While people were doubting Drex “T-Rex” Zamboanga’s choice to move up two weight classes, his sister Denice never wavered from her belief in him.
Drex couldn’t have dreamed of a better start, knocking out Rahul “The Kerala Crusher” Raju in just 65 seconds at ONE: FULL CIRCLE on 25 February to remain undefeated in The Home of Martial Arts.
Denice - the #2-ranked ONE Championship women’s atomweight contender - is over the moon after her older brother kicked off his lightweight campaign with a bold statement.
The Zamboanga siblings have unbreakable support for each other in victory and defeat. But the “Lycan Queen” is delighted that Drex issued an emphatic response to his naysayers.
“My brother Drex has been training well, and I’m proud that he just proved to all the haters that he can also excel in the lightweight division,” she said. “He showed a statement there last Friday night. I can’t wait for him to slowly but surely become one of the best contenders in his new division.”
While her older brother is getting some rest in the Philippines, Denice is in Thailand preparing for her rematch against Ham Seo Hee at ONE X on 26 March. Ham defeated Denice in a controversial victory in the quarterfinals of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix last year.
Even if Denice and Drex are countries apart, the support they have for one another will always remain intact.
“He has been my training partner since then, but in this rematch with Ham [Seo Hee], it will be a bit different as I’m not training with him,” Denice confirmed.
“After his fight in Singapore, he went back to the Philippines, but he still gives so much support and makes me feel like he is always beside me.”
It’s been months since the 25-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert stepped into the Circle. But even when she wasn’t actively competing, the grind continued.
“I’ve been training hard since [my last fight]. I missed the Circle, and I cannot wait to be back to show everyone how much I have improved,” she said.
However, she does have an off switch to accompany her intense training mode at Marrok Force MMA in Bangkok. When she’s not working the mats and pads, she uses TikTok as her avenue to relax.
“Of course, it has been one of my stress relievers. I use it with my teammates, and I think with TikTok, I can also share some exercises and workouts with the fans, which might help them,” she said.
But when she’s not uploading short video clips on the social media networking platform, her focus remains on Ham. However, don’t expect her to reveal the strategy that she believes will earn her the win this time around.
“I cannot mention [the changes],” she admitted. “But what I can say is that it’s been a hard and fun training camp. I’m ready.”