Asia

Can Denice Zamboanga beat Mei Yamaguchi at ‘ONE: King of the Jungle’ in Singapore?

Mei Yamaguchi, Denice Zamboanga

Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga, 22, of the Philippines will face Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi, 36, of Japan at “ONE: King of the Jungle” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on February 28, 2020. The Filipino contender took the bout on short notice, replacing Meng Bo, 23, of China.

Currently, Zamboanga holds a professional MMA record of 6 wins and 0 loss. She is training out of Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya, Thailand along with several ONE Championship athletes including Jenny “Lady GoGo” Huang, 29, of Taiwan, who lost to Yamaguchi twice.

“I’ve watched Mei’s matches,” Zamboanga shared. “She’s fought Jenny twice and I spar with Jenny a lot now that she trains here (at the Fairtex Training Center). I feel like I can go toe-to-toe with her.”

Training out of Riki Gym, Golds and HybridFighter, Yamaguchi won six out of nine ONE Championship fights from 2016 to 2019. “ONE: King of the Jungle” marks her 10th bout in the promotion.

While Zamboanga is undefeated, beating a veteran like Yamaguchi can be a tall order. The Filipino contender said that her Japanese opponent is “really good on the ground and her wrestling is superb.”

On December 6, 2019, Zamboanga made her successful ONE Championship debut by beating “Shadow Cat” Radzuan, 21, of Malaysia via unanimous decision at “ONE: Mark of Greatness” at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “ONE: King of the Jungle” marks the undefeated Filipino MMA fighter’s second bout in the promotion.

“I need to maintain my distance and really assert my striking so that I can show a different side of my skills to everyone,” Zamboanga shared. “I wasn’t really satisfied with my last performance so I want to make up for it this time around.”

Before Zamboanga can think of gold, she has to get past Yamaguchi first, which is a tough ordeal in and of itself. The Fairtex Gym representative said, “I think I have the advantage in striking and my takedown defense is good.”

“I think my reach will be an advantage and I think I can also take her down,” Zamboanga continued. “I think I will be able to defend her grappling and maintain control on top if we’re on the ground just like what I did against Jihin.”

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