July 16, 2024

■  Harley F. Palangchao

Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Denice Zamboanga wants an interim world championship bout against a worthy opponent following her convincing unanimous decision win against Noelle Grandjean at ONE 167 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on weekend.

The 27-year-old fighter from T-Rex MMA has identified Japanese Chihiro Sawada as a possible opponent for the interim ONE women’s atomweight world belt.

READY FOR TITLE SHOT — Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Denice Zamboanga has requested ONE Championship to arrange an interim championship bout for the ONE atomweight MMA world belt against any of the top contenders following her unanimous decision win against Noelle Grandjean at ONE 167 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on weekend. — ONE photo

She also said she can fight South Korean Seo Hee Ham for a trilogy, after she was defeated by the latter in two consecutive fights via unanimous decision.

In her latest fight against Grandjean, Zamboanga displayed her striking and conditioning against the Thai-French judoka, as she took apart on the feet and landing heavy strikes.

He has left Grandjean with a swollen right eye early in the bout.

Grandjean ma-naged a throw late in the first round, but Zamboanga quickly reversed their positions and attempted a rear-naked choke.

Zamboanga admitted she was frustrated that she failed to secure a submission on that round.

But the Filipino fighter displayed she was a better fighter, as she dominated the rest of the way, evading damage from Grandjean who had been called up as a late replacement for the fight after ONE women’s atomweight champion Stamp Fairtex withdrew from the card due to a knee injury.

Zamboanga improved her professional MMA record to 11 wins against two losses while Grandjean dropped to 5-3 win-loss card.

In the main event of ONE 167, ONE featherweight Muay Thai world champion Tawanchai PK. Saenchai escaped the upset-conscious Jo Nattawut, beating his compatriot via majority decision in their action packed rematch in the card’s headliner. 

ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon had a successful return in kickboxing, as he bested Denis uric via unanimous decision in the card’s co-main event.