Seo seeks KO win over Zamboanga

Published June 3, 2021, 8:59 PM

by Carlo Anolin

South Korean mixed martial arts veteran Seo Hee Ham is looking to knock out No. 1 women’s atomweight contender Denice Zamboanga when they clash in the Circle for the first round of the division’s inaugural grand prix.

Denice Zamboanga and Seo Hee Ham (ONE Championship)

But Seo, who used to reign as the atomweight queen in the Rizin Fighting Federation, isn’t underestimating the undefeated Filipino ahead of her promotional debut.

“She (Denice) will probably look for a takedown and try to bring the fight to the ground. I don’t really mind fighting anywhere in MMA, so I’m just going to try to make the best of every situation,” said Seo.

“I believe I will knock her out and that’s the plan. That’s what I want, but of course, I can’t guarantee that. I’m preparing to go the full distance. It has been a long time since my last fight, so I want to enjoy every minute of it.”

READ: Zamboanga wary of Seo’s striking prowess

Known as one of the tournament’s favorites, the 34-year-old South Korean banks on a 23-8 record with her experience from Rizin, Road FC, and UFC Fight Night, among others.

Zamboanga, for her part, owns an 8-0 record with three straight wins in ONE Championship since her 2019 debut.

READ: Marrok Force camp ‘perfect fit’ for Denice Zamboanga, Zamboanga embraces underdog status vs dark horse Seo

The Filipina fighter has taken down the likes of Jihin Radzuan, Mei Yamaguchi, and Watsapinya Kaewkhong to become the women’s atomweight top-ranked contender.

The two were supposed to clash last May 28 but ONE: Empower, a historic all-female card, was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

“Physically and mentally, I feel like I’m in the best shape of my career. I feel strong and ready for my ONE Championship debut. It’s going to be a fun one,” said Seo.

“This is a great tournament and a great opportunity to compete among the best. I have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. It’s an honor to be part of the world’s largest martial arts organization, and I can’t wait to experience the Circle.”

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