Denice Zamboanga gets inspiration from Tokyo Olympic medalists for upcoming fight

Published August 24, 2021, 1:17 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Denice Zamboanga (left) and South Korean opponent Seo Hee Ham (ONE Championship)

Mixed martial artist Denice Zamboanga is drawing inspiration from Filipino Olympic medalists in Tokyo when she squares off with South Korean veteran Seo Hee Ham in ONE: Empower event on Sept. 3 in Singapore.

“Ang laki ng motivation na binigay nila sa akin habang nagti-training ako sa fight ko. Sobrang na-inspire ako na mag-training pa para manalo,” Zamboanga said when she guested in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Online Forum Tuesday.

The country won its first Olympic gold medal in weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz while adding two silvers from boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, as well as one bronze from fighter Eumir Marcial.

Aside from ruling the Circle, Zamboanga also dreamed of making into the national team someday.

“Di nawawala sakin yung dream na maging member ng national team. Siguro sa wrestling. Iba kasi yung Team Philippines. Halos lahat nakatingin sayo,” Zamboanga said.

For now, she is content with making a name in the mixed martial arts world, especially now that she is fighting in the Atomweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal against Seo in the historic all-female fight card.

A member of Team Marrok Force, she has been training in Thailand for more than a year with brother Drex Zamboanga.

Zamboanga targets to keep her 8-0 record unscathed against Ham, who owns a 23-8 record.

The Filipina fighter last saw action in August last year where she submitted Thai opponent Watsapinya Kaewkhong in the first round while Seo only needed three matches in the Rizin Fighting Federation to reign the atomweight division in 2019 before jumping ship to the Singapore-based promotion this year.