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Mixed Martial Arts

Denice Zamboanga’s journey from desk job to world title contention


Just last year, Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga worked in a desk job for a government agency.

Now she is as close to the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title as someone can get without actually holding the belt – that accolade is reserved for “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, who Zamboanga is now slated to face.

“I never expected to be in this position this quickly. I didn’t expect to rise so fast, so soon. That’s why I am just so thankful that I was given hard fights early, that I got to face the top contenders,” she said.

So how did “The Menace Fairtex” get in such a favorable position? It all started when she took the risk of leaving a stable job in the Philippines to train in the famous Fairtex Gym in Pattaya, Thailand to hone her skills.

Coming from a family of martial artists, the Filipina certainly got all the guidance she needed.

She put it to good use in local competitions, which landed her in the radar of Fairtex. However, it took her quite a while to make that jump.

“They were looking for a female MMA fighter before, that was three years ago, but I wasn’t really committed to fighting back then,” Zamboanga said.

“I was working for the government, so I told them I’m not that prepared to train in another country yet because I need a financial allowance for that.”

It would not be long, though, until her competitive spirit kicked in, and Zamboanga knew she had to grab the opportunity at once.

“The turning point was when my mind was already in training sessions during the times that I was working, and around that time the offers from different organizations were already coming,” Zamboanga said.

“When the time came that I was already decided, I contacted them and asked if I could come and join the team and that was that.”

By the time she entered The Home Of Martial Arts, she was ready to wreak havoc. And wreak she did, opening with a big win over Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan before putting on a show-stealing performance against former World Title Challenger, Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi.

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That was more than enough for ONE CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong to grant her the World Title opportunity immediately after the match.

“I’m so overwhelmed.

“I can’t express how happy I am that my dream fight with my idol is already happening. [The] fact that it came straight from the ONE Championship boss [Chatri Sityodtong]. I’m really ecstatic about it,” Zamboanga said.

Now that she is close to making history, Zamboanga hopes to make it a double celebration by doing it in front of her home country. If she is to be asked, there would not be a more perfect time.

“It will be huge for me to represent my country and make them proud. If I become the first Filipina World Champion, it would be historic. But I’ll take it one step at a time,” she said.

“If I become a champion, that’s for the lord and for my country. That’s what we’re hoping for. Becoming a World Champion in my own country will be a dream come true.”

Catch all the ONE Championship action for free by downloading the ONE Super App.

Read More From ONE Championship:

Phogat, Banario, Zamboanga Win On ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE Lead Card

Angela Lee Looks Forward To Denice Zamboanga Match

ONE Championship Moves To Closed-Door, Audience-Free Events

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