Zamboanga lauds atomweight prodigy Victoria Lee

Published February 20, 2021, 6:53 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from ONE Championship

Filipino fighter Denice Zamboanga has nothing but praises for ONE Championship’s up-and-coming atomweight fighter Victoria Lee.

The 16-year-old Victoria, the younger sister of atomweight champion Angela Lee, faces an acid test against Thailand’s Sunisa Srisen in ONE: Fists of Fury at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Friday next week, Feb. 26.

“I think Victoria, coming from a renowned fighting family, is destined to become a world champion like her older brother (Christian) and sister (Angela). She’s got a good camp, and her future looks bright,” said Zamboanga. “This fight against Sunisa is going to be a good match. Victoria is so young and talented, while Sunisa has some experience.”

Zamboanga got the nod of Victoria with her impressive resume at a young age despite having a bit of history with the Lees, particularly Angela.

It would be recalled that Zamboanga and the older Lee had a heated exchange of words right after the announcement of the inaugural ONE world atomweight grand prix.

At that time, Lee announced her hiatus from the sport due to pregnancy and Zamboanga commented that the atomweight throne should be vacated which resulted in back-and-forth callouts.

ONE Championship chief Chatri Sityodtong eventually announced that Lee will retain the atomweight belt and the ultimate winner of the atomweight grand prix gets a crack at the belt.

Zamboanga, bad blood aside, lauded the younger Lee and stressed that “age doesn’t matter” when it comes to mixed martial arts.

The No. 1 atomweight contender is firm that Victoria, a two-time Pankration Junior World Champion and a gold medalist in the 2019 IMMAF Youth World Championships, can “smash all of her opponents” no matter hold they are.

“I really admire Victoria because at such a young age, she’s already fighting in professional mixed martial arts in the best organization in the world. When I was 16, I hadn’t even started martial arts yet. She’s got a fantastic running start, and I have no doubt she will go far,” said the undefeated Zamboanga.

Soon enough, fight fans may witness a possible clash between the Zamboanga and the Lees — be it Victoria or Lee.