After ONE: Empower, Seo Hee Ham Sees Herself As Favorite in Atomweight Grand Prix


Seo Hee Ham finally made her promotional debut for ONE Championship at Friday’s Empower card.

It did not exactly go off without a hitch, but the South Korean veteran (24-8) did move forward in the women’s atomweight grand prix.

Ham battled it out in a very close fight with Denice Zamboanga, and arguably lost the opening round. Things were closer as the fight progressed, until an accidental clash of heads, which opened up a nasty cut on Zamboanga, halted the action for an extended period in the third.

Just when it seemed like the action would be called early, the fight was allowed to continue. The third round might have gone either way; of course, in ONE Championship, fights are judged as a whole, not round by round.

“In any point of the fight, I never thought I was losing. In any point of the fight,” Ham stressed following the fight, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press. “Because if you know the ONE Championship rules, I believe it’s a bit different than the global ruleset. Like, let’s say takedowns, or the clinch, she wasn’t advancing her position, she wasn’t really effective. Damage-wise and all that, I believe I was clearly winning.”

Up next for Ham will be one of Stamp Fairtex, Ritu Phogat, or Itsuki Hirata. Ham doesn’t seem to have a preference.

“I never really thought about who I wanted for the semifinals. I just want to compete with as many athletes as possible, so that I gain more experience,” she said Friday. “I just want to experience more of that ONE Championship circle.”

Ahead of Friday’s Empower card, Ham’s confidence was on full display. After picking up the win in her promotional debut, the former ROAD FC and RIZIN champion believes she’s the favorite moving forward.

“Always. My confidence is always the same, and I’m always confident for every bout.”

Watch the full ONE: Empower post-fight press appearance by Seo Hee Ham above.


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