Itsuki Hirata wants nothing more right now than to get Jihin Radzuan back inside the circle with her.
The Japanese judoka is hellbent on running it back with Radzuan following her split-decision loss to the Malaysian star at ONE X this past March.
In an interview with ONE Championship, Hirata admitted that she didn’t fight to her full potential when she and Radzuan tussled for the first time. It’s this regret that’s been gnawing at her since her defeat.
Hirata was an unstoppable force when she first entered the organization, going 4-0 in her first four matches with three of those wins not reaching the judges’ scorecards.
The Malaysian, however, proved a difficult problem to solve for Hirata. In their fight, it was the ‘Shadow Cat’ who got to display her full arsenal in the women’s atomweight contest.
Itsuki Hirata said:
“I definitely want a rematch with Jihin Radzuan, if not now, then somewhere down the road. I feel like I was not able to represent myself well in the first fight and what I’m really capable of. We have to settle our unfinished business, and in the next fight, I will surely win. It cannot end like this. We have to fight again.”
Jihin Radzuan was dominant against Hirata, quickly stifling the Japanese stalwart’s numerous takedown attempts. Although ‘Android 18’ found her moments midway through the second round, it was the Malaysian fighter who ultimately dictated the flow in the third and final round to clinch the victory.
Hirata, despite the loss, is still one of the brightest talents in ONE Championship. Her start dela in the promotion was nothing short of incredible, and it’s only a matter of time before she steps inside the circle again.
Itsuki Hirata is determined to improve following her loss
Dejected with the loss, Itsuki Hirata vowed that she would come back a better fighter. She has done everything in her power to improve in the past few months.
Hirata flew to the United States this past May and connected with famed MMA coach Ray Longo in Long Island, New York.
The Japanese grappler has since left New York, but she’s confident she’s improved on her overall game. She said in the same interview that she feels she’s gotten better as a fighter and that she wants nothing more than to get back inside the circle.
“After that loss, I realized a few holes in my game. I’ve focused on improving, practiced a lot on my strengths as well, and my grappling skills. I can say I’m better than ever and I can’t wait to return to the circle.”