Challenge accepted as Zamboanga vows to win atomweight grand prix

Published October 19, 2020, 7:21 PM

by Carlo Anolin

denice zamboanga
Female Atomweight fighter Denice Zamboanga (ONE Championshi)

First things first for Denice Zamboanga.

Zamboanga, the No. 1 atomweight contender in ONE Championship, has accepted Angela Lee’s challenge to participate in the upcoming ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship set early next year.

The Filipina fighter vowed to top the tournament first before taking care of unfinished business with Lee, the current world atomweight champion.

Read: Angela Lee to Denice Zamboanga: Earn the belt, ‘you don’t get it free’

“I am so pumped for this tournament. I’m looking forward to competing for this ultra-prestigious title,” said the 23-year-old Zamboanga. “This will be the most challenging competition that no female fighter in ONE Championship history has ever faced.”

Zamboanga and Lee have been tossing words back-and-forth the past few weeks, adding more spark to their supposed rivalry.

Lee believes that Zamboanga should at least beat more fighters in the division before getting a title shot, which the latter didn’t take well. The Filipina fighter retaliated and said Lee, who announced her pregnancy recently, should vacate her title.

But ONE honcho Chatri Sityodtong confirmed that the atomweight title will remain under Lee’s tutelage.

That said, Zamboanga, who now banners Marrok Force, decided to take the high road to prove doubters wrong.

“To all the other female fighters who will be competing, it will be an honor to face you all in this tournament. A lot of people want to see me and Angela fight, so I will get the Grand Prix belt and then I’m on to the Atomweight World Title at the end of 2021.” 

By the time the grand prix ends, the ultimate winner will finally face Lee, the inaugural atomweight champion since 2016, in 2021.