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ONE Championship: Angela Lee banking on grappling experience against Denice Zamboanga

Reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela “Unstoppable” Lee has been nothing short of dominant at the top of the women’s atomweight division.    The Singaporean star has been able to dispatch every challenger put in front of her, and when she finally steps into the ONE circle once again, Lee will face another new challenger in Filipina newcomer Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga.  Just two fights into the Asia-based promotion, Zamboanga has been impressive, posting wins over Jihin Radzuan and two-time title challenger Mei Yamaguchi. Those two outings were enough for Zamboanga to earn a shot at the queen of the atomweight division.  For her part, Lee believes that it will be an great matchup.  “I’m just excited to get back in the ONE Circle again. I’m feeling extremely motivated for my next matchup. I think it’ll be a great fight,” Lee told ONE Championship.  In her two wins, Zamboanga was able to utilize superb wrestling and grappling to grind out victories, which poses an interesting challenge to Lee, who has put her elite-level grappling to good use as well.  “I think Denice is very well-rounded,” Lee said. “She’s an up-and-coming fighter. I also think that her team did a great job in creating a smart game plan for her in the Yamaguchi fight, and she was able to execute that plan and get the decision win.” “She’s young, hungry, and well-rounded. She is the new breed of MMA fighter that can do it all. She can strike, wrestle, and grapple. But I think she may be inexperienced in certain areas of the game,” Lee added.  Lee’s grappling has been her number one weapon throughout her career, winning seven of her ten career fights via submission, including her latest victory over reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight titleholder Xiong Jing Nan.  Having a top-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt for a husband and training partner surely helps Lee’s cause.  Lee is married to fellow ONE Championship athlete and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion Bruno Pucci.  “I love training with my husband. He always pushes me hard and brings out the best in me,” said Lee. “I’m very grateful to have him as my partner in life and in training. Bruno is a second degree BJJ black belt and a two-time No Gi world champion. He has a lot of knowledge and I really appreciate everything that he shares with me.” Zamboanga definitely provides a refreshing challenge for Lee, but the reigning champion is confident in her chances of holding on to the title.  “I just think it’ll be a great fight. The fans will love it. It will definitely be exciting. But when that final bell rings, you will hear the words, ‘and still,’” Lee concluded......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 30th, 2020

ONE Championship: Denice Zamboanga sees holes in champ Angela Lee s game

Denice "The Menace Fairtex" Zamboanga's confidence is at an all-time high ahead of her highly-anticipated bout against reigning ONE Women's Atomweight World Champion Angela "Unstoppable" Lee later this year.  The fast-rising Filipina phenom earned her shot following a dominant performance against two-time World Title challenger Mei "V.V" Yamaguchi at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE on 28 February at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. In just her second appearance in The Home of Martial Arts, Zamboanga shocked the world when she defended the Japanese veteran’s repeated attempts to take the match to the ground while picking her apart on the feet.  “I think I am ready to face the champion, because my coach told me no one ever did that to Mei Yamaguchi,” Zamboanga said.  Zamboanga's performance was so convincing that ONE Championship CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong granted her the World Title shot after the match. This early, “The Menace Fairtex” sees one thing that she could use to her advantage in their upcoming showdown for all the marbles.  "She's a very well-rounded fighter, but I think I have an advantage when it comes to my cardio," she said. "Her strength is in grappling but I am also strong in that one too. To win [on] the ground, I have to study all of her fights, and I will study well.” From the looks of it, Zamboanga has been using her idle time scouting Lee, and she has no doubts that if she can push the World Champion to her limits, she has a chance to steal the crown.  “I saw all of her fights. Usually in the 5th round, she fades. You can see it in the Xiong Jing Nang fight,” Zamboanga said.   “For me, I am confident with my cardio and I believe that’s her weakness. That’s what I would prepare for.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 18th, 2020

ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE RESULTS - Janet Todd decisions Stamp Fairtex to capture ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Championship

