Itsuki Hirata aims to deliver exciting performance at ONE 165

By BJPENN.COM Staff - January 25, 2024

When Itsuki Hirata steps into the ring at ONE 165 on Sunday, January 28, it won’t just be a battle for victory.

Itsuki Hirata

For “Android 18,” her mission is to put forth an impressive performance at her long-awaited homecoming.

After nearly three years away from competing on home soil, Hirata faces Ayaka Miura in an all-Japanese atomweight MMA clash at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

This bout marks a significant moment in her career, and she’s not taking the opportunity for granted.

“Every match is important so I will do my best, but especially because it will be held in Japan. Everyone will come to support me, so I want to win and have a party with everyone,” she said.

“I didn’t expect to fight [Miura], but we have to make this Japan event an exciting one. Since we were offered to do this job, we both have to do our best to make our match exciting.”

Standing in her way is Miura, a former ONE Women’s Strawweight MMA World Title challenger who is dropping down a weight class for new opportunities.

Miura presents a formidable challenge for any contender in the division, and Hirata knows it all too well.

In fact, the Serra-Longo Fight Team representative seeks to seize the moment and make a statement at her compatriot’s expense.

“I can’t have a boring match in Japan. [Miura] will come to get me in the same style as always, but I want to consider the audience first,” she said.

Itsuki Hirata plans to go all out against Ayaka Miura

Itsuki Hirata is not entering this three-round contest with a narrow focus on defending Ayaka Miura’s strengths.

Instead, she envisions herself besting Miura in every aspect of the fight.

“I will do real MMA. Doing real MMA has always been my theme, so this will be like an experiment. I’ve been practicing my all-around game, both standing and ground techniques, so that I can use them in the fight,” she said.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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