If Stamp Fairtex really is scared of Ritu Phogat it doesn’t show. The Thai fighter was asked about her opponent’s comments (Ritu Phogat says Stamp Fairtex is petrified!) and issued a scathing response,
“I’m not scared at all. Ritu is a normal human, just like me. She might think I’m scared of her. But, actually, she’s scared of me. If she wasn’t, she would not look down on me like that.”
A fight between the two atomweights was always a possibility, particularly once they were both booked for the tournament. Stamp says she has been studying the Indian for a long time ahead of next month’s ONE: ‘Winter Warriors’ ,
“I’ve been studying Ritu quite deeply. I’ve prepared for a long time to fight with her,” she said.
Stamp doesn’t sound particularly impressed by what she has seen,
“I think she has only one strength which is taking her opponent down and taking control of the game. That’s it. Her striking is not very good. She has a basic jab and right hand to set up her shots.”
She also sees some weakness in Phogat and it sounds like Stamp plans to exploit it,
“I think her abdomen and her chin are weak. Those are her weaknesses I think I can strike on,” she said.
She also admits to having a more patient game plan in mind for this fight. While she wants to attack with strikes Stamp will be very wary of her opponent’s takedowns,
“Ritu is very tough and durable, she got knocked down and still recovered. So it depends on the strikes. I’ll strike and not be too aggressive in case I give Ritu a chance to take me down, just to be safe.”
Interestingly this strategy might see Stamp cut down on her trademark body kicks and throw more knees,
“You might see fewer kicks, or maybe none at all. If I kick, I will have to be faster. We have to see if she will risk getting hurt when she wants to take me down,” she said.
A knee is the best possible counter to a takedown, just ask Shinya Aoki or Miyuu Yamamoto who have both been finished in exactly this fashion. Stamp believes she will be able to use her Muay Thai to counter her opponent’s wrestling,
“Personally, I think I would like to use my Muay Thai skills to knock her out with my knees or elbows. There’s a high chance I’ll finish her if I hurt her. In that situation, her body is not so strong for the knees.”
The stakes are high with a title shot on the line. Stamp admits that Angela Lee is her favourite fighter and would love to challenge the champion,
“If I win in this match, I’ll get to challenge Angela Lee, who is my favorite fighter. I would be so glad to face a fighter I really admire.”