Just like any other fight fan, Filipino female atomweight star Denice Zamboanga knows ONE Fight Night 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II will be a martial arts spectacle. There is, however, one fight that she’s keeping a close eye on.
Zamboanga revealed she is closely monitoring the match between atomweight contenders Itsuki Hirata and Lin Heqin set on the massive show on weekend.
As confident as anyone in the ONE Championship roster, Zamboanga said she wants to take on either of the two fighters in her return to the circle.
“I don’t have any specific athletes in mind on who I want to fight now, but looking at Itsuki versus Lin makes me more excited to fight. These two athletes are strong in different aspects,” said Zamboanga.
A natural grappler, Zamboanga expects to get into a grappling-centric contest against Hirata. She also looked at a probable match-up against Lin, who relies more on her striking during fights.
Lin is a natural wushu sanda artist and even competed in the ONE Super Series in her last match in March against Argentina’s Milagros Lopez.
While she is exci-ted to get back inside the circle as soon as possible, Zamboanga is also reeling from that disappointing loss she suffered against multi-time world champion Ham Seo Hee at ONE X this past March.
Zamboanga was on a three-fight winning streak but it was ultimately cut short after her loss to Ham, a former ROAD FC and Rizin world champion.
Their rematch at ONE Championship’s 10th anniversary card was the culmination of a feud that started at ONE: Empower in September 2021. Their first match ended in controversy with Ham taking the split decision win, a result Zamboanga felt should’ve gone her way.
Zamboanga, who many believed should’ve been the winner in the first match, said she can’t wait to get back to the cage and once again represent the Philippines on the biggest martial arts stage.
“I’ve missed competing in the Circle that’s why I really want to get back and represent my country. I came from a loss and I’m really hungry to get a win. That’s why I’m always putting extra effort in training to sharpen my skills in all aspects.” – ONE release