Unbeaten ONE Atomweight contender Denice Zambaoanga tallied her first victory by submission when she beat Thai national judo champion Watsapinya “Dream Girl” Kaewkhong in the first round at ONE: A New Breed at the Impact Arena, Bangkok, Thailand last Friday, August 28, 2020.
Denice dominated the standup exchanges but obviously wanted a quick finish. She took down Watsapinya for the second time in the first round and easily moved into side control.
While on top Zamboanga grabbed Watsapinya’s left hand with her own left and pinned it down to the mat. She then slipped her right arm from beneath Watsapinya’s body to under her left elbow.
Denice then lifted her right arm, twisting Watsapinya’s arm and forcing the submission by Americana.
“I’m very happy that I won tonight. It’s my first time to win by submission. If you saw my earlier fights it was all decision. It’s my first time to win by submission. And then I won by kimura. I didn’t even include kimura in my training. I’m very grateful that to win alongside my brother,” said Denice in a post-fight interview.
The young Filipina actually executed an Americana (because Watsapinya’s forearm was pointing upwards) and not a kimura, which is a submission with the forearm pointing downwards.
After beating Mei Yamaguchi last February 28 Zamboanga is already the Number 1 ranked contender behind ONE Women’s Atomweight Champion Angela Lee.
She is already scheduled to fight Lee but chose to stay active to take on Watsapinya.
“Tune-up game ko para kay Angela Lee. Para sa akin, itong fight na ito, para maging active din ako habang sarado pa rin ang border. Nag take advantage na ako ng chance na nandito ako sa Thailand para makalaban ako. Iniisip ko rin na yung kalaban ko parang si Angela Lee na siya,” said Zamboanga in a separate interview.
“It’s very hard because there’s a pandemic going on around the world. Hopefully when everything goes back to normal I will get a title shot soon. And I’m very excited too.”
Zamboanga, unmarked and looking fresh during the post-fight interview, hardly worked up a sweat after winning just a minute-and-a-half into the first round. She said she’d be happy to fight again before challenging for the ONE Atomweight crown.
“Yes! If there’s a chance because I want to stay active before fighting Angela (Lee),” said Zamboanga who also expressed her gratitude to all her Filipino fans who regularly communicates with her via social media.
“I want to thank all my supporters in the Philippines. I know you guys are supporting me. Watching me. Thank you for all the support. Stay safe guys. I love you all.”
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