Denice Zamboanga loses in ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix quarterfinal

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 3) – Filipino fighter Denice Zamboanga suffered a split decision loss to South Korean foe Seo Hee Ham in the ONE Championship Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix quarterfinal.

Two out of the three judges scored in favor of Ham that formalized her win in ONE: Empower, the outfit's first ever all-female card held Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The 24-year-old Zamboanga was the more aggressive fighter as early as the first round, attempting to strike against her opponent.

But Ham decided to engage in long moments of clinching, while leaning against the wall, to prevent Zamboanga from pinning her down.

The second round started with both fighters trading jabs, then Zamboanga went for a take down at the 2:20 mark, but Ham again pressed against the wall by crossing elbows with her foe.

In the third and final round, Zamboanga tried to be more aggressive in going for a knockdown win, but Ham's counter strikes prevented her from doing that.

Zamboanga's aggressiveness took a toll in the middle of the final stanza after she caused herself to have a cut on the left side of her forehead.

It happened when the two fighters figured in a headbutt after Zamboanga attempted to connect with a right while ducking underneath Ham for a double leg. The South Korean bet was going forward during that instance.

After officials cleared Zamboanga to fight, the Filipino again tried to pin Ham down, but the South Korean fighter again leaned on the wall to protect herself.

The winner of the ONE Championship Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix series will face defending ONE women's atomweight champion Angela Lee.

Zamboanga is supposed to face Lee for the title last year, but the fight did not push through due to the latter's pregnancy.