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Mixed Martial Arts

Stamp Fairtex suffers injury, withdraws from ONE 167 against Denice Zamboanga


Denice Zamboanga will have to wait once more for her chance to vie for the ONE Women’s Atomweight MMA World Championship.

Earlier this afternoon, it was announced that Stamp Fairtex had suffered a serious knee injury during one of her final sparring sessions, requiring her to undergo surgery.

Zamboanga was scheduled to face Stamp in the main event of ONE 167, set to happen at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on June 7.

The Thai superstar personally made the announcement herself during a press conference from a local hospital, accompanied by Prem Busarabavonwongs – the managing director of ONE Championship Thailand.

This news is a major setback for Zamboanga, who has long awaited an opportunity to compete for the coveted belt.

Her quest for divisional supremacy began with a monumental upset win over former World Title contender Mei Yamaguchi in February 2020, after which company chairman Chatri Sityodtong promised her a date against then-champion Angela Lee.

Unfortunately, Lee’s pregnancy led to an indefinite 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.

A rematch in March 2022 resulted in another defeat, this time by unanimous decision.

Despite these setbacks, she demonstrated remarkable resilience by clawing her way back into the championship picture.

Zamboanga started off with a hard-earned split decision win over Lin Heqin in December 2022. She then picked up a unanimous decision victory against Julie Mezabarba four months later.

Her persistence finally paid off when she earned a spot to battle Stamp for the crown at ONE 166 in Qatar last March. However, this bout was unexpectedly rescheduled to ONE 167 in June.

#ReadMore  How Denice Zamboanga got through training camp without brother Drex

Zamboanga faces uncertainty again as Stamp pulls out of their marquee match-up.

The severity of Stamp’s ordeal was elaborated on by Chatri in an interview with MMAFighting.com.

“One of her final sparring sessions prepping for the big event in a couple of weeks, she blew out her knee. 80 percent of her meniscus was torn off her knee and it was on a nasty takedown where her leg got caught. Her knee buckled. She just went for surgery, very successful surgery [on Sunday],” he said.

With Stamp likely sidelined for the rest of the year, this also impacts her slated bout against Xiong Jing Nan for the ONE Women’s Strawweight MMA World Title at ONE 168 in Denver on September 6.

The Singapore-based promotion has not commented on whether Zamboanga will face a replacement opponent at ONE 167 or if an interim champion will be crowned in Stamp’s absence.

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 Rappler.com, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times, Philboxing.com, MSN.com, 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.


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