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Denice Zamboanga 'speechless' after shock split decision loss

Denice Zamboanga thought she has sealed her win with a late takedown. ONE Championship
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--"I'm so speechless."

That was how Denice Zamboanga reacted to the announcement of longtime ONE Championship cage announcer Dom Lau that she lost by a split decision to Ham Seo-Hee in the co-main event of ONE: Empower on Friday night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The decision has quickly become controversial overnight as many fans thought Zamboanga might have done enough to get past Ham in the first round of the ONE Women's Atomweight Grand Prix.

"I don't know what to say," Zamboanga further said during the post-fight press conference early Saturday.

She then insisted that she really won the fight in an impressive manner.

"For me, I clearly won the fight unanimously," added Zamboanga, who suffered her first MMA loss after an 8-0 start. "I had the control. Nakakasabayan ko siya sa striking."

She further said, "Di ko pa rin matanggap. I'm quite disappointed."

Zamboanga then went into tears upon recalling her gallant effort that looked like a dominating one.

"For me, I really did my best and everything. Even I reviewed my fight. She didn't do anything," she quipped as she let her emotions pour out.

Despite the outcome, Zamboanga insisted that her respect for the 34-year-old former UFC veteran remains.

"I talked to her when we got here in the hotel, and then I just said, 'Thank you.' I still respect her," she relayed what went down upon returning to their billeting area.

Zamboanga also said that no one should blame Ham for the controversial decision.

"It's not her fault about the judges," Zamboanga quipped.

Despite this, she continually insisted, "Alam ko panalo ako kahit na-headbutt ako."

Zamboanga then said "absolutely yes" when asked if she is open to fighting Ham again in the near future, possibly a quick rematch.

And she already has a game plan in mind.

"If I could do it again, I should finish her--like submit her--in the first round," she vowed.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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