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(C) Denice Zamboanga

Mixed Martial Arts

Stamp hopes to break bread with Denice Zamboanga after ONE 167

Friendships in mixed martial arts often collide with professional aspirations, creating a unique dynamic where camaraderie meets competition.

Such is the case for Stamp Fairtex and Denice Zamboanga. Both protagonists are set to face each other for the Thai superstar’s ONE Women’s Atomweight MMA World Championship in the headliner of ONE 167 – set for June 8 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

Their journey from teammates to opponents adds an intriguing layer to their upcoming bout. The two trained together under the same roof at the Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya, Thailand.

Through countless sessions and shared experiences, they developed a genuine affinity for each other.

But as fate would have it, their bond must take a temporary backseat to their ambitions of championship glory.

While the stakes are undeniably high, Stamp is keenly aware of the delicate balance she must strike between her personal relationship with Denice and her professional obligations as the defending champion.

“I just have to put the friendship behind me, and I don’t feel anything in particular because we are both professionals and we just have to do our job the best we can,” she told Tiebreaker Times.

“Denice wants my belt, and I want to defend it, so I just have to continue doing my job of defending my belt. So you know, in terms of friendship, that is outside the fight.”

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Photo from Stamp

For Stamp, the familiarity between them presents both a challenge and an opportunity. She knows firsthand the skills and abilities her Filipina foe possesses, making the preparation for this five-round clash all the more intricate.

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“I feel like it’s a bit difficult because I feel like I know her, but I also consider that she has changed and improved a lot over the past few years. So I feel like I just have to be careful in terms of, like, you know, thinking that I know her, but her style, I think, has changed,” the Rayong native stated.

“Her style was not the same when she was training with me anymore. So I will have to study her style and prepare for the counters.”

In the lead-up to the highly anticipated showdown, the 26-year-old recognizes that there’s no room for sentimentality when a gold-plated strap is on the line.

“I will do whatever it takes to win,” she declared.

Despite the brewing intensity of their encounter, she harbors hopes of rekindling the friendship that binds her and Denice together.

Stamp envisions an aftermath, where they can once again share laughs and memories over a steaming pot of shabu-shabu, a popular dish colloquially known as “shabu” in Thailand.

“After the fight, we have to go shabu-shabu together,” she expressed with a gleeful smile.

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.

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