MANILA, Philippines -- Filipina mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Denice Zamboanga has asked ONE Championship to review the result of her Atomweight Grand Prix bout against South Korean veteran Seo See Ham.
Zamboanga was unbeaten heading into her Grand Prix match-up against Ham, who was making her ONE Championship debut. Despite controlling most of the action and shrugging off Ham's strikes, Zamboanga lost via split decision.
An emotional Zamboanga said in the post-fight press conference that she believes she won the bout, an assertion that she maintained in a post on her official Facebook account the day after the ONE: Empower fight card.
"(It) feels like all the hard work, sacrifice, and challenges I've been through to this journey are wasted," lamented Zamboanga, who has stayed in Thailand for the past year to focus on her MMA career. "Hindi biro mga pinagdaanan ko bago 'tong laban na 'to."
"Hindi biro maging MMA fighter," she stressed.
Zamboanga reiterated her belief that she was the rightful winner of the match, insisting that she was "in complete control every step of the way." Even after sustaining a cut in the third round, Zamboanga refused to back down and immediately went for a takedown when action resumed.
She also showed no fear of Ham's striking skills and traded punches with the Korean veteran until the final bell.
"I outwrestled her, I outgrappled her, took her down, and beat on her," said Zamboanga. "I made her miss and punished her with sharp counters all night."
The Filipina acknowledged that Ham landed "a couple of good left hands," but she doubted that those were enough to merit her victory. "She really didn't do anything in there to win," Zamboanga said of Ham.
With that in mind, Zamboanga said the result must be reviewed.
"I fully respect the judges' decision," she said. "But I know I won that fight last Friday night. I respectfully request ONE to review the result, for the sake of the integrity of the Grand Prix."
The winner of the Grand Prix will earn a shot against defending ONE Atomweight champion Angela Lee, with whom Zamboanga has had a running feud on social media.
In other matches, Stamp Fairtex of Thailand defeated Ukraine's Alyona Rassohyna via split decision, Japan's Itsuki Hirata took a unanimous decision win against American Alyse Anderson, and India's Ritu Phogat defeated China's Meng Bo, also via unanimous decision.
The semifinal match-ups will be determined via fan vote.
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