3 reasons Ham Seo Hee is a tough matchup for Itsuki Hirata

Ham Seo Hee (L) could give Itsuki Hirata (R) a rude awakening at ONE Fight Night 8. | Photo by ONE Championship
Ham Seo Hee (L) could give Itsuki Hirata (R) a rude awakening at ONE Fight Night 8. | Photo by ONE Championship

Second-ranked ONE women’s atomweight contender Ham Seo Hee will finally get to settle her unfinished business with Itsuki Hirata.

The much-anticipated clash is part of the stacked ONE Fight Night 8: Bhullar vs Malykhin card on March 24 inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

After fulfilling her pre-fight duties, ‘Hamzzang’ was ready to throw hands with ‘Android 18’ at ONE 163 last year. In an unfortunate twist of events however, Hirata missed weight and was not able to compete.

Ham, understandably, refused to fight the Japanese star at a catchweight, adding more fuel to this intense match-up's fire.

As always, this pivotal clash in the women’s 115-pound ranks, along with the rest of the stacked card, will air live on US primetime and free of charge for Amazon Prime Video subscribers in the United States and Canada,

With that said, let’s look at three reasons why Ham Seo Hee will be too much to handle for Itsuki Hirata at ONE Fight Night 8.

#3 Eight-fight winning streak and momentum

Ham Seo Hee has not tasted defeat since 2016 and she has no plans of doing so anytime soon – especially against an unranked Hirata.

The Team Mad representative has gotten her hand raised against her last eight opponents. Ham’s last two wins came at the expense of fourth-ranked Denice Zamboanga inside the circle.

Following a too-close-for-comfort victory against the Filipino in her promotional debut, the Korean sensation left no stone unturned in the rematch for a decisive victory.

Ham’s confidence is at an all-time high right now, considering this is the longest winning streak of her career.

A victory over a rising star like Hirata will no doubt move her one step closer to number-one contender status for the women’s atomweight crown.

#2 Experienced veteran

At 35 years old, Ham seems to be aging like fine wine and has only gotten better over the years.

‘Hamzzang’ has already tussled with some of the best female fighters in the world and has won championships in other promotions.

The only thing missing in her trophy case is the coveted ONE Championship gold belt.

Moreover, South Korean native from Busan has won 25 of her 33 career MMA matches – a far cry from Hirata, who only has seven career fights under her belt so far.

Despite their glaring 12-year age gap, Ham’s wealth of experience should come into play in this match.

Ham Seo Hee has pretty much seen it all throughout her career, and she’ll be ready for whatever ‘Android 18’ throws her way at ONE Fight Night 8.

#1 Ham Seo Hee is very hard to finish

Given her kickboxing background, Ham is an amazing striker with an ultra-aggressive style.

So much so that she was given the nickname ‘Hamderlei Silva’ in her early years - an ode to the legendary Brazilian berserker Wanderlei Silva.

Ham keeps pushing forward at a frenzied pace because of her insane durability. Even though she has faced some of the most dangerous female fighters in the game, Ham has only gotten finished three times in 33 career matches.

Hirata, of course, is an amazing grappler with a heavy judo base.

However, she’s not exactly known for her stand-up game, which Ham Seo Hee would be more than happy to exploit.

If Hirata cannot find a way to soften up Ham’s impenetrable defenses, then she’ll certainly be in for a rude awakening at the hands of the wily veteran.

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Edited by Krishna Venki
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