Zamboanga wary of Seo's striking prowess

Published May 23, 2021, 8:00 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Denice Zamboanga (Photo from Marrok Force’s website)

Filipina fighter Denice Zamboanga will make sure to keep her guards up all the time against seasoned South Korean mixed martial artist Seo Hee Ham.

The undefeated Zamboanga, who holds an 8-0 record, lauded Seo’s striking prowess which is something to look out for when they clash in the quarterfinal of the postponed inaugural women’s world atomweight grand prix in ONE: Empower.

“Talagang magaling siya sa striking niya. Talagang makikita mo sa galaw niya na alam mo yung beteranong beterano na siya pagdating sa martial arts (She’s really very good at striking. You can see that she’s really a mixed mawrtial arts veteran with the way she moves),” said the 24-year-old Zamboanga in an interview with the Manila Bulletin. “Pero pansin ko lang na parang kung paano siya gumalaw sa mga last fights niya, sa mga previous niya, ‘yung pa rin ‘yung galaw niya sa recent fight niya (One thing I noticed though is that she always has the same approach from her previous fights to the recent ones).

“Pero ‘di ko po masasabi kasi baka sa mga susunod o sa fight namin, mag-iba na ‘yung fighting style niya (But I can’t really say and simply base on that because her fighting style might chance come her next fight or during our matchup).”

READ: Marrok Force camp ‘perfect fit’ for Denice Zamboanga

Zamboanga admitted that this will be her “toughest” test yet as preparing for a tournament and locking horns with the best atomweights in the world are not a walk in the park.

The Filipina No. 1 contender underwent a rigorous training camp with Marrok Force and will begin her grand prix campaign against Seo, a former atomweight champion in the Rizin Fighting Federation.

Though both fighters acknowledged both strengths and how “dangerous” the fight would be, Zamboanga isn’t fazed to be labeled as the underdog.

READ: Seo Hee Ham on Zamboanga: This won’t be an easy fight, Denice Zamboanga: I’m in the best shape of my career

Seo, 34, for her part, is banking on a 23-8 record ahead of her ONE Championship debut.

ONE: Empower, which was initially scheduled on May 28, was moved to a later date due to COVID-19-related concerns.