‘It’s A Blessing’ – Denice Zamboanga Opens Up On Training Camp With Her Brother And Fiance In The Philippines

Denice Zamboanga’s reactions after her match against Lin Heqin at ONE on Prime Video 5

Now back in her native country and surrounded by her close-knit team, Filipino sensation Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga‘s confidence is at an all-time high.

On June 7 in U.S. primetime at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II on Prime Video, the #2-ranked atomweight MMA contender will square off with Noelle “Lil’ Monkey” Grandjean at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

Zamboanga was originally set to challenge Stamp Fairtex for the ONE Women’s Atomweight MMA World Title in the main event, but a knee injury forced the Thai megastar to withdraw and Grandjean stepped up to the plate.

After spending previous training camps in Thailand, “The Menace” has now returned to T-Rex MMA in the Philippines, where she trains alongside her brother and fiance – fellow ONE MMA athletes Drex Zamboanga and Fritz “Kid Tornado” Biagtan, respectively.

The 27-year-old spoke to onefc.com about the importance of Drex in her combat sports journey:

“Having him in my corner is such a huge thing for me. Ever since I started fighting, I’ve been with my big brother. Now being in this position as I gun for bigger goals, it’s a blessing to still have him beside me. It gives me a different kind of confidence.”

In addition to her brother, Zamboanga trains daily with her longtime partner and fiance, Biagtan. Despite their personal relationship, that all goes out the window once the hard work begins.

According to “The Menace,” she doesn’t pull any punches when sparring with her fiance:

“Me and Fritz, we really go at it during training sessions. It’s like we’re not engaged here. It’s like we’re not partners at all. He’s strict when it comes to training. When he tells me I have to do this, I have no choice but to follow. But of course, we both let our guards down after training and we’re back to being partners. We have that kind of switch.

“There’s no such thing as romance during training sessions. We’re focused on getting better, we’re focused on the task at hand. I hit him hard, and I don’t hold back. I know he can take it. We take things seriously during training sessions, and all that personal stuff can wait after training.”

Things have been going well for Zamboanga, as she’ll come into this showdown with Grandjean on the strength of back-to-back wins over top-flight competition.

Ultimately, the surging atomweight MMA contender credits much of her success to the steady support from Drex and Biagtan:

“The connection that we’ve developed through the years is impeccable. They’re really looking out for me, and they only want the best for me.”

How Zamboanga And T-Rex MMA Are Elevating The Filipino MMA Scene

With her brother and fiance at her side, Denice Zamboanga is proud to be getting world-class training in the Philippines.

She says they learned from the best in Thailand and are taking those lessons to the mixed martial arts community in their home country:

“Now that we’re here in the Philippines, I feel like we’ve brought the international level of training. What we picked up from there, the routine and the attitude that we’ve developed there, we’re still keeping it here in T-Rex MMA.”

Surprisingly, Zamboanga’s return to T-Rex MMA wasn’t planned. What was originally intended as a brief bit of training in the Philippines soon became a full and permanent camp.

Inspired by other top mixed martial arts teams in the country, “The Menace” believes that T-Rex could become the next big producer of Filipino talent.

She added:

“It’s not like we just decided to go home and say, ‘Let’s just move back to the Philippines for good.’ What happened is we went home, we just trained like we used to, and it sort of picked up from there.

“We realized we can do it. We can stand on our own. I look at other established gyms like Team Lakay or Lions Nation, and we’re thinking, if they can do it, T-Rex MMA can also do it.”

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