“Arale Chan” Seo Hee Ham will be heading into the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix semifinals after all, as ONE Championship’s Competition Committee decided to uphold her split-decision win over Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga at ONE: EMPOWER.
In an interview with South China Morning Post, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong bared the decision of the 14-person panel, with nine voting to uphold the South Korean’s victory over the Filipina.
“It’s just one of these things,” Sityodtong said.
“When I look at it objectively, I still believe Denice won, but I respect and can see how the judges scored it for Ham. It went to the Committee, and I was obviously wrong relative to the Committee.
“I do feel Denice was owed at least a fair due process instead of just leaving it hanging there, but at the same time, I think both Ham and Denice can be very proud of their performances.”
Now Zamboanga will have to make do with competing in an alternate bout of the Grand Prix, facing Julie Mezabarba who handily beat Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi at ONE: EMPOWER.
Whoever wins in that clash will be an automatic replacement in the tournament should any of the women be forced to withdraw.
“We did feel that Denice deserves some sort of consolation prize for her performance, and the fact is it was a super close fight,” Sityodtong said.
“I’m sure when she hears this news she’s going to be super disappointed, but the Competition Committee does its best to ensure fair play. We’ve had decisions ruled no contests, but more often we’ve upheld decisions.”
Indeed, there have only been a few matches in the organization that have been overturned in the past.
Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan’s loss to Petchmorakot got overturned to a no contest and was ordered to a rematch after the Thai used excessive clinching techniques in their kickboxing match. Petrosyan won the rematch.
Furthermore, Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez’s DQ loss to Iuri Lapicus was turned into a no contest after a procedural misstep by the referee who initially handed Alvarez a red card.
“We would rather not be involved, but we understand the rule of fair play and sportsmanship,” Sityodtong continued.
“We’ve been very lucky—in over 1,000 or 1,200 matches, we’ve had only a handful of matches where there might have been an egregious error or a real foul or something that would cause us to review it and possibly rule it as a no contest.”
ONE Championship returns with ONE: REVOLUTION on September 24. Catch all the ONE Championship action live and for free by downloading the ONE Super App.
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