Confident Seo Hee Ham excited to face top contender Denice Zamboanga in debut

Published August 30, 2021, 1:24 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Denice Zamboanga (left) and Seo Hee Ham

There’s no doubt that Seo Hee “Arale Chan” Ham is one of the biggest acquisitions in ONE Championship in recent years, and she’s happy that she’ll get to face the top contender of the division in her debut. 

Ham makes her much-awaited ONE Championship entrance against Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga in the first round of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix, which takes place at the historic ONE: EMPOWER on 3 September.   

Knowing Zamboanga’s capabilities, Ham is certainly happy that she’ll be tossed right into the thick of things.  

“I didn’t want to be up against a weak opponent. So, when I heard the opponent was Denice, I was glad that I was up against a strong opponent that I could have an awesome match with,” Ham told   

Zamboanga’s bull-strong style is not lost on “Arale Chan,” as the Filipina has used her strength and wrestling to the fullest to score wins over Jihin “Shadow Cat” RadzuanMei “V.V” Yamaguchi, and Watsapinya “Dream Girl” Kaewkhong and rise to the top of the list of contenders.  

“She seems to like cage wrestling, so I trained largely on defending against that, as well as boxing,” Ham said of Zamboanga. “I think she’s very strong, for sure. She likes to give her opponent a hard time while wrestling and likes to go to the ground to press them down.  

“Also, seeing how Denice hits her opponents, she doesn’t use a KO punch but makes sure she’s not in the line of the opponent’s range to be hit. I studied a lot of things like this. Overall, I think I need to be careful.”  

However, “Arale Chan” isn’t too worried as she has faced different athletes with different styles in her 31-match career, and she believes “Lycan Queen” won’t be bringing anything new to the table.  

“In preparation for this match, I have anticipated her takedown tactics and prepared a lot for them, so I don’t think I will be an easy target to take down,” Ham said.   

“I have never been taken down and received a pounding to end the match before, so I doubt that it will happen this time.  

“Regardless of who my opponent is in any match, I never give up. My style of doing whatever I need to do, I think, is considered my strength.”  

And if she manages to keep it on the feet and avoid Zamboanga’s grinding style, she believes she can finish the match with flare.  

“After the bell goes off for the first round, I will take my stance a distance from her, then assess my opponent and study her movement,” Ham said.   

“Then I will move in for a one-shot knockout. This is what I’ve thought about constantly and imagined as I prepared for the tournament.”  

In the meantime, catch the previously recorded ONE: BATTLEGROUND III this Friday, 27 August, at 8:30 p.m. on One Sports and One Sports+. It will air simultaneously on the ONE Super App.   

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