SINGAPORE - The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), held a special closed-door event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. With no crowd in attendance, ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE still showcased the very best of global martial arts talent. In the main event of ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE, the United States’ Janet “JT” Todd put together an extraordinary performance, stunning now former two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex to capture the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title. The two women had met previously under Muay Thai rules, but tonight, it was the punching accuracy of Todd that led her to victory. Todd opened the bout with a massive first round, connecting on the quicker, more impactful blows. Stamp turned the tide in the second and third rounds, closing the gap on the scorecards. Heading into the championship rounds, it was anybody’s game as the two women gave their all. Behind beautiful boxing combinations, Todd scored on a myriad of straight punches and hooks that found their mark. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Todd to win by split decision. In the co-main event of the evening, reigning ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao of Thailand added another belt to his collection after defeating Australia’s Rocky Ogden to capture the inaugural ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship. The legendary Thai veteran was the quicker and more powerful man as the contest wore on. Although the first few rounds were closely competitive and tactical, Sam-A turned up the aggression in rounds four and five, punishing his young opponent with fast and powerful kicks and boxing combinations. After five high-octane rounds, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Sam-A, who makes history as the first ever male two-sport ONE World Champion. ONE Warrior Series Contract Winner Kimihiro Eto of Japan easily scored the biggest victory of his career when he put former ONE World Title challenger Amir Khan of Singapore to sleep within the first few minutes of the opening round. The Japanese stalwart impressed with his grappling skill, as he effortlessly cancelled out Khan’s dangerous striking. As soon as the bell rang, the two men met immediately at the center of the ONE CIrcle, engaging in the clinch position. Eto then drove Khan against the Circle wall, and within moments he was able to bring the Singaporean Muay Thai Champion to the mat. From there, Eto took Khan’s back and sunk in a deep rear naked choke to end the bout early. Japanese-Korean mixed martial arts legend Yoshihiro “Sexy Yama” Akiyama powered through an early flurry from Egypt’s Sherif “The Shark” Mohamed to win by first round knockout. Mohamed railed off wild haymakers from the opening bell, forcing Akiyama to backpedal and box from distance. The veteran Akiyama showed great head movement, evading most of Mohamed’s power shots. Towards the end of the round, Akiyama punctuated his performance by landing a well-placed right hook as Mohamed was coming in, instantly turning the lights out on the Egyptian. In a clash of top female strawweights, former ONE World Title challenger and Singaporean boxing champion Tiffany “No Chill” Teo overcame a spirited effort from highly-regarded Ayaka Miura of Japan, winning by technical knockout in the third round. Miura flashed moments of brilliance in the first round, attacking with her 3rd Degree Judo Black Belt skills while hunting for her trademark scarf hold submissions. But Teo quickly figured out her game plan and adjusted her strategy to nullify Miura’s ground game. In the second round, Teo took control of the action, stopping Miura’s takedown attempts and then lighting her up on the feet. In the final round, it was all Tiffany Teo as the Singaporean pounded Miura with thunderous strikes to force the stoppage. The Philippines’ Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga battered top contender Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi of Japan for the majority of the three-round atomweight contest to win by unanimous decision. Zamboanga was accurate and powerful, connecting on a volley of explosive boxing combinations. By the end of the first round, Yamaguchi’s face already showed the wear of a warrior who has been through war. Although the Japanese former ONE World Title challenger tried to nullify Zamboanga’s striking by taking matters to the ground, the Filipina exhibited impeccable takedown defense, stopping most of Yamaguchi’s takedown attempts. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Zamboanga. Shortly after, Mitch Chilson announced that Zamboanga had earned herself a shot at the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship currently held by Angela Lee. The United States’ Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen kept his professional record perfect with a tremendous performance against ONE Warrior Series Contract Winner Mark “Tyson” Fairtex Abelardo of New Zealand and the Philippines. Worthen negated Abelardo’s early onslaught with good footwork and savvy defense. He then tagged Abelardo with a plethora of high kicks that left the Fairtex Gym representative dazed. With his opponent in disarray, Worthen proceeded to turn to his world-class wrestling, overwhelming Abelardo on the mat. Across three whole rounds, Worthen controlled a game but outclassed Abelardo en route to a hard-earned unanimous decision victory. Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario of the Philippines returned to the featherweight division to take on Thailand’s Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai, figuring in a close split decision victory. The two former lightweights went to war over three full rounds, meeting each other at the center of the ONE Circle with their best offense. Wiratchai, creator of the OneShin Striking System, dazzled behind a consistent left round kick which found a home on Banario’s chin. The Filipino veteran, however, showcased beautiful boxing, and a relentless takedown game that saw him in top position for the majority of the contest. In the end, two of the three judges saw the bout in favor of Banario. In a women’s atomweight contest, Indian wrestling sensation Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat authored a dominant performance, outgrappling opponent “Miss Red” Wu Chiao Chen of Chinese Taipei over the course of three rounds. Phogat, a Commonwealth Wrestling World Championships gold medalist, took Wu to the canvas at will with smooth takedowns. With Wu on her back, Phogat punished her opponent with fists and elbows from the top. Wu tried her best to defend, but struggled to gain any traction. After three whole rounds, Phogat emerged victorious with an impressive showing, earning the nod on all three judges’ scorecards. ONE Championship newcomer Murad Ramazanov of Russia kept his unblemished record intact after turning in a dominant performance in a victory over South Korea’s “Wolverine” Bae Myung Ho. Action started out fierce, with Bae pushing the pace, pressing Ramazanov up against the Circle wall with powerful strikes. Ramazanov, however, defended quite well and was able to weather the early storm. The former WMMAA World Champion from Dagestan then scored on a quick takedown, bringing the action to the mat. From there, it was all Ramazanov as the Russian star operated a heavy top game that saw him take mount and punish Bae until the referee called a halt to the contest. Kicking off the action at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE were bantamweights Jeff “MMAShredded” Chan of Canada and Radeem Rahman of Singapore. Chan immediately went on the offensive from the opening bell, peppering Rahman with fast and powerful combinations in the first round. It didn’t take long however for action to hit the ground, and the two men proceeded to jockey for position. Chan was able to put in some good ground-and-pound for his efforts. In the second round, Chan dominated once again, taking Rahman down off a failed shot from the latter, and then worked his way to take back position. From there, he sunk in a deep rear naked choke to force the tap.   Official results for ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Championship: Janet Todd defeats Stamp Fairtex by Split Decision (SD) after 5 rounds ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship: Sam-A Gaiyanghadao defeats Rocky Ogden by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Lightweight: Kimihiro Eto defeats Amir Khan by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:39 minutes of round 1 Mixed Martial Arts Welterweight: Yoshihiro Akiyama defeats Sherif Mohamed by Knockout (KO) at 3:04 minutes of round 1 Mixed Martial Arts Strawweight: Tiffany Teo defeats Ayaka Miura by TKO (Strikes) at 4:45 minutes of round 3 Mixed Martial Arts Atomweight: Denice Zamboanga defeats Mei Yamaguchi by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight: Troy Worthen defeats Mark Fairtex Abelardo by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Featherweight: Honorio Banario defeats Shannon Wiratchai by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Atomweight: Ritu Phogat defeats Wu Chiao Chen by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Welterweight: Murad Ramazanov defeats Bae Myung Ho by TKO (Strikes) at 4:53  minutes of round 1 Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight: Jeff Chan defeats Radeem Rahman by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:00 minutes of round 2  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 1st, 2020

