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Denice Zamboanga Eyes Stamp Fairtex Showdown After Missing Title Opportunity at ONE 167

Denice Zamboanga Eyes Stamp Fairtex
Denice Zamboanga

The much-anticipated clash between three-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex and the #2 ranked ONE Championship Women’s Atomweight, Denice Zamboanga, was set to headline ONE 167 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok on June 7th. Unfortunately, a knee injury sustained by Stamp during training led to the postponement of the fight. As a result, the main event was changed to feature Tawanchai PK Saenchai vs. Jo Nattawut.

Stamp’s injury and subsequent surgery dampened the excitement surrounding the original fight. While a new date for the bout has yet to be confirmed, Zamboanga offered a glimmer of hope to fans in a recent interview, hinting at a potential timeline.

Since joining ONE Championship, becoming the top contender has been Denice Zamboanga’s ultimate goal. Despite setbacks, including Stamp's injury, Zamboanga remains undeterred. ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong has lined up another opponent for her at ONE 167, but Zamboanga's focus is still on fighting Stamp.

In an exclusive interview with EssentiallySports, Zamboanga revealed her hopes for the rescheduled bout. When asked about potential dates, she said,

“Just for the fans, I think a year or so. It’s really up to her [Stamp]. I want her 100% when we fight. I don’t want to pressure her to compete before she’s fully recovered.”

Stamp Fairtex’s injury has not only affected ONE 167 but also disrupted another major event. Her scheduled champion vs. champion bout against Xiong Jing Nan at ONE Championship 168: Denver on September 6, 2024, is now uncertain. Former ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion Smilla Sundell has expressed interest in stepping in if Stamp is not ready by then.

In an interview with Sportskeeda MMA, Sundell discussed the possibility of fighting Xiong. When the host suggested her as a replacement, Sundell responded enthusiastically, saying she would love the opportunity. She acknowledged the challenge of transitioning from Muay Thai to MMA, stating,

“She’s not training Muay Thai at the moment, so it would be fair in a way, but not really fair because I’m going into a whole new sport.”

Stamp Fairtex’s return timeline remains uncertain. Reports indicate she may resume training in a month, but the final decision rests with ONE Championship and Chatri Sityodtong. They could wait for Stamp's recovery or select another opponent, much like they did with Neolle Grandjean for ONE 167.

Who do you want to see as Stamp Fairtex’s replacement? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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