- French-Algerian accuses ONE boss Chatri Sityodtong of trying to ‘clear his name’ and ‘not take responsibility’ in scathing social media post
- ‘ONE made huge mistake in the contract and their communication. If I wanted to make a career in a circus, I would’ve done so a while ago,’ she says
Anissa Meksen has opened up on why she walked away from her ONE Championship mixed-rules fight with Stamp Fairtex in Bangkok.
The French-Algerian no-showed at last month’s ONE Fight Night 6 official weigh-ins, having also not attended the press conference ahead of the atomweight bout.
A late reshuffle to the card saw Stamp battle – and defeat – Supergirl Jaroonsak up at strawweight in a kickboxing bout at the Impact Arena, with both women earning US$50,000 performance bonuses.
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But Meksen then saw a proposed interim atomweight kickboxing title fight with Stamp at this month’s ONE Fight Night 7 event, also in Thailand’s capital, fall through amid the fallout.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Wednesday night, Meksen said she wanted to “avoid the drama” to get a title shot on February 25 “but it will never happen and I have to accept it”.
The 34-year-old Meksen – who originally said she did not face Stamp because of a “family issue” – again denied being overweight, with the Thai’s camp reportedly claiming they saw she was 3 kilograms over during fight week.
She said she was caught off guard in an interview the day before the weigh-ins when told that there would be no decision if the mixed-rules fight with Stamp – which was set to alternate between two rounds each of Muay Thai and MMA – went the distance.
“I was shocked,” Meksen said.
“My contract was clear: a check [pay cheque] for the fight, a check for the victory, and a check for the possible KO.
“So ONE made a huge mistake in the contract and in their communication. I would never have agreed to fight without a decision! If I wanted to make a career in a circus, I would’ve done so a while ago.”
Meksen said she and her husband and coach Benoit Zede then attempted to work out an arrangement with ONE’s matchmakers so the fight could go ahead.
“But once again they looked down on us, disrespected us and didn’t want to make any compromise,” she added. “We were told nonsense like, ‘How do you want us to determine a winner?'”
Meksen said she then “simply decided to leave” Bangkok. “Three years of disrespect, this was the last straw.”
ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong attempted to fix the situation, according to Meksen, giving her a “surprise” phone call to “apologise on behalf of his team”.
“For the first time in three years I could finally tell him my feelings,” she added. “Three years for three fights on lead cards [prelims] with fights without real interest for me. Three years I’ve been waiting for a belt. Three years that my status of world champions is not respected.”
According to Meksen, Chatri agreed to let her fight more frequently and offered her an opportunity to fight for the interim title on February 25, which he announced a few hours later at the press conference.
“He was aware of the situation but preferred to announce that I was ‘unwell’ to clear his name and not take responsibility for my absence at the conference,” Meksen said.
Chatri later told Meksen that Stamp was now not interested in fighting her for the interim title any more, which prompted her to ask him for “anyone in atomweight or strawweight so he could keep his word and finally offer me a chance for the title I’ve been coveting for three years”.
Meksen, who has 120 victories in 125 career fights, with three wins from three bouts in ONE, said she has been “unhappy since my signature [with ONE]” and “cried a lot because of them”.
“I love what I do, I am a real enthusiast and I have always given everything for my spot and my performance,” she said. “Boxing is much more than a passion. It’s my life.
“I have been more than patient but when respect is not at the table we have to leave it.”
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