Zamboanga earns title shot, Banario victorious at ONE: King of the Jungle

Filipina fighter Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga scored the biggest win of her young career so far, defeating two-time world title challenger and Japanese women’s MMA pioneer Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi by Unanimous Decision at ONE: King of the Jungle, Friday evening at the Singapore Indoor Stadium to earn herself a world title shot.  Denice Zamboanga ???????? defeats Mei Yamaguchi ???????? via unanimous decision to earn a ONE Atomweight World Title shot against Angela Lee! #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #KingOfTheJungle pic.twitter.com/CqT8LjpmgO — ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) February 28, 2020 The bigger of the two competitors, Zamboanga was able to use her size and strength to neutralize Yamaguchi’s grappling, the Japanese veteran’s primary weapon, by stuffing most of her takedowns.  Yamaguchi was finally able to get Zamboanga to the mat in the second round and even threaten with a leg-lock, but the undefeated Filipina was able to defend well and wind up in top position to end the round. Zamboanga’s striking was on display in the final round as she was able to pick Yamaguchi apart with the jan and do damage with elbows in the clinch to secure the decision win. Zamboanga could not help but turn emotional as it was revealed during the post-fight interview that ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong said Zamboanga’s dominant win had earned her a shot at the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship, currently held by Singaporean superstar Angela Lee.  Zamboanga improves to 7-0 in her professional career.  Earlier in the card, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario of Team Lakay snapped a three-fight losing skid, beating Thailand’s Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai by Split Decision.  Team Lakay's Honorio Banario ???????? edges out Shannon Wiratchai ???????? via split decision in his return to featherweight! #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #KingOfTheJungle pic.twitter.com/rvjdcJAqoN — ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) February 28, 2020 In his return to the featherweight division, Banario showcased his wrestling and grappling as he was able to take Wiratchai down at will throughout the three-round affair.  Wiratchai was able to find success in the striking department, catching Banario with a couple of head kicks, but the Pinoy veteran was able to power through and bring the action to the ground.  In the end, it was “The Rock” who escaped with the close win. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 28th, 2020

ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS Results: Filipina Denice Zamboanga impressive in ONE debut

