ONE Championship

Denice Zamboanga adamant she beat Seo Hee Ham in ONE Championship

Denice Zamboanga adamant she beat Seo Hee Ham in ONE Championship

CONTROVERSIAL. Seo Hee Ham (R) hacks out a split decision win over Denice Zamboanga.

ONE Championship

Filipina Denice Zamboanga crashes out of the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix following a contentious loss to Korean Seo Hee Ham

Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga could barely muster up the words to describe what exactly happened after being on the wrong end of a close split decision, losing at the hands of Seo “Arale Chan” Hee Ham in the quarterfinals of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix.  

She still couldn’t wrap her head around the decision of two of the judges who awarded the victory to the debuting South Korean after a 15-minute grind out match in easily one of the most anticipated tussles in the historic ONE: Empower on Friday, 3 September, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.  

“I don’t know what to say. I’m so speechless right now. For me, I clearly won the fight unanimously,” a dejected Zamboanga said.  

“Nothing really surprised me when I faced her. I had control over her and I think I was going toe to toe with her striking and all.”

“As I’ve said, I felt like I really won. To be honest, I can’t accept it and I’m quite disappointed with the judges’ decision.”  

Zamboanga came in with a tactical approach to neutralize Ham’s striking, and for most part of the match, it worked.  

“Lycan Queen” stayed out of Ham’s range for most of the bout while using her wrestling to dictate the tempo of the match.  

Because of the tactical approach of both ladies, there wasn’t really any significant damage in that match – save for an inadvertent clash of heads near the end of the bout which opened a big gash on Zamboanga’s forehead.  

Bloodied and all, it was still the 24-year-old Filipina who finished the match strong, bum-rushing Ham while scoring the biggest takedown of the night and landing a few more punches before the fight ended.  

Zamboanga believed that the last flurry was the icing on the cake in her methodical win, up until the scores were announced and it was “Arale Chan” who got the victory in the eyes of the two judges.  

“She didn’t do anything. I had control of the bout and even her striking, I just can’t believe it,” Zamboanga stated while taking solace in the support of fans – both Filipinos and other nationalities – online.  

“I think all the people who watched it are feeling the same way as I do now, and it gives me a bit of consolation.”

“I want to thank all Filipinos whose support never wavered. I knew I did my best and I executed my game plan. I hope ONE Championship makes the decision.”

“Hopefully ONE gives me another match – either a rematch with Ham or a match with Angela Lee.”

ONE Championship returns to live action on September 24 with ONE: Revolution. –

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