Number one ranked ONE Championship atomweight contender Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga of the Philippines is currently still in Bangkok, training at their new gym Marrok Force with her brother Drex and their friend Fritz Biagtan.
But while the trio are working out, they’re also avid martial arts fans who will be watching this evening’s proceedings very closely.
ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX goes down later tonight, Friday, 30 October, and will broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. It’s arguably ONE Championship’s biggest event of the year, with four World Title bouts on offer.
One of those bouts — Xiong Jing Nan vs Tiffany Teo for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship — is of great interest to Zamboanga. “The Menace” talks about their matchup, and who she thinks will win.
“I’m very excited to see the rematch between Tiffany Teo and Xiong Jing Nan. In my opinion, they are both great fighters and I think this one is going to be close. I know Tiffany is so hungry to win this time, and also Jing Nan is determined to retain her title,” Zamboanga set the stage.
“I can say they’re both excellent at what they do. Tiffany has great striking and a solid ground game. Jing Nan has good boxing and ground defense. They’re just both tough and strong, and match up really well.”
Zamboanga is no stranger to facing elite opposition. Since making her ONE Championship debut in December of 2019, she’s racked up three quality wins. Zamboanga has powered through the opposition, leaving Jihin Radzuan, former ONE World Title Challenger Mei Yamaguchi, and Watsapinya Kaewkhong in her wake.
But looking at the Xiong-Teo showdown, Zamboanga is hard-pressed to choose a side.
“It’s hard for me to pick a winner, so let’s just leave it up in the air. I do know one thing though, I think with a great game plan, and a great training camp, anyone can beat anyone,” said Zamboanga.
Zamboanga is currently the number one ranked atomweight contender in the promotion. She’s expected to be one of eight participants in the ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix when the tournament kicks off next year.
When asked whether or not she would eventually move up another weight class to strawweight, Zamboanga maintained that she was fully focused on her goal of capturing the atomweight world title before doing anything else, but that she was open to a move up in the future to possibly face the champion, Xiong.
“Maybe in the future, it would be a good challenge for me. Right now, I’m too small for that division and my ultimate goal remains the atomweight division. I want the belt,” said Zamboanga.
“I think me and Jing Nan would be a tough match up, exciting for sure! I love Jing Nan, how she fights, and her confidence in the Circle.”
ONE Championship returns on Friday, 30 October with ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX, broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. The blockbuster features four World Title bouts for a total of six compelling martial arts contests.
In the main event, reigning ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang of Myanmar defends his middleweight title against top contender Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder of The Netherlands.