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), closed 2019 on a high note, giving fans another thrilling evening of world-class martial arts action. The Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur played host to ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS, featuring the absolute best in global martial arts talent. In the main event, Muay Thai legend Sam-A Gaiyanghadao made history by becoming a two-sport and two-division World Champion by defeating China’s “Golden Boy” Wang Junguang by unanimous decision to become the new ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Champion. In a five-round back-and-forth bout, Sam-A’s speed and experience shone through as he outstruck and outmaneuvered Wang for the majority of the contest. In the end, it was Sam-A who prevailed, capturing his second World Championship in ONE.  In the co-main event, Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov of Russia survived China’s “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong to become the new ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion. Ramazanov started out strong, using his reach to connect on Zhang, leading to a knockdown in the third round. Zhang came to life in the later rounds, looking to swing the momentum in his favor. After five rounds of striking action, it was Ramazanov who earned the decision and finally realized his dream of becoming a ONE World Champion.  Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga of the Philippines was impressive in her ONE Championship debut, edging out hometown favorite Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan by unanimous decision. Zamboanga was relentless in her takedown attempts as she was able to take Radzuan down at will and control her on the ground in the first two rounds. Radzuan tried to bounce back in the final round, throwing up submission attempt after submission attempt, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to sway the judges, as Zamboanga came away victorious. Malaysia’s own Agilan “Alligator” Thani had the hometown crowd on their feet after scoring an exciting split decision win over American newcomer Dante Schiro. Thani was able to control Schiro on the ground in the opening round, but the American rallied in the second and nearly finished the bout with a deep rear naked choke. Thani, however, was more effective with his game plan all throughout the contest. After three rounds of action, it was Thani who walked away with a razor-thin decision win.  Former ONE World Title challenger Reece “Lightning” McLaren of Australia returned to the winner’s circle in spectacular fashion, submitting Indian rising star Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat in the first round. McLaren put on a grappling clinic as he took Mangat down and imposed his will on the ground early. Towards the closing moments of the first round, McLaren was able to get to the mounted position and seamlessly transitioned into a rear naked choke, forcing Mangat to tap out with just seconds remaining.  Andrei “Mister KO” Stoica of Romania recorded the biggest win of his kickboxing career, knocking out Brazilian star Anderson “Braddock” Silva in just the first round. Stoica did well in keeping his distance from the hard-hitting Silva before uncorking a massive right hook of his own that had the Brazilian on unsteady footing. Stoica put Silva down with a thunderous right jab that spelled the beginning of the end for his opponent, who tried to answer the count but was visibly too rocked to continue.  Highly-touted South African standout Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane announced his arrival to ONE Championship with a dominant unanimous decision win over ONE Warrior Series contract winner Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada of Japan. Masunyane’s grappling was simply too much to handle, as he was able to take Sawada down and keep him grounded. After three rounds of action, Masunyane walked away with the clear-cut victory.   In a ONE Super Series Muay Thai contest, Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi of Algeria authored a masterful performance, trumping Thai legend Lerdsila Phuket Top Team across three tough rounds. Lerdsila was aggressive, showcasing his trademark power kicks from start to finish. Mahmoudi, however, was long and stayed mostly out of range with his reach. From the outside, Mahmoudi sniped Lerdsila with his combinations. Although the bout was close and both men had their moments, it was Mahmoudi who emerged the victor in the end with all three judges scoring the bout in his favor. China’s “The Ghost” Chen Rui came forth with a virtuoso performance against Malaysian hometown bet Muhammad “Jungle Cat” Aiman, bagging a unanimous decision for his efforts across all three judges’ scorecards. Chen stormed out of the gates in round one, pushing the pace with his aggression. Chen had Aiman hurt on the back foot on a couple of occasions, but the Malaysian was able to recover well. Action continued much the same for the rest of the bout, with Chen landing a handful of big shots while Aiman played defense and was a shade behind the majority of the contest. Myanmar’s “The Dragon Leg” Tial Thang came out to a thunderous chorus of cheers, as he made his walk to the ONE Circle with teammates ONE Light Heavyweight and Middleweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang, and ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen. Thang certainly did not disappoint, putting together a noteworthy performance against game challenger “The Kid” Kim Woon Kyoum of South Korea. Thang was aggressive all throughout, doing some good damage both on the feet and on the ground. Kim stood right in front of him, but was slightly a step behind for the majority of exchanges. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Thang to win by unanimous decision. South Korea’s “The Big Heart” Yoon Chang Min turned in another dominant performance, battering Filipino opponent Rodian “The Redeemer” Menchavez on the feet before finishing him with a submission. Yoon picked Menchavez apart methodically in the first round, wearing the Filipino down with pinpoint accurate strikes. In the second round, Yoon continued his dominance, beating Menchavez to the punch on every occasion. Not long after, Yoon locked in a Ninja Choke to force the tap, notching his fourth straight victory in ONE. In a Muay Thai contest, former Shoot Boxing Super Bantamweight Champion Taiki “Silent Sniper” Naito of Japan continued his unbeaten run so far in ONE Super Series, defeating former WKA European Champion Rui Botelho of Portugal by unanimous decision. Naito unleashed a bevy of leg kicks and body attacks to keep Botelho off center for the duration of the bout. Although Botelho would try his best to remain competitive, Naito was far too slick and accurate. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Naito. ONE Championship newcomer Rayane Bastos of Brazil made a triumphant promotional debut, finishing the highly-regarded Sovannahry Em via first-round submission to kick off the festivities at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS. After a brief exchange of strikes on the feet, action hit the mat, giving Bastos an opportunity to showcase her ground skills. Not long after, Bastos caught Em in a guillotine choke in full mount, forcing the tap. Official results for ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Championship: Sam-A Gaiyanghadao defeats Wang Junguang by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Championship: Alaverdi Ramazanov defeats Zhang Chenglong by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Atomweight: Denice Zamboanga defeats Jihin Radzuan by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Welterweight: Agilan Thani defeats Dante Schiro by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Flyweight: Reece McLaren defeats Gurdarshan Mangat by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:35 minutes of round 1 Kickboxing Light Heavyweight: Andrei Stoica defeats Anderson Silva by Knockout (KO) at 1:57 minutes of round 1 Mixed Martial Arts Strawweight: Bokang Masunyane defeats Ryuto Sawada by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Muay Thai Flyweight: Elias Mahmoudi defeats Lerdsila Phuket Top Team by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight: Chen Rui defeats Muhammad Aiman by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight: Tial Thang defeats Kim Woon Kyoum by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Catchweight (77 KG): Yoon Chang Min defeats Rodian Menchavez by Submission (Ninja Choke) at 1:45 minutes of round 2 Muay Thai Flyweight: Taiki Naito defeats Rui Botelho by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Atomweight: Rayane Bastos defeats Sovannahry Em by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 2:40 minutes of round 1.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2019

Zamboanga asks Lee to step aside

ONE Championship’s top female atomweight contender Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga of the Philippines hit back at reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee following her comments that Zamboanga has not done enough to earn a shot at her title, despite the promotion naming her the next challenger to the throne......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 8th, 2020

Zamboanga siblings Drex and Denice look to impress at ONE: A NEW BREED

The Zamboanga siblings join ONE Championship’s long list of successful broods when The Home Of Martial Arts returns this Friday, 28 August, at ONE: A NEW BREED in Bangkok, Thailand.  Top-ranked Filipina atomweight Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga looks to keep a stronghold on her number one contender status when she faces Watsapinya “Dream Girl” Kaewkhong in a mixed martial arts bout.  Making this special for “The Menace” is the fact that she will be competing with her older brother in Filipino World Champion Drex “T-Rex” Zamboanga, who is slated to make his ONE debut against Detchadin Sornsirisuphathin. “I’m very happy to be competing once more, because it’s been awhile since I last fought, so I’m grateful to be a part of this card in Thailand,” she said.  “Aside from actively competing once more, what makes me really happy is I’ll be fighting alongside my brother on the same card.” The younger of the Zamboanga siblings has already made her presence felt in The Home Of Martial Arts.  The undefeated Filipina scored convincing wins over Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan and former ONE Atomweight Women’s World Title challenger Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi, earning her the right to face longtime division ruler “Unstoppable” Angela Lee as announced by ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.  A dominant performance here for the Filipina would only make her case stronger.  Also competing on the card is Filipina-American KC “Pinay Fight” Carlos, who will look to pull the upset-rug from underneath the rolling Wondergirl Fairtex in a strawweight Muay Thai battle.  In the card’s headliner, Stamp Fairtex defends her ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title against Allycia Hellen Rodrigues while “Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai battles Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym in the ONE Muay Thai Bantamweight Tournament Finals, where a shot at reigning World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao is at stake.  ONE: A NEW BREED will air Friday, 28 August, in a closed-door, audience-free setting in Bangkok, Thailand. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2020

