June 21, 2024

Filipino mixed martial arts fighter  Drex Zamboanga remained upbeat even after his first loss against a Chinese opponent in the undercard of ONE Friday Fights 19 in Bangkok, Thailand on June 2.

Zamboanga lost in a razor-thin split decision to Chen Rui in a three-round MMA bout inside the historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.

GRACIOUS IN DEFEAT — Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Drex Zamboanga (right) remains upbeat he will bounce back as a better fighter after losing to Chen Rui of China via a split decision after a three-round MMA bout inside the historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium on June 2. — ONE photo

It was a back-and-forth scrap, but perhaps the game changer was Chen’s body shot in the first round and forced Zamboanga to change levels, the Chinese fighter landed blows from the top position while dropping knees to the Filipino’s midsection.

Zamboanga managed to bounce back and force a fight out of it in the next two rounds, however, the near-finish in the first round was enough to convince two judges to give the nod to Chen.

Despite losing a match that could have gone either way, Zamboanga remained gracious.

“It wasn’t my night, but I’m very grateful for the love and support I got from all of you,” he said.

“Thank you (Chen Rui) for sharing the ring with me. What a tough fighter. I did my best to showcase my skills, but just like every fight, there are two outcomes – either you win, or you learn. I will definitely bounce back stronger,” he added.

Zamboanga barged into the home of martial arts with two impressive finishes, submitting Detchadin Srosirisuphathin before knocking out Rahul Raju in a surprising move to lightweight.

He then returned to bantamweight and rained down on ONE Warrior Series Philippines winner Adonis Sevilleno’s parade by beating the Team Lakay stalwart via decision in the Philippines.

Another win against the tough Chen would’ve catapulted him higher in the rankings, but that will have to wait, nonetheless, it’s a loss he has accepted.

“If you win, be humble. If you lose, be dignified,” Zamboanga said in his post-fight social media post. – Press release