‘Failure Isn’t An Option’ – Noelle Grandjean Plans To Ruin Chihiro Sawada’s Perfect Record In Key Clash At ONE Fight Night 22

Victoria Souza Noelle Grandjean ONE Fight Night 20 9

Noelle “Lil’ Monkey” Grandjean is brimming with confidence ahead of her pivotal atomweight MMA showdown with undefeated Japanese standout Chihiro Sawada.

Slated to take place in U.S. primetime on Friday, May 3, that clash could plant either woman in the division’s top-five rankings and push them much closer to a World Title shot.

Now in the final preparations for her battle at ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell vs. Diachkova on Prime Video in Bangkok, Thailand, Grandjean spoke to onefc.com about her matchup with Sawada.

“Lil’ Monkey” has done her homework on the Japanese sensation, paying close attention to the latter’s debut win over #5-ranked atomweight MMA contender Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan at ONE Fight Night 20. Because Radzuan missed weight, that bout took place at 120 pounds and did not impact the rankings.

For her part, Grandjean was impressed by her upcoming opponent’s performance:

“I saw that [Sawada] has good cardio, and she won against Jihin [Radzuan], who is ranked 5 and was heavier as well, so she probably has strength as well.

“She’s just well-rounded at this level, and everyone is well-rounded anyway, so, yeah, she’s a tough opponent. Also, she’s undefeated, so [she’s] mentally strong. Great, great challenge for me. Big challenge.”

While she’s quick to give Sawada credit, the Thai-French scrapper has the utmost confidence in her own abilities.

Fresh off a dominant decision win over Victoria Souza last time out, Grandjean has proven to be a skilled all-around mixed martial artist, equally capable of throwing heavy leather on the feet as she is landing big takedowns and controlling the fight on the mat.

Hesitant to give away her strategy, the Team Grandjean fighter instead spoke about her own strengths:

“I can’t really tell you her weaknesses, really, because it would ruin my game plan, you know? But, I believe in my strengths, which are judo and also striking.

“I can go anywhere during the fight. I’ve also been training MMA for four years now in the best places in the world.”

Indeed, Grandjean’s all-around MMA game has made her one of the sport’s fastest-rising stars, with all the makings of a future World Champion.

The 27-year-old knows that if she wants to continue her climb toward the atomweight MMA gold, she’ll need to turn in a spectacular effort at ONE Fight Night 22 – and that’s exactly what she intends to do:

“It can be any outcome, but why not a knockout, honestly? I’m going for the win, a hundred percent. There is no other option for me. Failure isn’t an option.”

Grandjean Confident Her Judo Will Triumph Over Sawada’s Wrestling

Both Noelle Grandjean and Chihiro Sawada are elite fighters with diverse skill sets, but when push comes to shove, they are both grapplers at heart.

Sawada is an immensely powerful wrestler – arguably the division’s finest. But “Lil’ Monkey” is an equally talented judoka, owning national titles in both the Netherlands and Thailand.

With that in mind, she says their showdown on May 3 will mark a clash between two world-class styles:

“Honestly, her wrestling is world-class. I think her wrestling is as high-level as my judo is. We should both be Olympians, I guess, at this stage, but we both switched to MMA so, now our paths are clashing.”

Despite her opponent’s formidable wrestling, Grandjean trusts that her judo will reign supreme. In fact, she believes the undefeated Sawada will be in for a surprise:

“I think she has never fought someone who has my grappling level, and I think [MMA legend] Khabib [Nurmagomedov] said this, that judo is number one.”

More in News

Stamp Fairtex Ham Seo Hee ONE Fight Night 14 112
Tawanchai PK Saenchai Jo Nattawut ONE Fight Night 15 19
Avatar PK Saenchai Kiamran Nabati ONE Friday Fights 55 28
Gabriel Sousa
Mikey Musumeci Jarred Brooks ONE Fight Night 13 72
Yodphupa Wimanair Soner Sen ONE Friday Fights 63 48
Yodphupa Wimanair Soner Sen
Denis Puric Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat ONE Fight Night 17 48
Jacob Smith Denis Puric ONE Fight Night 21 24
Superlek Kiatmoo9 Takeru Segawa ONE 165 34
Jonathan Di Bella Danial Williams ONE Fight Night 15 7
Denice Zamboanga