Lee believes grappling experience gives her edge vs Zamboanga

It’s been eight months since reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee stepped into the ONE Circle to defend her title. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2020

Fil-Am UFC veteran Mark Muñoz shares his thoughts on the state of Filipino MMA

Apart from basketball and, as of recent years, volleyball, combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts have been quite popular among Filipino sports fans.  A lot of credit for that goes to the likes of eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao, four-division boxing champion Nonito Donaire Jr., Donnie Nietes, and those who came before them like Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Pancho Villa, and Gerry Peñalosa, all of whom made it big on the world stage.  In recent years, a number of Filipinos are have also made a name for themselves in the global mixed martial arts arena, and one of the early big stars was none other than former UFC veteran Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz.  From 2009 to 2015, Muñoz was one of the UFC’s top middleweight contenders and proudly carried the Filipino flag with him each time he stepped inside the Octagon.  In May of 2015, on the UFC’s inaugural fight card in Manila, Muñoz retired in front of his kababayans after a unanimous decision win over Luke Barnatt.  (READ ALSO: Filipino-American MMA star Mark Muñoz recalls retirement bout in Manila) Muñoz’s run in the UFC came at a time when the North American promotion was easily accessible to fans in the Philippines, and he became a household name in terms of Filipino MMA.  Now, five years after Muñoz’s retirement, MMA in the Philippines has never been more popular, thanks in large part to promotions like the Asia-based ONE Championship, which holds around four events in Manila every year, and of course, the URCC, the Philippines’ first-ever MMA promotion.  Today, homegrown Filipino talents like Eduard Folayang, Joshua Pacio, Kevin Belingon, Denice Zamboanga, Chris Hoffman, an many others have also gotten their time to shine on the world stage, and Muñoz believes that it’s because Filipinos are natural fighters.  “I just feel Filipinos in general have that combat mentality. That’s already inside of them,” Muñoz said on The Hitlist vodcast. “I feel that Filipinos, from the days that we have to get our independence from the Spanish, Jose Rizal, he’s a hero in the nation, it’s just embedded in our culture, in our blood, so I just feel like Filipinos in general would be amazing fighters.” Munoz made special mention of guys like former ONE world champions Folayang and Belingon, as well as URCC champions Hoffman, and Ernesto Montilla Jr.  “I mean you just look at the…Filipinos now, it’s growing and getting better. I’ve been following Eduard Folayang. He’s an amazing representative of the Philippines, Kevin Belingon, he’s the man. I think there’s another one that was on the card when I fought, Mark Eddiva is good. I know I’m leaving out a lot of fighters, there’s Ernesto Montilla Jr., when I was there in training, a guy caught my eyes, Chris Hoffman trained with me and helped me out. I know he’s doing big things in the Philippines. I think he’s URCC champion.”  “There’s a lot of good fighters in the Philippines. I know I’m leaving out a lot and I don’t want to do that but there’s a lot of good talents in the Philippines and I wanna come, I wanna be there and help them in wrestling, in MMA wresting, in ground and pound, in everything that was my specialty in MMA,” he added.  While Filipinos have indeed excelled in mixed martial arts, one aspect continues to be perceived as the Filipino fighter’s weakness is the ground game, whether it be wrestling or grappling.  (READ ALSO: Mark Muñoz not ruling out MMA return) Today’s young stars, guys like Team Lakay’s Pacio and Danny Kingad have displayed some exceptional grappling in their past performances, but Muñoz, a former collegiate wrestler and current wrestling coach, made a living off taking guys down and keeping them grounded.  “I think the common thing that everyone says with MMA is wrestling. Wrestling is the ultimate neutralizer. If you don’t have a good understanding of wrestling, you’re gonna have a really hard time becoming one of the, being ranked in the world or even be a champion,” Muñoz explained. “If you look at all the champions now, or the ones that are ranked in the world. A lot of them have background in wrestling. I feel that that’s something that the Philippines needs.” Muñoz has always said that one of the things he would most like to do is to help develop wrestling in the Philippines and hopes to one day be able to finally fulfill that mission.  “I’m the guy to do that for them. I need to make sure I spend time in the Philippines to be able to help that,” he continued......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 19th, 2020

Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

(This story was originally published on April 20, 2018) Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding the Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him, landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si Coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” Ho said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to Taguig mayor Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped off with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles for a podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really Coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to an unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2020

Denice Zamboanga and ONE Championship s ladies kick butt in their version of the 'CUCchallenge

Last week, some of ONE Championship's biggest male stars took part in an action-packed rendition of the #CUCchallenge, which orignated from a group of French stunts students from CUC.  This time around, ONE Championship's hard-hitting ladies joined forces for their own version of the viral video, and it's just as, or even more explosive than that of the men!  (READ ALSO: Stamp Fairtex excited to see friend and teammate Denice Zamboanga challenge for a world championship) Kicking things off was none other than top women's atomweight contender Denice Zamboanga, and the video also includes the likes of Jihin Radzuan, Bi Nguyen, Colbey Northcutt, ONE Women's Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, ONE Women's Strawweight World Champion Xiong Jing Nan, ONE Women's Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet Todd, and ONE Women's Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion Stamp Fairtex among many others. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 7th, 2020

