Top-ranked ONE Championship atomweight fighter Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga may have had her issues with the Lee family in the past, particularly with reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee. But the 24-year-old from Quezon City has nothing but praise for the family’s youngest star.
Speaking to ONE Championship in a recent interview, Zamboanga says she has been impressed with 17-year-old MMA sensation Victoria “The Prodigy” Lee, Angela’s younger sister. Victoria made her professional MMA debut earlier this year, and has won three bouts since, beating Sunisa Srisen, Wang Luping, and Victoria Souza.
“Yes I’ve seen Victoria’s fights and I think she’s a really talented fighter. She’s so impressive,” Zamboanga said.
“Obviously she needs more experience, but that will come the more she fights. I want to see her against the top contenders, and I think she has what it takes to face off with more dangerous fighters now like Bi Nguyen or Jihin Radzuan. Based on what I’ve seen, she’s ready.”
Zamboanga likes what she has witnessed from Victoria at such a young age, and also feels the 17-year-old Singaporean-American star will only improve as she progresses through her career.
“Victoria is still young. She has so much ahead of her, and she’s only going to get better. She’s a Lee, and fighting runs in her blood, so the raw talent is going to be there. That distinct style is going to be there. I’m really impressed with her,” Zamboanga said.
Despite the kind words, however, Zamboanga knows Victoria is a potential opponent down the line.
Earlier this year, Zamboanga dropped a controversial split decision to South Korean veteran Seo Hee Ham in the quarterfinals of the prestigious ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix.
After the fight, Victoria said Zamboanga was talking too much about her sister Angela, causing her to lose focus and contributing to her defeat against Ham.
“Lycan Queen” has long demanded for Angela to vacate her atomweight title and not hold an entire division up in her absence. Zamboanga fired back at the younger Lee, and explained her position.
“She (Victoria) really takes after her sister! I mean, of course, we’re going to talk about Angela. She’s the champion. Doesn’t mean we’re going to overlook our upcoming opponents. But Angela is at the heart of the division, and she has the belt, which she has held up, by the way, for more than two years. Of course, we’re going to talk about Angela,” Zamboanga said.
“Doesn’t matter who you ask among the other atomweight fighters, they are going to say the same thing. They just aren’t as vocal as we are. Even the media knows it shouldn’t be this way. At some point, the belt has to be back in play.”
Zamboanga is back in the Philippines after nearly two years in Thailand where she chose to remain during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s now at home in Quezon City where she will spend the holidays with her family.
Zamboanga is expected to return in early 2022, and will likely face Ham in a rematch, or fight Brazilian banger Julie Mezabarba.