ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix kicks off May 28

Published February 24, 2021, 11:16 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from ONE Championship

It’s all systems go for the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix.

ONE Championship announced Wednesday night, Feb. 24, the complete cast in the women’s atomweight division who will vie for a title shot soon against current champion Angela Lee.

Filipino pride and No. 1 contender Denice Zamboanga is among the eight fighters included in the tournament which kicks off on May 28, Friday.

“Bar none, it is the single greatest female world grand prix in the history of martial arts,” wrote ONE Championship chief Chatri Sityodtong in a Facebook post accompanied with the teaser poster.

Zamboanga joins Meng Bo of China (No. 2), Stamp Fairtex of Thailand (No. 5), Seo Hee Ham of South Korea, Alyona Rassohyna of Ukraine, Alyse Anderson of America, Itsuki Hirata of Japan and Ritu Phogat of India in the lineup but the venue and tournament brackets have yet to be announced.

The ultimate winner gets the crack at the belt against Lee, who took a hiatus from the sport due to pregnancy, in November. She is due to give birth in April.

It would be recalled that Zamboanga and Lee had a heated conversation from the past months right after the initial announcement of the tournament.

When Lee announced her hiatus, the undefeated Filipina said the atomweight belt should be vacated, which resulted in back-and-forth callouts.

Sityodtong put a stop to the argument by declaring Lee’s retention as the champion and the 24-year-old Zamboanga had no choice but to take the higher road by joining the grand prix.

Recently, Meng Bo also took aim at Zamboanga and sought a showdown with the Marrok Force fighter for the No. 1 spot, which also ensued in an exchange of arguments.