MMA: Why Folayang has high hopes for compatriot Denice Zamboanga


Posted at Sep 29 2020 09:15 PM

Former ONE lightweight titlist Eduard Folayang is always on the lookout for the next mixed martial arts star from the Philippines, whether from Team Lakay or elsewhere. 

With that said, Folayang was delighted to see someone shine in ONE Championship outside of his fabled camp in Baguio City. 

He said he believed Denice Zamboanga could become the first Filipina world champion in the Asian promotions firm.

“I think she has what it takes to become a world champion,” Folayang said about the 23-year-old Quezon City native. 

“You really can’t put a limit on the potential of someone. Of course, I want her to keep moving forward and one day become a champion.” 

Zamboanga earned the right to face ONE atomweight champion Angela Lee after she dominated Mei Yamaguchi earlier this year. 

She then strengthened her case as a threat to Lee when she made short work of Watsapinya Kaewkhong in August. 

Based on her recent performance, Folayang is convinced Zamboanga could be the seventh ONE champion from the Philippines. 

“I think she has the heart to get it. I think she has the grit and in the right time, I hope she gets the World Title that she has been dreaming of,” he said. 

But despite impressing in her first three matches in the organization, Zamboanga will still come in as a heavy underdog to Lee, who has yet to lose a bout in the ONE atomweight division. 

Folayang likened Zamboanga’s situation to when he won his first world title in 2016. 

No one expected Folayang to finish legendary Shinya Aoki, but he shocked the world and etched his name in ONE Championship’s history books. 

Folayang hopes Zamboanga comes in with the same mindset that propelled him to his win. 

“The critics will always be there. On my part, if you asked 10 people who would win between me and Aoki, probably all 10 would say Aoki,” he added. “But you need to defy that, you need to eliminate that from your mind. 

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