ONE Championship

ONE retains decision in controversial Zamboanga-Ham bout after review

Delfin Dioquino
ONE retains decision in controversial Zamboanga-Ham bout after review

WIN STREAK SNAPPED. Denice Zamboanga suffers her first loss in ONE Championship.

ONE Championship

Korean Seo Hee Ham keeps her win over Filipina Denice Zamboanga as majority of the ONE Championship competition committee members vote to uphold the verdict of their Women's Atomweight Grand Prix bout

It stands: Filipina Denice Zamboanga lost to Korean Seo Hee Ham in the ONE Championship Women’s Atomweight Grand Prix quarterfinals.

ONE retained the verdict of the controversial bout that saw Ham edge Zamboanga via split decision after putting it under formal review following clamor from mixed martial arts fans.

As revealed by ONE chairman Chatri Sityodtong to the South China Morning Post, nine of the 14 members of their competition committee voted to uphold the decision of the fight.

“These things happen and one of the things that we try really, really hard is to ensure fair play and the integrity of the competition,” Sityodtong said.

Zamboanga, unbeaten prior to the Ham bout and the top-ranked contender in the division, insisted she won against the Korean.

She also requested for a review of the fight, with Filipino and foreign fans on social medal rallying behind her.

Even Sityodtong had Zamboanga as the winner on his scorecards as he posted on Facebook that he disagreed with the judges’ decision.

But the ONE honcho admitted he is “wrong” following the deliberation of the competition committee, which is composed of experts, former athletes, judges, and executives.

“I personally had Denice winning the fight. I had Denice winning on cage control, takedowns, and ground action,” Sityodtong said.

“I can see why the judges scored for Ham. Ham did have the heavier and cleaner punches and did have the damage.”

Zamboanga will next face Brazilian Julie Mezabarba in an alternate bout for the Grand Prix. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.