Stamp Fairtex plans to keep her distance from Ritu Phogat. The Thai fighter is well aware of her opponent’s wrestling credentials.
Both fighters booked their spots in the final of the atomweight Grand Prix with wins at ONE: ‘NextGen’ last Friday.
Afterwards they faced off and following the show both the Grand Prix finalists were asked about their upcoming fight. Stamp has a lot of respect for Phogat and does not want to get up close and personal with the Indian,
“I already know how good Ritu is with her wrestling. I will try to keep my distance against her. I don’t want to close the distance with her. I will use my Muay Thai skills to keep at long range against her,” she said.
Stamp knows exactly where Phogat’s strengths lie and underlined the importance of being ‘well prepared’,
“Ritu will be a big challenge. I need to try my best. I need to be better prepared for my next fight with her because she is very good with her ground game and wrestling.”
That presumably means she will be working hard on her takedown defense at the Fairtex Gym in Pattaya. Stamp thinks it could come down to who has the better gameplan,
“I will need to be even more prepared to compete with her in the next fight. I will definitely need to train more, especially my takedown game plan in the circle. In the next fight with Ritu, my game plan has to be smarter than hers.”
Blueprint for victory
But while Phogat has her strengths she also has at least one area of weakness. Meng Bo was able to punish her for five minutes during the first round of their quarter final bout at ONE: ‘Empower’ although Phogat did come back strongly to win by decision.
The Chinese fighter set a blueprint for beating Phogat and Stamp knows exactly how she will win the Grand Prix,
“If I keep my distance in the fight with Ritu. I’ll (be able to) punch, clinch, knee and kick and I will beat her.”