February 1, 2023

Fans eagerly await the highly-anticipated women’s atomweight world Grand Prix, which ONE Championship announced a couple of weeks ago, including the tournament’s participants.

Eight of the top female atomweights in the promotion, including Filipino Denice Zamboanga, are ready for absolute war.

The tournament will commence at ONE: Empower, a historic all-female fight card scheduled for May 28.

One man who will be watching intently from the sidelines is ONE flyweight fighter Drex Zamboanga. His younger sister, number one-ranked women’s atomweight contender Denice, is ready for the showdown and will face ONE newcomer and feared veteran SeoHee Ham of South Korea in the quarterfinal round.

“I think it’s a great matchup. Obviously, having trained martial arts with Denice since we were young, I know her capabilities. She’s not just talented, she also has work ethic, and I know she’s working hard towards achieving her dreams,” Drex said.

But Ham is one of the most feared entrants in the tournament, with most pundits considering the South Korean the “dark horse” to win it all.

The older Zamboanga believes this training camp will dictate how easy this fight could be for his sister.

“Denice is younger than Seo Hee Ham, so she has youth on her side. Yes, Ham has the experience, but there are other factors important in this game. Physical conditioning is going to be super important. Denice needs to come into this fight in the best shape of her career,” Drex added.

The Grand Prix winner will challenge reigning ONE women’s atomweight world champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee when the champion is ready to defend her title later this year.

The older Zamboanga is confident Denice can pull off the monumental upset, and later onchallenge Lee for the title and bring the belt back home to the Philippines. – Harley F. Palangchao