Filipina MMA star Denice Zamboanga proves worthy of title shot once more

Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga tags Noelle “Lil’ Monkey” Grandjean with a hard right.

Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga proved she’s ready to challenge for the ONE Atomweight MMA world title after a breezy unanimous decision win over Noelle “Lil’ Monkey” Grandjean at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II on Saturday at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

Showing just how hard she was preparing for what was supposed to be a championship showdown with injured divisional queen Stamp Fairtex, the No. 2 atomweight displayed her ever-improving striking and top-notch conditioning against Grandjean.

A ‘Menace’ from the ground up

Zamboanga picked the Thai-French Judoka apart on her feet, landing heavy strikes with her boxing, and left Grandjean with a swollen right eye early in the match.

The only time the grappler had a chance to take the fight to the ground was when she landed a throw late in the first round, only for the Filipina to reverse it seconds later and take her back for an attempted rear-naked choke.

Though she didn’t get the finish from that position, Zamboanga continued to dominate the ensuing rounds as she was quick with her combinations and even quicker when moving out of harm’s way.

After 15 minutes of action, “The Menace” looked like she could still go three more rounds and the decision was pretty much a no-brainer. All three judges gave the nod to the 26-year-old pride of Quezon City, who improved to 11-2 for her career.

‘Stamp’ of approval
Now, Zamboanga will have to patiently wait for her good friend Stamp to heal up after the Thai superstar tore her meniscus more than three weeks ago in preparation for their scratched main event tussle.

In the main event, ONE Featherweight Muay Thai world champion Tawanchai PK. Saenchai once again escaped the upset-conscious “Smokin” Jo Nattawut, beating his compatriot via majority decision in their action-packed rematch.

ONE Flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon then had a successful return in kickboxing as he bested a determined Denis “The Bosnian Menace” Puric via unanimous decision in their 141.25lb catchweight co-main event.

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