Denice "The Menace Fairtex" Zamboanga spent countless hours in the gym readying herself for her ONE debut – and there was no question about her readiness the moment she stepped inside the ONE Championship Circle for the first time.
Last Friday, 6 December, the 22-year-old silenced the partisan crowd at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after scoring a unanimous decision win over hometown hero Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS.
Not only did the Fairtex Gym representative improve her immaculate record to 6-0, Zamboanga also caught a big fish in her debut – Jihin is considered as one of the most exciting young stars in the atomweight division.
“I’m so happy and emotional at the same time. I’ve waited for this for a longtime, I’ve worked hard for this. It’s an amazing feeling to get a win in your debut,” Zamboanga said.
“Beating a superstar and a top contender in my division in my debut definitely boosts my confidence. I don’t have plans to break my winning run, I’m riding good momentum now and I hope to take this for my future fights in ONE.”
The match was a grind to say the least. Zamboanga was relentless with her wrestling while Radzuan tried to defend and catch her foe with a submission. In the end, it was the Filipina’s top control that won over the judges.
For the 22-year-old, her win can be attributed to pure willpower.
“The game plan was to dominate her on the ground, which I believed I showed in the first two rounds. My mindset was to get that win. I didn’t want to go home empty-handed and disappoint all of my supporters,” Zamboanga said.
“Jihin did not surprise me on that night. I really prepared for her triangle chokes as she was successful with that in her previous fights. I can say that I came really prepared.”
With all the momentum entering 2020, “The Menace Fairtex” is confident she has more to show moving forward.
With ONE Championship set to return to Manila on 31 January for their first event in the Philippines next year, Zamboanga hopes to compete at the Mall Of Asia Arena for the first time.
“Seeing positive results inspires you to push yourself to the limit. I guess I’ll focus more on polishing my skills for my next fights,” Zamboanga said.
“I’ll be very grateful if I get a chance to compete in Manila. All the people close to me are there and they can expect nothing but the best from me if given the chance.”