‘Good Energy And Good Advice’ – Noelle Grandjean Explains Special Relationship With Her Father

Chihiro Sawada Noelle Grandjean ONE Fight Night 22 3

Noelle “Lil’ Monkey” Grandjean credits her dad for building her into the world-class martial artist she is today.  

The 28-year-old – who is stepping in to face Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga in an atomweight MMA clash at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II on Prime Video – followed her father’s footsteps into the world of combat sports at the age of 6, and he’s been her biggest supporter ever since.  

Chalaam Grandjean trained, coached, and competed in judo, Muay Thai, and MMA, and he wanted his daughter to grow up with the same values he took from his time on the mats.

The Thai-French rising star opened up on their relationship ahead of her return in U.S. primetime on June 7: 

“I got the best dad but a very tough dad. There was discipline and a focus on sports. But the result is great. The values I learned are great for sports, great for having goals, and we can do a lot with them in life as well. I took the lessons from it, and I’m forever grateful for that.” 

Chalaam backed his daughter’s efforts from her first day in the dojo, throughout her successful international judo career, and now in her switch to mixed martial arts. 

Grandjean has never known any different, but she doesn’t take it for granted to have someone in her corner every step of the way – whether that’s literally at her fights or available to talk whenever she needs it.

“Lil’ Monkey” explained: 

“It just feels natural to have him as my number one fan. I’m used to it, but it’s definitely a blessing. 

“He’s in Bangkok, I’m in Phuket, so most of the time we’re communicating through the phone, but he just gives me so much good energy and good advice. That’s what I appreciate as well.” 

Grandjean Hopes To Win World Title Gold For Her Dad 

Noelle Grandjean has shared many great moments with her father, Chalaam Grandjean, but one stands out for her above the rest.

“Lil’ Monkey” got off to a great start in her ONE career when she stopped Lea Bivins by TKO at ONE Fight Night 3, but she then experienced her first career defeat. 

However, her dad never lost faith, and when she got back on the winning track against Victoria Souza in March, she was thrilled to stand alongside her lifelong coach and biggest advocate. 

Grandjean recalled: 

“Obviously after the win, that was a great, great moment that we can never forget. But also the support that he gave me throughout the preparation, it was always positive and motivating me. He believed so much in me.” 

That unfaltering support has pushed Grandjean to plenty of success already, but it’s also her catalyst to carry on and look for more. 

She could propel herself up the rankings with a win over #2-ranked atomweight MMA contender Denice Zamboanga on June 7, and she wants to ultimately claim World Title gold to honor her father in the best way possible. 

She added: 

“I’m doing this for him. It’s giving back for all the work that he put into my career. The judo, all the martial arts he taught me, the values he’s teaching me. He believes so much in me.  

“I can’t give up for him, so I hope I can get the belt, and that will actually be for my dad. Also for the fans and for my goals as well, but mostly for all the work he put in.” 

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