ONE chief: I thought Denice won

ONE Championship chief Chatri Sityodtong believes that Denice Zamboanga won the quarterfinals bout against South Korean foe Seo Hee Ham in a close atomweight grand prix match in ONE: Empower at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Friday night, Sept. 3.

Denice Zamboanga (left) lands a high kick to Seo Hee Ham in their quarterfinals matchup of the atomweight grand prix in ONE: Empower at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Friday, Sept. 3. (ONE Championship)

In a Facebook post Saturday, Sept. 4, Sityodtong gave his takeaway from the historic all-female card including the controversial Zamboanga-Seo bout, with many fans and experts saying that the Filipina should have emerged victorious via unanimous decision.

Zamboanga suffered the first loss of her career in a split decision call. She now has eight wins.

But Sityodtong also said he understood why the judges decided to give Seo the victory.

"I thought Denice Zamboanga (8-1) edged out Seo Hee Ham (24-8) for the victory in a super close fight. While I disagree with the judges on this one, I can understand why they scored the bout for Ham," said Sityodtong.

"It was a very close fight with Ham landing the cleaner, heavier punches with damage and Denice controlling the cage work, takedowns, and ground action. Despite the loss, I definitely want to see Denice vs Angela for the world title!"

That said, the 24-year-old Zamboanga would have to wait a little longer before challenging the atomweight queen Lee.

The grand prix winner gets a direct shot at the world atomweight title which is likely to be set early next year.

Zamboanga, likewise, isn't backing down from a possible matchup with Lee in the future.

READ: Dismayed Zamboanga eyes rematch with South Korean foe