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Mixed Martial Arts

‘T-Rex’ returns: Drex Zamboanga faces ‘The Ghost’ in Bangkok

One of the most promising mixed martial artists in the Philippines will finally see action for the first time in 2023.

Drex Zamboanga will be strapping on a pair of four-ounce gloves on June 2 to duke it out with China’s Chen Rui in a three-round bantamweight encounter on the undercard of ONE Friday Fights 19.

Tiebreaker Times first got hold of the bout’s official confirmation on Monday, May 29.

The 30-year-old Quezon City resident has won his last four assignments, with three of those victories happening under the ONE Championship banner.

In his most recent outing, Zamboanga made his triumphant return to bantamweight. However, he didn’t walk away unscathed.

The former URCC bantamweight titleholder engaged in a war of attrition against ONE Warrior Series Philippines winner Adonis Sevilleno at ONE 164 in December 2022, with both men trading their best offense throughout the duration of the contest.

In the end, all three judges scored the match in favor of “T-Rex” to win by way of a razor-thin unanimous decision, improving his professional record to 14-5.

Zamboanga lures a battle-tested opponent in Chen, who owns a 15-5 standing to come along with six wins via knockout and three by submission.

Moreover, “The Ghost” has been with the Singapore-based combat sports outfit since 2019, logging eight quality fights under his belt.

Opposite a streaking foe at ONE Friday Fights 19, Chen looks to break into the winner’s circle following a second-round submission loss at the hands of South Korea’s Song Min Jong at ONE 156 in April 2022.

Zamboanga may be facing a gargantuan step up in competition this Friday, but a victory will only prove that he is a fighter to keep an eye on in the loaded 145-pound weight class.

#ReadMore  URCC returns to Manila with four championships on the line

ONE Friday Fights 19 is set to be held at the world-famous Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

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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