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Mixed Martial Arts

ONE: Chen Rui ends Drex Zamboanga’s win streak

Drex Zamboanga’s scintillating streak of victories came to a screeching halt as he sustained a disheartening defeat at the hands of his Chinese opponent, Chen Rui.

Both men faced off in a pivotal bantamweight encounter on the undercard of ONE Friday Fights 19, which took place at the legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday.

As the action got underway in the opening salvo, the two wasted no time engaging in a high-intensity exchange, much to the delight of the live crowd.

Zamboanga showcased his quick footwork and lightning-fast strikes. Determined not to be overshadowed, Chen unleashed a barrage of powerful shots to test the Filipino’s durability and resolve.

ONE-Friday-Fights-19-Chen-Rui-def-Drex-Zamboanga ONE: Chen Rui ends Drex Zamboanga’s win streak Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news


Chen had Zamboanga hurt with a left uppercut to the midsection, forcing the Filipino to change levels and shoot for a takedown.

While Zamboanga did his best to brush off the pain, the Chengdu Ashura Fight Club representative pinned the target on the body and inflicted further damage with a hard knee to the solar plexus.

Zamboanga managed to survive and make it to the second round, where “T-Rex” relied on his size and reach advantage to launch an array of swinging punches and leg kicks, remaining on the offensive for the majority of the period.

With the bout on the line, the former URCC bantamweight titleholder came out swinging in the third and final round, catching Chen with two crisp punches before taking matters to the mat, where his ground-and-pound did most of the work.

Though Chen found a way to return to his feet and navigate through with counterpunches, Zamboanga scooped him back to the canvas and looked to fasten a rear-naked choke before transitioning to an armbar in the dying seconds of the frame to punctuate the proceedings.

#ReadMore  Drex Zamboanga looks to move up to bantamweight in 2021

Despite Zamboanga’s last-ditch effort to salvage the fight, two of the three judges at ringside sided with Chen, who eventually won by split decision on the scorecards.

ONE-Friday-Fights-19-Chen-Rui-def-Drex-Zamboanga-3 ONE: Chen Rui ends Drex Zamboanga’s win streak Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news


Zamboanga suffered his first loss since 2018, downgrading his professional record to 15-5. The setback also snapped his four-match winning streak.

On the other hand, Chen re-entered the winner’s column with an improved 16-5 slate.

Written By

Nissi Icasiano is a sportswriter, analyst and editor from the Philippines. He started his professional career in 2013. He has also written for various media outlets such as, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times,,, South China Morning Post, The Phnom Penh Post and the International Business Times. In 2017, he started a career as a Combat Sports Analyst for television and radio, appearing on various news shows for ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM, PTV 4, Business World, Radyo Pilipinas 2 and Bombo Radyo Philippines. He practices boxing at Tiger City Boxing Gym whenever he is not writing.

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