“I really didn’t want the injury” - Tearful Stamp Fairtex apologizes to fans after pulling out of world title defense at ONE 167

Stamp Fairtex apologizes to fans and Denice Zamboanga for pulling out of ONE 167.
Stamp Fairtex speaks on her forced withdrawal from ONE 167 [image via ONE Championship]

Injuries will always be the bane of any athlete, and Stamp Fairtex knew how heartbreaking it was to suffer one mere weeks before one of the biggest fights of her career. Stamp, who holds the ONE women's atomweight MMA world title, suffered a torn meniscus in her knee ahead of her world title defense against close friend and former training partner Denice Zamboanga.

Speaking in the aftermath of her surgery, Stamp was visibly upset with the injury and apologized to fans and Zamboanga for pulling out of the ONE 167 card.

Stamp said in an interview that ONE Championship shared on Instagram:

"I'm very sorry that the match won't happen. I really didn't want the injury to happen. The injury happened during my training. My sparring partner, who is smaller than me, tried to take me down from behind. But when she tried to lift me up, my feet were still on the ground, and when she twisted me, my knee twisted too. And I felt pain."

Stamp Fairtex was supposed to make her first defense of her ONE women's atomweight MMA world title against Zamboanga on June 7 at Impact Arena in Bangkok.

The Thai megastar ultimately underwent surgery on May 20 and is now going through physical therapy.

With Stamp's absence from the card, ONE Championship elevated the world title match between ONE featherweight Muay Thai world champion Tawanchai PK Saenchai and Jo Nattawut to main event status.

ONE 167 is available live and free to all Prime Video subscribers in the United States and Canada.

Denice Zamboanga wishes nothing but the best for Stamp Fairtex

They may have gone different paths, but Denice Zamboanga and Stamp Fairtex would forever be intertwined.

The former training partners share such a close friendship that even a world title could never drive a wedge between them.

Following the announcement that Stamp suffered a serious knee injury, Zamboanga immediately took to social media to wish her friend nothing but the best possible recovery:

"Let's pray for a faster recovery for our champ. We didn't expect these things to happen. Thank you for all your messages, I'm doing okay. I'm thankful that ONE Championship and Khun Chatri [Sityodtong] has given me a chance to still fight on June 7," wrote Zamboanga on Instagram.

The Filipino star will now face Noelle Grandjean in Bangkok.

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