‘Mas komportable ako sa bantamweight’: Zamboanga mulls scaling up from flyweight

Published December 17, 2020, 5:29 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Drex Zamboanga
ONE Championship rookie Drex Zamboanga wins his debut match after executing a rear-naked choke on Detchadin Sornsirisuphathin. (ONE Championship

Filipino fighter Drex Zamboanga is mulling to scale up from the flyweight to the bantamweight division by next year.

Holed up training in Bangkok, Thailand under Marrok Force, Zamboanga told the Manila Bulletin in a video call Wednesday night that he wanted a higher level of competition and moving up to the bantamweight ranks will make it happen.

“Masasabi ko lang ay goodbye flyweight muna,” Zamboanga jested first before moving on a serious note.

“Even in URCC, noong bantamweight ako, [halos] lahat nado-dominate ko. Kung baga mas komportable ako sa bantamweight.”

Before testing his gears in Shooto of Japan and Angel’s Fighting of Korea, where he suffered three straight losses in 2018, Zamboanga took pride in holding the URCC bantamweight belt.

He returned to the URCC in April 2019 and finished Korean opponent Seung Hyun Choi by a doctor stoppage.

Aside from signs of aging, Zamboanga admitted that he gained extra weight the past few months during the lockdowns in Thailand. But the 31-year-old Filipino fighter believes that it’s time to be back in the bantamweight class where he feels the best.

“Nasa higher event na rin tayo, nasa world world-class na rin,” he added.

Zamboanga, with a listed weight of 61.2 kg, had a successful ONE Championship debut last August after submitting Thai foe Detchadin Srosirisuphatin in their flyweight bout with a second-round rear-naked choke to improve at 9-5 record.

In ONE Championship, the flyweight division requires weight ranging from 56.8 kg to 61.2 kg while the bantamweight rank is set from 61.3 kg to 65.8 kg.

When Zamboanga steps in the bantamweight, he will soon be in line with current champion Bibiano Fernandes and No. 1 John Lineker of Brazil, Shoko Sato of Japan (No. 2), compatriot Kevin Belingon of Team Lakay (No. 3), Russian Yusup Saadulaev (No. 4), and Japanese Shuya Kamikubo.