July 16, 2024

Filipino mixed martial artist Denice Zamboanga may not be from the famed Team Lakay, but she is throwing her full support behind fellow Filipino fighter Joshua Pacio.

Pacio will defend the ONE strawweight world championship against Jarred Brooks at ONE 164, the first event ONE Championship will stage in Manila after more than two years, on Dec. 3.

Currently the third-ranked women’s atomweight contender, Zamboanga said Brooks will be Pacio’s toughest challenger yet and their upcoming fight has all the makings of an instant classic.

“This fight will surely be an amazing one. This will be an intense match for sure and this could be the biggest challenge for our world champion, but still, I’m rooting for him to win,” Zamboanga said.

Pacio is the greatest strawweight in ONE Championship history having held the belt for more than 1,200 days across three separate reigns. The 26-year-old Filipino fighter has also defeated every former world champion in the division during his celebrated run.

Brooks, however, is seen as the biggest threat to the strawweight status quo. He is 3-0 in ONE and his debut win was a second-round submission of Pacio’s teammate Lito Adiwang in November 2021.

The Philippines has been a favorite destination for ONE Championship. The organization  had been holding several shows in the country these past few years but that had to change when the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the globe.

Now that the Philippines has eased its restrictions, it’s inevitable that ONE Championship return to one of its strongholds. 

Like any other fight fan, Zamboanga is ecstatic to finally have ONE Championship back in Manila. – ONE release