Denice Zamboanga found herself back in the winner’s circle after taking home the split decision over Lin Heqin in the opening fight of the lead card of ONE on Prime Video 5.
What surprised fans in attendance at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines however, is her call out of longtime friend and the No. 1-ranked women’s atomweight contender in the form of Stamp Fairtex.
Speaking with the media after her victory, the No. 3-ranked women’s atomweight acknowledged that it may have sounded out of character for her to call out her former Fairtex Gym teammate, but she was also quick to mention that she only wants to regain her spot as the No. 1 women’s atomweight.
“It’s only because she’s next in line [for a title shot] and also because I want to regain my status as the No. 1 fighter in the division. I felt like the best way for me to do it is to, obviously, fight the No. 1,” Zamboanga mentioned.
When pressed for answers regarding the possibility of any bad blood brewing between them, Zamboanga had the following to say.
“Nothing’s personal and she knows that. I love Stamp. It’s just all about business.”
After losing back-to-back to South Korea’s Seo Hee Ham, Zamboanga sought to correct her fight record with an impressive win over China’s Lin Heqin.
Zamboanga, sporting her “The Menace” nickname, lived up to the expectations of her hometown crowd and did her work through striking–a surprising gameplan change from the primarily dominant wrestler.
“The Fighting Sister” did her best to stay in step with Zamboanga from bell to bell throughout the three-round affair and had her own shining moments here and there, even stunning Zamboanga at one point as Lin caught her with a well-placed counter hit on a double-leg takedown attempt.
However, Zamboanga’s non-hesitance to go after the finish while brandishing an improved striking game was enough to convince the judges to award her the win.
To see her face Stamp next would do wonders for her career after stumbling mightily, but ONE Championship may opt to have her rematch Ham first in what could be a women’s atomweight title eliminator.
Stamp bounced back nicely in her catchweight bout with Jihin Radzuan back at ONE on Prime Video 2 in early October.
ONE Championship would need little effort in building up such a bout between Zamboanga and Stamp, but the following weeks will dictate whether they pull the trigger on it.
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