Zamboanga admits Itsuki vs Lin makes her excited to fight

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2022 04:16 PM

Third-ranked atomweight contender Denice Zamboanga hasn’t competed in the ONE Championship cage since March, but she’s eager to jump back in. 

So, when two top atomweights collide in the lead card of ONE Fight Night 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II on August 27 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, expect her to tune in. 

At the event, Japanese grappling sensation Itsuki Hirata will take on Chinese knockout artist Lin Heqin in a crucial atomweight tussle between two women sitting just outside the division’s top five. 

Knowing that she can face either of the two in the future, Zamboanga knows that it’s a match she can’t miss. 

“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,” Zamboanga said. 

Hirata won her first four bouts in ONE Championship, finishing all but one of those fights in impressive fashion. 

However, she hit a brick wall when she absorbed the first loss of her career against a surging Jihin Radzuan at ONE X in March. 

Against Lin, it will be a clash of styles, as she’ll have to deal with the Chinese athlete’s striking pedigree. 

In fact, Lin’s striking is so good that she competed under ONE’s kickboxing rules earlier this year and beat Milagros Lopez via unanimous decision. 

While Zamboanga didn’t predict who will win between Hirata and Lin, she knows the winner won’t be far behind her on the atomweight ladder. 

“It will be explosive. Itsuki is good on the ground and 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,” Zamboanga said. 

“Lin has her reach advantage and her punches are strong. If this fight becomes possible, you will see the newly improved Denice.” 

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