One more fight before challenging Top 5, says Drex Zamboanga

Drex Zamboanga is taking it one step at a time.

Drex Zamboanga (ONE)

After surprising the lightweight division with a first-round knockout against Rahul Raju, Zamboanga said he will make it slowly but surely before taking on someone from the Top 5.

"I actually want to fight not in the Top 5 for now because this lightweight division is not easy," said Drex, who improved to a record 9-5 record.

"Because there's a lot of high-caliber here... It's not easy to go the Top 5. Maybe one more fight then I can go the Top 5 fighters."

Drex, the brother of No. 2 ranked women's atomweight Denice, opted to scale up from the flyweight division -- a decision he made to further improve his mixed martial arts skills.

After the fight against Raju, Drex felt major changes in the cage especially with his striking prowess, noting that he can "feel" his punches more compared before.

And the Marrok Force fighter knows the threat imposed by the Top 5 lightweight fighters.

South Korean Ok Rae Yoon is the reigning ONE lightweight champion after dethroning Christian Lee with a unanimous decision victory last September.

Japanese cage veteran Shinya Aoki sits at No. 3, Iuri Lapicus of Moldova is the No. 4 contender, and Russian newcomer Saygid Izagakhmaev holds the No. 5 spot.

"I'm looking forward for that (facing Top 5) but I'm just here. If ONE Championship gives me a fight then I'm gonna get it," said Zamboanga.

"I train every day and I keep pushing hard to the limit. That's why I'm ready to fight every time, anywhere."

Prior to his lightweight debut, Zamboanga made a good impression in his promotional debut after submitting Detchadin Srosirisuphathin of Thailand last August 2020.