Pinoy ONE Championship athletes powering through pandemic away from home

With pretty much the entire world dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, quarantines, lockdowns, and travel restrictions have been felt all across the globe. And while most are fortunate enough to be quarantined at home with their families and loved ones, there are some who aren’t as fortunate. ONE Championship women’s atomweight contender Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga is riding high after coming off an impressive unanimous decision win over Mei Yamaguchi in Singapore back in February, but right now, she’s in her home away from home at the Fairtex Gym in Pattaya, Thailand, where she trains. “I feel different emotions right now because I am away from them,” admitted Zamboanga, who hails from Quezon City, Philippines. “I feel sad and scared of course, because I am not with my family during this time of crisis. I just make sure to check on them every day and know that they are safe.” Zamboanga’s win over Yamaguchi earned her a shot at the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship, currently held by long-time champion Angela Lee. That bout will definitely be a must-see once things return to normal. For ONE welterweight athlete Trestle “Jun Minion” Tan, being away from his family is nothing new. The Cebuano was previously based in Vietnam before jetting over to Germany where he works as a fitness trainer. Tan’s parents remain in Cebu and he’s confident that they’ll be just fine. “My parents are in a small town of Cebu, which is a good thing because they are away from the main city. I am confident that they know how to act in these situations. Still, with uncertain times like these, there’s nothing like the security of being by your family’s side. “We all don't know when the situation is going to get back to normal,” said Tan. “As much as possible, I want to be on their side to protect and guide them away from this virus.” “Although I have constant communication with my family, I still prefer to be around them right now, because if one gets sick, that’s another story,” he added. ONE flyweight athlete Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales may be a little bit closer to home, as he’s currently in San Juan City, Metro Manila, The Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine however, has kept him from going back home to Bicol where his family is. “The biggest challenge for me is worrying about my family. They’re far away from me now, and I think about them all the time,” Gonzales said. Even though he’s far away, Gonzales makes it a point to remind his loved ones to keep themselves safe, especially at a time like this. “I just make sure to keep in touch every day, and I never get tired of reminding them of the things that they need to do to stay safe.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 1st, 2020

ONE chairman Chatri Sityodtong would love to see ONE s best vs UFC s best

ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong would love to see the best martial artists from his promotion go against the best that the UFC has to offer. During a Facebook Live Q&A session, ONE’s head honcho admitted that he would indeed love to see the best of the East go head to head against the best of the West. “I would definitely love to see the best of the East versus the best of the West. UFC versus ONE Championship,” Chatri said. “I think, would be phenomenal, I think the whole entire world would watch it, and I’d love to see world champions versus world champions, so definitely, for sure, I’m open to it.” Imagine ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera taking on UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic, or how about ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La N Sang testing himself against UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya? Who would win in a featherweight bout between ONE champion Martin Nguyen and UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski? A ONE vs. UFC card would definitely provide some very exciting moments. This isn’t the first time that Chatri spoke about ONE and the UFC crossing paths however. Back in 2017, Chatri said he would welcome a cross-promotion invitation from UFC President Dana White. “I would love Dana White to give me a call and say: 'Let's do a UFC World Champion vs a ONE World Champion – let's do a cross promotion.' That is something I am very interested in,” he said. Later on in the Facebook Live Q&A session, Chatri brought up the ONE vs. UFC angle once again when asked what match he would like to see in Women’s MMA. “For women’s mixed martial arts, I would love to see Xiong Jing Nan vs. Zhang Wei Li,” Chatri responded. China’s Xiong Jing Nan is the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion, while compatriot Zhang Wei Li is the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion. Chatri also expressed his confidence in former two-sport ONE world champion Stamp Fairtex. “I think Xiong is the one to beat Zhang, but I think also Stamp Fairtex could beat Zhang Wei Li as well.” “Stamp Fairtex against any female striker in the world or any female MMA fighter in the world, even though she’s only 4-0 in MMA, she’s a complete beast,” he added. Chatri also used this opportunity to highlight one of the promotion’s biggest stars and most dominant champions, ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee. “I think Angela Lee vs. any atomweight in the world, Angela Lee is incredible, I have seen her in training, I have seen her go into a bout with pneumonia, with doctors’ advice not to compete, I tried my best to stop the fight, Angela Lee is an absolute warrior and she’s a genius in the ground,” he expressed. Lee could have her hands full when she returns to the cage however, as she’s set to face Filipina top contender Denice Zamboanga, who has torn through the women’s atomweight division with wins over big names such as Jihin Radzuan and two-time title challenger Mei Yamaguchi. Chatri continued to give his female champions praise when asked who the baddest woman on the ONE Championship roster was. Who’s the baddest woman in ONE Championship? I would have to give it to either…three females come into mind: Xiong Jing Nan, Angela Lee, and Stamp Fairtex,” he stated. “It’s too hard for me to pick which one is the best, but all three are genuine world champions who could run through every female in the planet in their weight class, in any martial art, they’re just complete monsters, it’s incredible.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2020

ONE Championship: Denice Zamboanga hopes to realize World Championship dreams in Manila

