Drex “T-Rex” Zamboanga bared two reasons why he decided to move three divisions up to face Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju in the lead card of ONE: FULL CIRCLE on February 25 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Zamboanga first made his ONE debut at flyweight when he dispatched Detchadin “Detchpool” Sornsirisuphatin via second-round submission. That’s why it’s a surprise to see him put on more than 10 kilos for his second bout in the organization.
But the Marrok Force representative feels it’s time to put some muscle on his wiry frame. Not only does he believe that it will be healthier for him, he’s also confident that he’ll be stronger at lightweight.
“My conditioning coach gave me that idea to try it out at lightweight because I felt like being at flyweight is unhealthy for me. At the same time, it’s risky. I’m a big man. I’m 5’11 at flyweight. I can’t maximize my strength in matches,” he shared.
“Most of my fights came at 61 kgs. It has always been doable, but my conditioning coach suggested that I move to a higher weight class.”
Another reason for the move is that he sees bigger opportunities in the division, not only for himself but for Philippine mixed martial arts as a whole.
With former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang being his lone compatriot in the division, Zamboanga sees this as an opportunity to squeeze one more Filipino contender into the weight class.
“There’s only one Filipino competing in lightweight, and by moving here, I feel like it’s opening another opportunity for Filipinos to become a world champion,” he explained. “That’s my goal, to win a world championship at lightweight.”
The 32-year-old admitted that the move brings a lot of uncertainties, especially since he’s never really experienced competing in an official match against men that heavy before.
But he trusts his coaches, and more importantly, he trusts himself to make a seamless transition into this division.
“In this fight, I have also increased my strength and conditioning. I focused on my strength and conditioning program in this fight so I won’t feel uncomfortable in this new division,” Zamboanga mentioned.
“Now’s the perfect time to test my skills in the lightweight division. But looking at my camp, things are going well.”
Catch ONE: FULL CIRCLE on One Sports at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT) on Friday, 25 February. One Sports+ will cut into the main card at 9 p.m. PHT.
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