‘I Got Chills’ – Ham Seo Hee Overjoyed To Receive World Title Shot After Win Over Itsuki Hirata

Ham Seo Hee Itsuki Hirata ONE Fight Night 8 23

After months of waiting, South Korean star Ham Seo Hee finally had her chance to throw down with rival Itsuki Hirata.

The #2-ranked atomweight MMA contender earned a unanimous decision victory over the Japanese standout last Friday at ONE Fight Night 8, extending her promotional record to 3-0 and then officially receiving a World Title shot from ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.

It was a much-needed outcome for Ham, who was able to breathe a deep sigh of relief.

For starters, she wasn’t sure if Friday’s bout would take place after Hirata failed to make weight for their originally scheduled matchup last year.

And even though she’s a longtime fan favorite with more than 30 professional fights in the world’s largest MMA organizations, Ham knew her opponent’s international fame and star power were drawing extra attention to their clash in Singapore.

“Hamzzang” told ONEFC.com:

“First of all, I was just really not sure if the fight was actually going to materialize. I was just worried that my efforts would come to nothing as it did last time. But I recognize the fact that Itsuki Hirata is a very, very famous person and a very famous fighter.

“And a lot of attention was actually directed toward me, and that made me nervous a little bit.”

Nervous or not, Ham appeared strong on Friday night, defending her foe’s world-class grappling attacks and piecing her up on the feet.

But while she’s become known for high-paced, all-action fights, she was surprised to see Hirata competing with uncharacteristic timidity, which ultimately produced a slower, one-sided contest.

Afterward, the 36-year-old expressed some disappointment in how the battle played out, especially considering all the pre-fight talk between the competitors:

“A lot of things were said. A lot of fire was shot in my direction from Itsuki Hirata, so I did expect her to come out with a little bit more fire, a little bit more energy.

“But as you saw, it’s very difficult to get a very exciting fight just from myself, just from my own efforts.” 

Ham Seo Hee ‘Very Excited’ For Next Challenge

Ham Seo Hee would have preferred a more entertaining or more convincing victory over Itsuki Hirata, but she is ultimately satisfied with the result.

The South Korean said:

“I’m very happy. I’m not completely happy with the way it panned out, but I am happy that it’s over and that I got the victory.”

Indeed, “Hamzzang” has plenty to celebrate.

After her victory, Sityodtong confirmed what many fans suspected – Ham had earned her long-awaited ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title shot.

Ham doesn’t know if that challenge will come against reigning divisional queen Angela Lee or for an interim belt while Lee takes time away, but in either case, the opportunity represents a dream come true.

She added: 

“I was very happy. I got chills when I heard directly from Mr. Chatri Sityodtong. It’s the only thing I’ve wanted since joining this organization, and I’m very excited.”

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