All Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga wanted was one thing. And at ONE X on 26 March, her wish gets fulfilled as the Filipina fighter takes another crack at “Arale Chan” Ham Seo Hee in a much anticipated rematch.
“I can’t explain the excitement! This is what I have been waiting for even after our first fight,” she said.
Zamboanga is looking to right a wrong and prove that she truly was the one who deserved to get her hands raised at the conclusion of their quarterfinal bout in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix at ONE: EMPOWER back in September.
“In my past interviews, I’ve mentioned that I really wanted this rematch to show that I really was the one who won that fight,” she said.
Controversial could be an understatement on how the outcome of that fight ended, with Zamboanga taking the fight to Ham for all three rounds and even got a takedown in round three, but the judges favored the Korean in the split decision end.
Even ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong intervened and elevated the match to the ONE competition committee which upheld the decision for the fight.
Months removed from that first career loss, Zamboanga is using that as a fuel for her preparations for this second go-round with Ham.
“I’m okay now and I’ve moved on from that decision. I’m using that to push myself to train more,” she said, with that fight dropping her record to an 8-1 win-loss slate.
The no. 2-ranked women’s atomweight contender is also aware of the heavy implications that this match poses, with the victor likely to get a shot at the winner of the bout between reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee and ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix Champion Stamp Fairtex, incidentally also scheduled in the main event of the same card.
“This fight is really important for me because all of the athletes here dream to become a champion. And I can say that this match will be a stepping stone for me to finally be given a chance to challenge the champion,” she stated, while also expounding on the privilege to be part of ONE Championship’s 10-year anniversary show.
“This is so special for me because I will be part of history. Just look at the title fights on this card, and how it’s stacked from top to bottom and you can see how great the matches and the fighters are, so I’m really blessed to be part of it.”
That’s the reason why the Marrok Force MMA standout is keeping her cards close to her chest as she promises to showcase a new Denice Zamboanga in this match.
“You will see how much I have improved since the last time I fought inside the ONE Circle. I can’t put it into words, but you will see the leveled up version of me: one who is more feisty and will definitely be eyeing for a finish,” she said.
And if it comes with the $50,000 bonus, too? Then that’s just the cherry on top for Zamboanga.
“Honestly speaking, that bonus is important for every athlete. I know that if I get that bonus, that would really help us,” she said.
“But what I focus on is getting the win. I will show the best version of me in that fight, and if I’m lucky to get that bonus, I’ll just be eternally grateful as well.”