Denice Zamboanga: I'm in the best shape of my career

Published May 17, 2021, 3:20 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Seo Hee Ham and Denice Zamboanga (Photo from Seo Hee Ham’s Instagram account and Denice Zamboanga)

Filipina fighter Denice Zamboanga, the No. 1 contender in the women’s atomweight division, has been gearing up for the biggest test of her young career as a mixed martial artist — the ONE women’s atomweight world grand prix.

And Zamboanga expressed confidence with her preparation alongside the Marrok Force team ahead of ONE: Empower, an all-women card event, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on May 28.

“I’ve been preparing hard for this fight. A lot of pain, sweat, tears, and blood went into this training camp. I’m in the best shape of my career,” said Zamboanga, who holds an undefeated 8-0 record.

“Physically, mentally, and spiritually, I’m ready for this fight. I’m ready to give it 100%, and do anything it takes to win.”

Though Zamboanga is considering MMA veteran Seo Hee Ham to be the “toughest opponent” so far in her career, the Filipina made it clear to make the terms mutual for her Korean foe.

Thanks to Marrok Force and her brother Drex, who also competes in ONE Championship, the younger Zamboanga had emerged as a “complete martial artist” throughout their 12-week training camp.

READ: Drex confident of sister Denice’s chances against South Korean veteran

“More than anything, they continue to motivate me every day to be the best Denice Zamboanga that I can be,” the unbeaten Filipina said.

“I’ve diversified my game and transformed my style and techniques. I haven’t even stepped into the Circle with her, but I can tell you that Seo Hee Ham has already brought out the best in me.”

Against Seo, Zamboanga is set to face a seasoned MMA fighter who is a newcomer to the Singapore-based promotion.

One of the favorites to win the tournament, the 34-year-old Seo is banking on experience with a 23-8 record.

READ: Seo Hee Ham on Zamboanga: This won’t be an easy fight

The matchup between Zamboanga and Seo is just one of the four quarterfinal bouts in ONE: Empower, highlighted by the strawweight world title match between champion Xiong Jing Nan of China and Michelle Nicolini of Brazil.