There is absolutely no love lost between top-ranked ONE Championship atomweight contender Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga and reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee.
The two ONE Championship stars have taken their fair share of digs at each other over the past year and more, whether through the media or on their own social media platforms. It’s safe to say that they simply don’t like each other.
Lee has been out of action since late 2019, when she submitted strawweight queen Xiong Jing Nan in Japan to retain her atomweight strap. Since then, “Unstoppable” became a first-time mother, having given birth to daughter Ava Marie earlier this year.
The 25-year-old Mililani, Hawaii resident is expected to make her highly anticipated return to action some time in 2022. However, Zamboanga has doubts about Lee’s ability to return to her previous form.
“It really depends on how dedicated Angela is to come back. She is a mother now, and she has reached a level of success that most of us only dream of. She might not have that burning desire to win anymore,” Zamboanga said in a recent interview with ONE Championship.
“Success changes people in different ways. We’ve seen it affect fighters like Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. It’s hard to stay at the top because every fight is your biggest fight ever. But then again, some fighters come back better than ever before.”
By the time Lee makes her return to the Circle in 2022, it will have been close to three years since the Singaporean superstar has seen action in the cage. That’s a long time to be away from competition, especially at the highest level.
And while Zamboanga says she respects Lee as a fighter, she believes her rival may lack the fire or the edge at this stage in her career to make a meaningful comeback.
“Angela has the tools, and I know she will do anything to keep the atomweight belt,” Zamboanga said. “But this is a mental game as much as it is physical. Angela has reached all of her dreams in this sport and has had a fantastic career. That kind of takes away from the fire.”
Meanwhile, Lee recently shared a series of photos on her official Instagram account, showing off her “mombod” after several months of training. “Unstoppable” says she’s in fantastic shape, and is well on track for an early return in 2022.
Zamboanga herself is eyeing a fight early next year, and will likely rematch #3-ranked atomweight Seo Hee Ham or face dangerous Brazilian striker Julie Mezabarba.
However, if given a choice, “Lycan Queen” would drop all of those plans for a chance to finally face Lee in the Circle.
“I’ve been waiting to fight her for such a long time now. I still think I deserve that fight. And so many fans want to see it. They want to see me fight Angela Lee,” Zamboanga said. “The media have covered our fight a lot as well. And I think there’s just overwhelming interest to see this fight.”