From the moment Itsuki Hirata joined ONE Championship, everybody knew that she was built for greatness. After two years in the Singapore-based promotion, the Japanese fighter has matched all of the expectations thrown her way.
It's no surprise then that she has earned her place in the final four of the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix. She will meet Ritu 'The Indian Tigress' Phogat in a semifinal clash in Singapore at ONE: NextGen on October 29.
Truth be told, it won't be much of a shock if she wins it all. After all, Itsuki Hirata was one of the pre-tournament favorites to emerge as the victor and earn a future title shot at reigning ONE women's atomweight world champion 'Unstoppable' Angela Lee.
However, if there are still naysayers on Itsuki Hirata's capabilities, let's look at five reasons why Itsuki Hirata is one of the best fighters in ONE Championship today.
#5. Itsuki Hirata's tenacious takedowns
One has to consider this when talking about Itsuki Hirata: at her core is her judo skills. She picked these up the moment she decided to follow in her brother's footsteps at age six.
Since then, she has excelled in martial arts at every level, using those skills to take down her opponents with hip throws. She banked on that grappling skill to establish herself as one of the most dangerous fighters in the game today.
However, Itsuki Hirata is no one-trick pony. She has added to her arsenal over the years, including an explosive double-leg takedown that she has found success with a number of times. An example of this came against Nylene Crowley at ONE: Warrior's Code back in February 2020.