Denice Zamboanga keeping tabs on the matchup between Itsuki Hirata and Lin Heqin

Denice Zamboanga

Just like any other fight fan, Filipina atomweight star Denice Zamboanga knows that ONE Fight Night 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II will be a martial arts spectacle. There is, however, one fight that she’s keeping a close eye on.

Zamboanga revealed that she’s closely monitoring the matchup between atomweight contenders Itsuki Hirata and Lin Heqin set on the massive show in the morning of August 27.

As confident as anyone in the ONE Championship roster, Zamboanga pointed out that she wants to take on either of the two fighters in her return to the Circle.

“I don’t have any specific athletes in mind on who I want to fight now, but looking at Itsuki vs Lin makes me more excited to fight. These two athletes are strong in different aspects,” said Zamboanga.

A natural grappler, Zamboanga expects to get into a grappling-centric contest against Hirata. “Lycan Queen” also looked at a probable matchup against Lin, who relies more on her striking during fights.

Lin is a natural wushu sanda artist and even competed in the ONE Super Series in her last match this past March against Argentina’s Milagros Lopez.

“It will be explosive! Itsuki is good on the ground & I want to challenge myself in this area as well. I have been training in all aspects so I know for sure that if we will have the chance to face each other, it will be a great show! Lin has her reach advantage and her punches are strong. If this fight will be possible, you will see the newly improved Denice.”

Denice Zamboanga is hungry for that comeback win

While she’s excited to get back inside the Circle as soon as possible, Zamboanga is also reeling from that disappointing loss she suffered against multi-time world champion Ham Seo Hee at ONE X this past March.

Zamboanga was on a three-fight winning streak but it was ultimately cut short after her loss to Ham, a former ROAD FC and Rizin world champion.

Their rematch at ONE Championship’s 10th-anniversary card was the culmination of a feud that started at ONE: Empower in September 2021. Their first match ended in controversy with Ham taking the split decision win, a result that Zamboanga felt should’ve gone her way.

Zamboanga, who many believed should’ve been the rightful winner in the first match, said she can’t wait to get back to the cage and once again represent the Philippines on the biggest martial arts stage.

“I’ve missed competing in the Circle that’s why I really want to get back and represent my country. I came from a loss and I’m really hungry to get a win. That’s why I’m always putting extra effort in training to sharpen my skills in all aspects.”