Itsuki Hirata (T) (ONE Championship)

Itsuki Hirata Discusses Her Upcoming Bout Against Victoria Souza

Itsuki Hirata enters ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II looking to avoid a true losing streak. After back-to-back losses, “Android 18” hopes she can notch a win over Victoria Souza in Bangkok to prove she is mentally and physically refreshed.

To erase those memories, she is working toward a quick night at the Impact Arena on Jun. 7.

“I want to show my strengths and the determination to win no matter what. Instead of waiting, I’ll attack first. If I can win that way, I don’t have to fight a full 15 minutes,” Hirata told ONE.


“The sooner it ends, the better. I’ll go on the offensive from the start so I don’t have to fight for 15 minutes.”

Despite her losses to Ham Seo Hee and Ayaka Miura, Hirata is still confident in her abilities. Against Souza, the Japanese star believes she will carry a technical and physical advantage over her Brazilian opponent.

“Since I’m a bit bigger, my reach will be different, and if I can strike smartly, I think I’ll have opportunities in the stand-up,” the atomweight remarked.

“And in grappling, if I take her down, I think I can ground-and-pound from the top, so I’ll fight without losing focus for even a second.”

“Android 18” is specifically looking for a submission win. Souza has a good ground game with her BJJ, and that is motivating Hirata to showcase her own grappling to the global viewing audience.

“I’m confident I can get a finish, and I want to get a finish. I want to beat a strong grappler with grappling,” Hirata stated.

“I’ll mix it up without overly sticking to one thing. But if I can get a submission, make her tap out, that would feel great.”

The change in mindset can be credited to her losses. Hirata admitted that prior to her defeats, failure was the worst thought.

Now, she is more free-flowing in the gym, willing to learn lessons from anyone who bests her during training.

“Before, I didn’t even want to get hit. I didn’t want to lose or fail in training. But after losing, I realized that training is a place to fail,” Hirata detailed.

“I fail a lot. I get beaten by female fighters and amateur fighters, too. Before, I was being stubborn, but I changed my mindset, and it became easier.”

While Hirata wants to avoid the losing streak and re-enter atomweight’s upper echelon, her mental clarity is allowing her to accept whatever outcome may occur.

No longer is it just about the win, but rather a desire to simply perform up to the best of her abilities. If she can do that, the talented Japanese star could again rise into the title picture.

“Thanks to Coach Osawa, instead of just being tense, I can relax and do it. My thinking is completely different from when I was thinking about winning alone, like, ‘It’s okay to lose, just do what I can do,” Hirata said.

ONE 167 airs live and free on Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT to all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers on Friday, Jun. 7.