January 29, 2023

Filipino female mixed martial arts fighter Denice Zamboanga is ready to challenge reigning ONE women’s atom weight world champion Angela Lee following her impressive win in Bangkok, Thailand on Aug. 28.
It was a quick and flawless victory for the undefeated top contender, who put together an inspiring performance, finishing opponent Watsapinya Kaewkhong of Thailand just a little over a minute into the first round of their MMA bout.
After establishing her dominance in the striking exchanges early, Zamboanga snatched a quick takedown, and then secured side control. From there, she worked on cranking out an Americana, and the tap came shortly after.
Looking back on her performance, Zamboanga gave a little bit of credit to her opponent. But Zamboanga said she felt she had no choice but to win the bout, to keep her dream of facing reigning Lee.
“She (Watsapinya) had good control, but I think I was just able to overpower her. Of course, I couldn’t afford to lose that fight. My goal was to win and nothing else,” said Zamboanga.
“I didn’t expect to submit her so easily. I wanted to strike with her, that’s what I was planning to do. But the submission was there, so I took the chance and I got the win. That’s the important thing,” she added.
It has been difficult to organize events in Asia due to increased security between national borders. 
The 23-year-old Zamboanga was left with no other option but to take somewhat of a tune-up fight in preparation for Lee, which she wouldn’t mind doing again if the opportunity presents itself.
“Once the world goes back to normal, I think I’m ready to face Angela. She’s my idol. But if the situation stays like this for some time, and if ONE Championship is giving me the chance to fight again, then I’ll take another fight,” Zamboanga said. – Harley F. Palangchao