Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times
Photo from Stamp

Mixed Martial Arts

Denice Zamboanga challenges ‘friend’ Stamp Fairtex for atomweight crown

Denice Zamboanga is set to fulfill her long-awaited dream as she challenges Stamp Fairtex for the ONE women’s atomweight title.

The five-round clash is scheduled to take place at ONE 166, emanating live from the Lusail Sports Arena in Qatar on March 1.

Zamboanga’s quest for a world title shot began when she scored a significant upset win over Mei Yamaguchi in February 2020. Company chairman Chatri Sityodtong promised her a title shot against then-champion Angela Lee then and there.

However, Lee’s pregnancy led to a sabbatical, redirecting Zamboanga’s path to the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix tournament in September 2021.

“The Menace” faced adversity in the tourney, suffering a controversial split decision loss to Ham Seo Hee in the quarterfinals.

ONE-X-Seo-Hee-Ham-def-Denice-Zamboanga Denice Zamboanga challenges ‘friend’ Stamp Fairtex for atomweight crown Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news

(C) ONE Championship

A rematch happened in March 2022 to settle the score, but Ham still prevailed over Zamboanga— this time with a clear-cut unanimous decision.

Zamboanga exhibited her resilience by clawing her way back into title contention. She first secured a split decision win over Lin Heqin in December 2022 and then followed it up with a unanimous decision victory against Julie Mezabarba in April 2023.

As the current No. 2-ranked contender, Zamboanga has rightfully earned her place in the conversation with Stamp, who made history by becoming the first-ever ONE three-sport world champion in September 2023.

Having previously held belts in Muay Thai and kickboxing, the Thai superstar added the MMA gold to her collection by defeating Ham for the vacant strap with a third-round technical knockout.

What adds an intriguing layer to this upcoming encounter is the shared history between Zamboanga and Stamp. Both women once trained under the same roof at the Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya, Thailand as teammates. They eventually became close friends.

#ReadMore  Soaring Falcons clinch semis berth at Blazers' expense

On numerous occasions, Zamboanga and Stamp went on record saying that they were willing to set aside their friendship for the sake of the world title.

Zamboanga won’t be the lone Filipino mixed martial artist on the card. At ONE 166, Joshua Pacio is booked to run it back with Jarred Brooks for the strawweight championship.

Written By

Nissi Icasiano is a sportswriter, analyst and editor from the Philippines. He started his professional career in 2013. He has also written for various media outlets such as, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times,,, South China Morning Post, The Phnom Penh Post and the International Business Times. In 2017, he started a career as a Combat Sports Analyst for television and radio, appearing on various news shows for ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM, PTV 4, Business World, Radyo Pilipinas 2 and Bombo Radyo Philippines. He practices boxing at Tiger City Boxing Gym whenever he is not writing.

You May Also Like

Mixed Martial Arts

Joshua Pacio finds himself at the crossroads of destiny as he gears up to battle Jarred Brooks once again. The much-awaited rematch is set...

Mixed Martial Arts

In a stunning display of skill and technique, Jhanlo Mark Sangiao of Team Lakay submitted Matias Farinelli with a kneebar in just 58 seconds...

Mixed Martial Arts

It will be an action-packed weekend for Filipino fight fans after two Team Lakay fighters were added to ONE Friday Fights 13 this Friday,...

Mixed Martial Arts

Filipina vixen Denice Zamboanga will get another opportunity to build momentum towards clinching a potential shot at the coveted ONE women’s atomweight championship. Tiebreaker...

Mixed Martial Arts

“Buena Mano” is a Spanish term often heard among locals to describe the well-accepted Filipino concept that the first customer or the initial sale...

Mixed Martial Arts

The ivory-clad walls of the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City and the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila have countless stories to tell...

Mixed Martial Arts

Denice Zamboanga carried the Philippines on her back in ONE Championship’s closed-door era during the pandemic, emerging as one of the best atomweights in...

Mixed Martial Arts

It was certainly a night for the books. ONE X lived up to the hype, as ONE Championship’s three-part 10th-anniversary celebration wowed fans all...