Denice Zamboanga got her wish fulfilled as the Filipina fighter takes another crack at "Arale Chan" Ham Seo Hee in a much-anticipated rematch.
"I can't explain the excitement! This is what I have been waiting for even after our first fight," she said.
Zamboanga is looking to prove who truly was the winner in their quarterfinal bout in the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix back in September.
"In my past interviews, I've mentioned that I really wanted this rematch to show that I really was the one who won that fight," she said.
Controversial could be an understatement for the outcome of that fight, with Zamboanga taking the fight to Ham for all three rounds and even got a takedown in round three, but the judges favored the Korean in a split decision.
Even ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong intervened and elevated the match to the ONE competition committee which upheld the decision for the fight.
Months after that first career loss, Zamboanga is using it as fuel for her preparations for her rematch with Ham.
"I'm okay now and I've moved on from that decision. I'm using that to push myself to train more," she said, after that fight dropped her record to an 8-1 win-loss slate.
"This fight is really important for me because all of the athletes here dream to become a champion. And I can say that this match will be a stepping stone for me to finally be given a chance to challenge the champion," she said.
That's the reason why the Marrok Force MMA standout is keeping her cards close to her chest as she promises to showcase a new Denice Zamboanga in this match.
"You will see how much I have improved since the last time I fought inside the ONE Circle. I can't put it into words, but you will see the leveled up version of me: one who is more feisty and will definitely be eyeing for a finish," she said.
If it comes with the $50,000 bonus, too? Then that's just the cherry on top for Zamboanga.
"Honestly speaking, that bonus is important for every athlete. I know that if I get that bonus, that would really help us," she said.
"But what I focus on is getting the win. I will show the best version of me in that fight, and if I'm lucky to get that bonus, I'll just be eternally grateful as well."