“I definitely saw fear in her eyes, and I donât blame her for being afraid to face me,” she said.
Both won their semi final bouts at ONE: ‘NextGen’ with Stamp competing in the main event. Phogat was cageside and before the closing credits rolled the two fighters went face to face.
Phogat says she doesn’t blame the Muay Thai veteran for being scared,
“If I was in her shoes, I would be too, since she has witnessed my wrestling proficiency and stand-up improvements from close quarters. But, I would give her credit for trying to put on a brave face for the fans. However, I saw right through the facade.”
Stamp normally can’t stop smiling but she does look pretty serious here so maybe Phogat is on to something. With just over a month between the semi finals and the final the Indian says there is no way here opponent will be ready for her wrestling,
“Stamp Fairtex has never faced an opponent with my wrestling credentials and pedigree. I have developed my wrestling game by learning the craft over a period that spans over a decade and a half. I do not believe that a single training camp would bring Stamp to my level of expertise as far as wrestling is concerned. She would have to dedicate a considerable chunk of her life to wrestling to match steps with me.”
Stamp is much more experienced when it comes to Muay Thai but Phogat says her opponent will need to land a ‘lucky blow’ and that even this won’t be enough to win the fight,
“During the fight, if she does land a lucky blow, I will do what I do best, play my trump card, and gain control over her. My strategies to tackle my opponent are different this time around, although I will have to be tight-lipped about it for now.”
Phogat says she is not taking a win for granted but admits to feeling very confident,
“It would be unsporting of me to assume my victory, although I am highly confident of getting the job done on the big night,” she said.
With ONE: ‘Winter Warriors’ exactly a week away the time for talking is nearly at an end. Both fighters are adamant they will win the Grand Prix but will Ritu’s predictions turn out to be the more accurate?
We will find out next Friday!