FIlipina atomweight Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga has made quite the impression since joining Singapore-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship. The 23-year old Quezon City native exploded onto the ONE Championship scene with a dominant three-round unanimous decision victory over Malaysian veteran Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan back in December. For a relative unknown and a promotional newcomer, taking out a proven contender in the division like Radzuan was already a notable feat in itself. The win earned her a massive step up in competition and an equally massive opportunity at proving that her debut was no one-time performance. In just her second bout in the promotion, Zamboanga was matched up against two-time world title challenger and Japanese women’s MMA veteran Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi in a match that some people saw as a win for the latter. Zamboanga proved the doubters wrong by dominating Yamaguchi en route to another unanimous decision victory. “Sobrang masaya ko sa mga naging resulta ng mga fights ko sa ONE kasi puro malalakas at top contender mga nakalaban ko,” Zamboanga told ABS-CBN Sports. Those two impressive victories have in fact earned Zamboanga a shot at the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship, currently held by Singaporean star Angela “Unstoppable” Lee. While Zamboanga admits that the title shot came as a bit of a surprise, the possibility of her challenging for ONE gold if she was able to defeat Yamaguchi was indeed within the realm of possibility, which is why she accepted the fight, even on short notice. “Bago ko pa i-accept yung laban kay Mei, nagsabi na yung coach ko na kapg nanalo ko dun may possibility na maglaro ako ng title fight,” Zamboanga explained. “Kaya kahit short notice, tinanggap ko.” Now, Zamboanga has the distinction of being the first Filipina to challenge the first and only champion in the atomweight division so far. “Masaya at proud ako na ako ang unang Filipina na lalaban kay Angela Lee para sa title,” Zamboanga stated. “Representing my country is one of the best feelings when I’m fighting,” she added. Making things even more exciting for Zamboanga is the fact that the must-see title bout could take place in her home country. “If ever na sa Pilipinas ganapin ang title fight, sobrang malaking bagay sa akin yun at sa mga taong sumusuporta sa akin,” Zamboanga said. If Zamboanga can do what hasn’t been done before and dethrone Lee, in Manila no less, she joins the likes of Brandon Vera, Joshua Pacio, Edward Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, and Kevin Belingon as Pinoys who have captured ONE world championships in Manila. “Iba rin kasi sa feeling kung sa sariling bansa ka naging champion,” Zamboanga continued. With the current COVID-19 pandemic that has put the whole world on pause, there hasn’t been many matchmaking announcements as of late, but that isn’t stopping Zamboanga from hyping her title fight up if indeed it does get pencilled in for ONE’s return to Manila this coming May. “Expect that this title fight would be one of the greatest fights ever in ONE, so hindi nila pwedeng hindi mapanood,” Zamboanga exclaimed.      ONE Championship is expected to return with closed-door events in Singapore starting April 17th. You can still catch the best events of ONE Championship from 2019 on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 30th, 2020

Denice Zamboanga favored to win ONE Atomweight Grand Prix

Zamboanga recently stepped up to the challenge of facing the division's top talents in the Grand Prix, en route to a possible title fight with atomweight queen Angela Lee......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Zamboanga steps up to challenge in ONE Championship Atomweight Grand Prix

ONE Championship's top atomweight contender Denice Zamboanga is ready to step up to the challenge come the ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix next year......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 21st, 2020

Folayang: Denice has what it takes to be world champ

Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang sees a bright future for unbeaten Filipina strawweight Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga, who has taken ONE Championship by storm since her debut in 2019.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2020

Drex eyes return to PH before year ends

Fresh off a resounding victory and a successful ONE Championship debut at ONE: A NEW BREED a couple of weeks ago, 31-year-old veteran Drex “T-Rex” Zamboanga is with younger sister Denice, and together, they remain in Bangkok, Thailand to ride out the Covid-19 situation......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 14th, 2020

Denice Zamboanga ready to clash with Angela Lee after emphatic win

Branded as a "tune-up" bout for her eventual clash with atomweight titlist Angela Lee, Zamboanga made easy work of Thai foe Watsapinya Kaewkhong just last week......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 5th, 2020

Zamboanga siblings pull through

The Philippines’ Denice Zamboanga overwhelmed Thailand’s Watsapinya Kaewkhong in “ONE: A New Breed” in Bangkok, Thailand Friday night to earn a shot at reigning women’s atomweight champion Angela Lee......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

