After weeks of anticipation, undefeated MMA phenom Itsuki Hirata and BJJ star Danielle Kelly have their respective opponents for ONE Championship’s 10-year anniversary show, ONE X, which goes down live at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday, 26 March.
Hirata will face Malaysian sensation Jihin Radzuan in an atomweight MMA contest, while Kelly will make her promotional debut against Japanese veteran Mei Yamaguchi in an atomweight submission grappling match.
The two bouts were announced by Abema TV at a news conference held earlier today.
The Road To Itsuki Hirata Vs. Jihin Radzuan
During the live broadcast of ONE: BAD BLOOD on 11 February, it was revealed that Itsuki Hirata would make her return at ONE X against an opponent to be named.
She wrote on Instagram:
.. comeback!!! . next fight..3.26❤️❤️❤️
Hirata has been flawless in her professional MMA career. The Tokyo-based judoka is 5-0, and she has finished four of her opponents.
Most recently, she defeated Alyse Anderson via unanimous decision in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix quarterfinals last September.
But one month later, Hirata withdrew from her tournament semifinal clash with Ritu Phogat due to a medical issue. Both ONE Championship and the Japanese phenom broke the news via social media:
“I fought hard to be in the semifinals. It is regretful that I have to pull out at this stage and disappoint many people. I will recover and be back in [the] ONE Circle as soon as possible. Thank you.”
Now, she meets Jihin Radzuan, who holds a 7-2 professional MMA record and finds herself on a two-fight winning streak.
Most recently, Malaysia’s “Shadow Cat” defeated Mei Yamaguchi in a tough test at ONE: BAD BLOOD by unanimous decision.
At ONE X, Radzuan will attempt to make it three in a row and look to become the first person to beat Hirata.
“Great things never came from comfort zones.”Radzuan’s Instagram caption following her win at ONE: BAD BLOOD
The Road To Danielle Kelly Vs. Mei Yamaguchi
Speaking of Mei Yamaguchi, she’ll be switching codes to face BJJ star Danielle Kelly in a submission grappling match comprised of one 12-minute round.
On 17 February, Kelly announced that she had signed with ONE Championship to compete in grappling and eventually in mixed martial arts.
Happy to announce I am officially a @onechampionship athlete. I am also proud to be apart of @evolvemma. I’ll be doing grappling bouts under them and when I’m ready to do MMA they’ll be the promotion I’ll fight under.Kelly’s caption on Instagram
The prodigious 25-year-old is a BJJ black belt who has defeated the likes of veteran fighters Carla Esparza, Roxanne Modafferi, and Cynthia Calvillo in grappling bouts.
Now, she has a chance to add Yamaguchi to that list, but the Japanese veteran also has a black belt in “the gentle art” and competes on the grappling scene when she isn’t training for her MMA fights.
Hirata versus Radzuan and Yamaguchi versus Kelly are just two of the latest matches scheduled for ONE X on 26 March. Stay tuned to onefc.com for more news about the event.