ONE: Denice Zamboanga learned valuable lessons in successful debut

ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 11, 2019 11:41 AM
ONE: Denice Zamboanga learned valuable lessons in debut
(Photo: ONE Championship)

Even after a victory, Filipina atomweight Denice "The Menace Fairtex" Zamboanga took away valuable lessons in her ONE Championship debut last Friday, 6 December.

Zamboanga stunned her opponent’s hometown crowd, wrestling her way to a unanimous decision win over Jihin "Shadow Cat" Radzuan at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Aside from the rousing debut, "The Menace Fairtex" gauged herself against international competition, and she now knows what to expect moving forward. 

For one, it starts with preparation. 

"First of all, my hydration, my recovery. I needed to do my hydration and I didn’t know how to do that because it was my debut," Zamboanga said.

"I need to focus on that on my next fight so I can recover more and still work on my striking and ground game."

“The Menace Fairtex” was relentless on her feet and on the ground throughout the contest, throwing punches and shooting for takedowns. 

That was how the match went, with the Thailand-based Filipina attacking and the hometown hero in Jihin defending. 

She may have missed the finish, but she did impose her game plan. 

“I really wanted to finish her by ground and pound, like what I did in the first and second round, I didn’t want her to get up,” she said. 

“I think she really wanted to counter contrary to what she’s been doing in the past, which is to pressure, but I’m happy we got the win.”

And while there were moments where she looked threatened by the prodigious Malaysian, the Filipina was never in any real danger. 

“Everything she threw, I was prepared for it, even her triangle. I was prepared for her submissions because I know she will go for it. I was just a bit winded in the end,” Zamboanga said. 

 “I was thinking that there’s a possibility of losing but I don’t want to. I’m not going to let that happen. I really hate the feeling of being a letdown to all the people that believe in me. I don’t like that feeling.”

With momentum on her side thanks to her win over the Malaysian wushu World Champion, Zamboanga is feeling more optimistic about her future in the talent-rich women's 52.2kg division.

"I know she's a superstar, she's a top contender in my division and I beat her in my debut,” Zamboanga said. 

"They said most of my opponents were not that good, so this win is big for my confidence, especially for my future fights in ONE Championship.” 

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