Eduard Folayang: When an underdog finally became a world champion

In the five years that I was with the ABS-CBN Sports website, I was fortunate enough to have covered quite a number of memorable sports moments, so when I was asked to write about which was the most memorable for me, it was tough to narrow it down to just one single coverage. I could have written about Letran’s momentous upset of a dynasty-seeking San Beda in the NCAA Season 91 Finals, or I could have written about the Philippine Azkals making history by clinching a spot in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.  Being an MMA fan, I could have written about getting to be Octagon-side for the UFC’s first and only trip to Manila, which was indeed a dream come true for me.  When I think about it however, the coverage that sticks with me to this day, even four years later, was being cage-side, just inches away from Eduard  “Landslide” Folayang as he pummeled Shinya Aoki to become the ONE Lightweight World Champion in Singapore back in 2016.  I tell people about that night all the time, and I believe I’ll continue to do so for the rest of my life.  A Fan First As I mentioned earlier, I’m an MMA fan. In fact, being a fan was actually how I eventually got into sports writing.  During my first year or so with ABS-CBN, I got wind of a show on Balls Channel entitled “The Takedown” which was, you guessed it, about the UFC. Immediately, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that show, in any capacity. I even offered to research or write for free, LOL.  While I never did get to work on the show (because unfortunately, it lasted only a few episodes), I did get to make some connections (shoutout to Sir Lori, Ms. Jo, and Ms. Anna!) which eventually landed me a gig as a UFC writer for the Balls Channel Website. During that time, I got to meet and interview stars like BJ Penn, Alexander Gustafsson, Urijah Faber, Cung Le, and even Arianny Celeste. For an MMA fan like me, it was like working a dream job. It was a pretty sweet gig.  Eventually, that job with the Balls Channel Website would lead me to a spot on the ABS-CBN Sports Website which was launched in 2015. By 2016, I had started covering Asia-based MMA promotion ONE Championship quite a bit because ABS-CBN had signed a broadcast deal with them, and because ONE had a ton of homegrown Pinoy fighters on their roster, most notably Folayang and the Team Lakay guys.  Folayang, whose contract with ONE expired in March of 2016, re-signed with the promotion and returned to action in August, defeating Adrian Pang by Unanimous Decision in Macau. That win over Pang earned Folayang the biggest bout of his career at that point: a title shot against reigning champion Aoki.  When I learned of that title fight, I was very excited for Folayang, but had little expectations for his chances, being that Aoki was a legend in the sport.  Best Seat in the House Eduard Folayang finally getting to fight for a world championship was a huge deal for Filipino MMA fans, especially those that had followed the Baguio-based star’s career since his days in the URCC. The Pinoy star was on ONE’s first ever event, but could never seem to gain enough momentum to compete for a world title, until that point.  That November night in Singapore, all the years of work sacrifice that Folayang had put in during his nine-year MMA career would finally pay off.  This was only my second time to cover a ONE event overseas, so apart from having to write stories, I also had to take pictures. Learning from my past mistakes, I asked if I could have a spot cage-side so that I could take some at least decent photos. Thankfully, the ONE people agreed and gave me a spot just beside one of the judges’ tables.  I had the best seat in the house.  Now, as I said, I had tapered my expectations for the fight. I had seen what Aoki could do in the cage. I’ve seen the guy break peoples’ bones before, so honestly, I was just hoping that he wouldn’t injure Folayang. Our guy was the underdog heading into this fight, no doubt about it.  Of course, as a Filipino and as a fan I was hoping for a massive upset. The beautiful thing about MMA is anything can happen.  Shock The World This was legitimately the first time that I felt nervous covering a fight. It’s like that feeling you have when your favorite basketball team is in a close game with just seconds left.  That first round was a frigging whirlwind of emotions if you’re a Pinoy MMA fan. It looked like Aoki was within moments of being able to submit Folayang on multiple occasions.  The second round was a little bit more relaxed for Folayang, especially since he had been able to survive Aoki’s opening round grappling blitz. It looked like he was a bit more confident and he started to throw some of his trademark spinning kicks and elbows.  A miscalculated flying knee attempt led to another Aoki takedown, but this time around, Folayang appeared a little more calm and relaxed under the pressure.  Late in the round, Folayang began to attack Aoki’s torso with punches and kicks, and it looked like it had the Japanese legend a bit winded. The tide had shifted.  Heading into the third round, there was a different feeling in the air. It felt like Aoki was done, and it felt like Folayang knew it.  In the opening seconds of that fateful third frame, Folayang knew exactly what Aoki was going to do and had an answer for it. Aoki shot in for a takedown, and Folayang countered it with a jumping knee to the jaw.  For a brief second, Folayang was on his behind, but managed to outmuscle Aoki and deliver another vicious knee.  “Oh sh*t!” I yelled internally while scrambling to take photos of the ensuing beatdown.  Folayang turned Aoki over and began to connect with punch after unanswered punch.  Without taking my eye away from my camera’s viewfinder, I started yelling for Folayang to finish it.  Folayang continued to punish Aoki with piston-like punches as the Singapore Indoor Stadium began to erupt.  For what felt like an eternity, referee Yuji Shimada watched as Folayang unloaded nine years worth of heartbreak and frustration into a ground-and-pound sequence.  And then, it was over.  There was a new lightweight king.  AND NEW! EDUARD FOLAYANG STOPS SHINYA AOKI IN ROUND 3! — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) November 11, 2016     The Landslide Reigns As much as I would have wanted to keep it cool, I started to freak out. I looked to my right and saw my fellow Pinoy journalists doing the same, one was even standing on the table, cheering the new world champion on.  At that point, I had watched UAAP championships, NCAA championships, even some boxing world championships, but this one was different. I knew what Folayang had gone through. I knew that the odds were stacked against him.  As the confetti began to rain down and the celebration inside the ring continued, I recomposed myself and started to take pictures again. I wanted to be able to capture this moment.  After the official decision and the post-fight interview, I remember calling out to Folayang so that I could take a photo of him with his shiny new toy.  I’ve gotten to witness other members of Team Lakay become champions since then. I’ve been blessed enough to see Geje Eustaquio, Kevin Belingon and Joshua Pacio all become titleholders within a single year. While getting to see Team Lakay draped in gold to end 2018 was definitely a sight to behold, being there cage side as ‘Manong Ed’ realized a life-long dream was definitely an experience that I won’t soon forget.  Folayang's title win wasn't Team Lakay's first world champmionship, and it isn't the last. For me however, I think it's the most important, because it showed that no matter how many times you fall, you can still find your way to the top.  Everyone loves a good underdog story.  -- Santino Honasan has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2015. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020