December 5, 2022

Filipino mixed martial artist Denice Zamboanga is out of the ONE women’s atomweight Grand Prix after a special committee upheld the controversial split decision victory of Seo Hee Ham against the former last Sept. 3.
ONE Championship has not officially posted the result in its official website or social media account, but South China Morning Post reported it got a confirmation from ONE top honcho Chatri Sityodtong.
Earlier, Sityodtong announced in his Facebook account that a special committee was tasked to review the split decision verdict following public outcry that Zamboanga won the fight against the former Ultimate Fighting Championship standout.
The 24-year-old Zamboanga was the top contender for the world title currently held by Angela Lee of the United States.
Sityodtong was quoted as saying the 14-man review panel has voted 9-4 in favor of the earlier decision giving Ham the victory.
This means Zamboanga is out of the world Grand Prix while Ham will advance to the semifinals with fellow quarterfinals winners Ritu Phogat, Stamp Fairtex, and Itsuki Hirata.
It was Zamboanga’s first loss in her professional MMA career, as she entered the ONE circle on Sept. 3 with eight wins.
Zamboanga was supposed to fight Lee for the world gold strap but the supposed bout did not materialize when the latter announced she is taking a leave of absence from MMA due to pregnancy.
Earlier, former and active MMA fighters agreed with the observation of the fans that Zamboanga clearly dominated the fight in terms of strikes thrown and takedowns that would have warranted a unanimous decision in her favor.
Reports said Lee also thought that Zamboanga had a slim edge over her rival.
“In my eyes, I did see Denice edging out the victory, but it was a close fight, both of them landed,” said Lee during her virtual media interview along with siblings Christian and Victoria.
“It’s hard when it goes into the judges’ hands, because there have been many bad calls before. I’ve been on the bad end of a decision, and it’s frustrating,” she said. – Harley F. Palangchao