Seo Hee Ham and Stamp Fairtex are set to fight for the interim atomweight title next. That was all but confirmed at the press conference following ONE Fight Night 8.

Of course Stamp will need to beat Alyse Anderson first. They face off at ONE Fight Night 10 in May so the interim title fight won’t be made official for a few more months.

But Ham, who beat Itsuki Hirata by decision, confirmed that she had been promised a shot at the interim belt,

“I was very happy when I heard from Chatri Sityodtong. It’s the only thing that I’ve wanted since joining this organization (and) I’m very excited.”


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Sensitive circumstances

Reigning champion Angela Lee appears to be out of action for the time being after the tragic death of her sister. Victoria Lee, who was also a contender in the atomweight division, died at the age of 19.

While Ham would like to challenge the champion eventually she understands it is not possible to put a timescale on Lee’s return,

“I would wish to challenge Angela Lee but I understand that might not be possible due to the sensitive circumstances.”

It is not clear whether the title shot is on the line for both Anderson and Stamp, or if it is only the latter. But regardless Ham expects the Thai fighter to prevail on May 5th,

“I’m not too familiar with Alyse Anderson but I have watched many of Stamp’s fights and I would expect Stamp to be victorious,” she said.


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Smart money

The smart money is certainly on Stamp. Ham was also a strong favourite heading into the fight with Hirata which turned out to be a routine decision win for the Korean.

She admits to not being completely happy with her performance but points out that it takes two to tango,

“I’m not completely happy with the way it panned out but I’m happy I got the victory. I expected her to come out with more energy, it’s difficult to put on an exciting fight on my own.”

She was seen warmly congratulating Hirata when the Japanese fighter made weight. It seems Ham would have pulled out of the fight if her opponent hadn’t managed to do it,

“There was a bit of negative feeling (between us) but after she made weight I was happy for her. I was not sure if the fight would materialize and I was worried my efforts would come to nothing.”

Negative reaction

Hirata came in for a lot of criticism after failing her hydration test ahead of the first fight which was scheduled for ONE 163. Ham refused to fight her as a result and the Korean says she was on the receiving end of some backlash too,

“Itsuki Hirata is very famous and a lot of the negativity was directed towards me and that made me nervous a bit.”

Ham refused to speculate about what sort of future Hirata might have in the sport. But if Stamp wins in May then next up for the Korean will be an atomweight title shot.