Denice Zamboanga calls for interim title shot after ONE 167 win

By BJPENN.COM Staff - June 11, 2024

For Denice Zamboanga, waiting idly on the sidelines is not an option.

Denice Zamboanga

Her recent assignment at ONE 167 on Prime Video last Friday, June 7, marked the end of a 14-month layoff. And she did so with an emphatic statement. There, she dominated Noelle Grandjean over three rounds to claim a unanimous decision win.

With this victory, she solidified her position as the next contender for Stamp Fairtex’s ONE Women’s Atomweight MMA World Title.

But despite her undeniable readiness, “The Menace” may have to exercise patience before getting her shot at 26 pounds of gold.

Stamp is currently nursing a torn meniscus, an injury that she sustained in training just a few weeks before their scheduled bout.

In fact, this was also the reason why Zamboanga ended up taking on Grandjean at ONE 167. Originally, the Filipina standout was supposed to challenge the Thai megastar for the divisional crown.

With Stamp expected to take some time to recover, the current #2-ranked women’s atomweight MMA contender believes there should be an interim champion to hold the fort for the division.

“I love Stamp, and we should give her all the time she needs to recover. But at the same time, our division should remain busy. I think it’s right to have an interim champion as we wait for her to return,” she told Tiebreaker Times.

In her pursuit of staying in the mix, the 27-year-old is not shying away from challenges.

She’s vocal about her desire to compete against the top contenders in the weight class, mentioning names like #1-ranked Ham Seo Hee and #3-ranked Chihiro Sawada.

“I’ve worked hard to be where I am right now. So it’s not surprising if I’ll fight for the interim title. I deserve it. And other contenders in my division like Ham and Sawada also deserve a chance to fight for it if ever,” she said.

Denice Zamboanga understands inherent risk of staying active

For Denice Zamboanga, staying active is paramount as she waits for her opportunity to share the same stage with Stamp Fairtex.

She understands the risks involved in each fight, knowing that her status hangs in the balance with every bout.

Yet, Zamboanga chooses to view this as an opportunity for growth and improvement.

“Eventually, my fight with Stamp will happen,” she said. “But while I wait, I need to be active. I need to level up even more. Stamp is the champion for a good reason, and I need to be even more prepared for her.”

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