One Championship Competition Committee to Review Seo Hee Ham-Denise Zamboanga Atomweight GP Quarterfinal

By: Ben Duffy
Sep 6, 2021

Seo Hee Ham may not get to savor her debut win in One Championship for too long.

In a tweet Sunday, the promotion echoed a similar tweet from One Championship founder and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, stating, “The fight between Denice Zamboanga and Seo Hee Ham is under official review by the ONE Competition Committee.” The fight in question, which took place last Friday at One Championship “Empower”, was a competitive fight between undefeated rising contender Zamboanga and star free agent acquisition Ham. In the immediate aftermath, the result was announced as a split decision victory for Ham, but that outcome now appears to be potentially changing.

One Championship has unilaterally overturned judges’ decisions and referees’ rulings numerous times in the past. Notable MMA examples include the March 2018 bout between Robin Catalan and Kritsada Kongsrichai, in which a submission victory by Kongsrichai was subsequently changed to a disqualification win for Catalan, stating that the slam that precipitated the finish was a suplex and therefore illegal under One rules; and the Sagetdao Petpayathai-Jia Wen Ma bout in June 2018, after which the competition committee ruled that Ma had won the bout rather than Sagetdao, who had been declared the winner by the cageside judges. The highest-profile instance of the promotion reversing fight results, however, took place in the Giorgio Petrosyan-Phetmorakot Petchyindee Academy kickboxing match at One “Enter the Dragon” in May 2019, where an upset win by Phetmorakot over Petrosyan, one of the most famous and accomplished kickboxers on the planet, was changed to a no contest, citing “illegal clinching” on the part of Phetmorakot.

The makeup of the committee that will be reviewing the fight is not completely clear, but in previous instances it has been described by the promotion as consisting of Matt Hume, a senior vice-president at One as well as the coach of high-profile fighters including One standouts Demetrious Johnson and Bibiano Fernandes, and the cageside officials. In the case of Ham-Zamboanga, the committee’s decision will be doubly impactful, affecting not only the outcome of the fight — including Zamboanga’s previously perfect professional record — but the newly launched One Atomweight Grand Prix, of which their bout was one quarterfinal.

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