Zamboanga earns title shot, Banario victorious at ONE: King of the Jungle

Santino Honasan on Feb 28, 2020 09:05 PM
Zamboanga, Banario victorious at ONE: King of the Jungle
(Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)

Filipina fighter Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga scored the biggest win of her young career so far, defeating two-time world title challenger and Japanese women’s MMA pioneer Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi by Unanimous Decision at ONE: King of the Jungle, Friday evening at the Singapore Indoor Stadium to earn herself a world title shot. 

The bigger of the two competitors, Zamboanga was able to use her size and strength to neutralize Yamaguchi’s grappling, the Japanese veteran’s primary weapon, by stuffing most of her takedowns. 

Yamaguchi was finally able to get Zamboanga to the mat in the second round and even threaten with a leg-lock, but the undefeated Filipina was able to defend well and wind up in top position to end the round.

Zamboanga’s striking was on display in the final round as she was able to pick Yamaguchi apart with the jan and do damage with elbows in the clinch to secure the decision win.

Zamboanga could not help but turn emotional as it was revealed during the post-fight interview that ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong said Zamboanga’s dominant win had earned her a shot at the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship, currently held by Singaporean superstar Angela Lee. 

Zamboanga improves to 7-0 in her professional career. 

Earlier in the card, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario of Team Lakay snapped a three-fight losing skid, beating Thailand’s Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai by Split Decision. 

In his return to the featherweight division, Banario showcased his wrestling and grappling as he was able to take Wiratchai down at will throughout the three-round affair. 

Wiratchai was able to find success in the striking department, catching Banario with a couple of head kicks, but the Pinoy veteran was able to power through and bring the action to the ground. 

In the end, it was “The Rock” who escaped with the close win. 

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