women’s atomweight global identify if she is victorious, Hirata is glad to undertaking all comers on her manner to the pinnacle of the division.
“I assume not anything will alternate at all (if I win). It’s only a win. She isn’t always a champion. I want to attain the arena championship.
“(I may want to combat) Stamp Fairtex, Denice Zamboanga, or Jihin Radzuan (subsequent) – I want to combat plenty of prospects. It’s now no longer clean to (get a) combat with Angela Lee.”