MMA: Zamboanga fires back at Meng Bo, welcomes future showdown


Posted at Jan 27 2021 02:29 PM

Filipina fighter Denice Zamboanga. Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Top-ranked atomweight Denice "The Menace" Zamboanga of the Philippines was not too pleased after Meng Bo took a shot at her skills following the Chinese fighter's victory at ONE: Unbreakable.

Meng was coming off a unanimous decision win over former ONE title challenger Samara Santos last Friday, getting the nod of the judges after three close rounds. After the fight, the 24-year-old proceeded to call out Zamboanga, who is currently ranked No. 1 in ONE's strawweight division.

"We were supposed to fight last year, but COVID happened and it was cancelled. I couldn't fly to Singapore at that time," Meng said of Zamboanga. 

"But I must say, Denice was lucky that fight got cancelled. If we were in the ring together, without a shadow of doubt, I would beat her up and take her spot as the No. 1 ranked atomweight in the division," she added.

Zamboanga was quick to fire back at Meng, making it clear that she was not at all impressed with the Chinese fighter's performance against Santos.

"I was actually expecting her to finish her unranked opponent, but it didn't happen," said Zamboanga. "(But) I enjoyed watching it."

While the two are trading verbal jabs at the moment, a showdown inside the ONE Circle between Zamboanga and Meng is possible. Both fighters are expected to take part in the upcoming ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix, where the winner will earn a shot at ONE women's atomweight world champion Angela Lee when she returns from pregnancy.

Zamboanga said she has no issues with facing Meng, who is the only fighter to have defeated UFC women's strawweight champion Zhang Weili.

"Of course, I'm always open to facing anyone they put me in the Circle with," said Zamboanga. "Meng Bos is the No. 2 ranked atomweight, so we will meet sooner or later."

"I know at some point, whether it's in the tournament, or outside of it, we will fight," she added.

Zamboanga is currently training at the Marrok Force gym in Bangkok, Thailand, together with older brother Drex Zamboanga and teammate Fritz Biagtan.

"Right now, I'm just enjoying my time here training with my new team here at Marrok Force," she said. "It's good to have this solid support system by me all the time. We help each other get better and improve, and we're always in shape because that fight offer could come at any time."

"I'm excited this year because there are a lot of possibilities. I'm really motivated to take my career to the next level," she added.

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