Stamp Fairtex says the pressure is on ahead of MMA switch
Stamp Fairtex‘s MMA debut lasted less than 20 seconds. Since then she has competed exclusively in title fights for ONE Championship, winning the atomweight Muay Thai and kickboxing belts.
A lot has happened since that MMA fight at ONE Warrior Series 1. Stamp has made history by becoming the first fighter to win titles in two different disciplines for the promotion, and won three title bouts out of three.
But she will return to MMA at ONE: ‘Dreams of Gold’ this Friday and it is fair to say expectations are high,
“I just want to win this fight, I haven’t really thought too much about showing my skills as an MMA fighter yet. My goal is to also become an MMA champion with ONE Championship.”
Stamp really will be swimming with sharks in the promotion’s atomweight division. Angela Lee still holds the title but the likes of Heqin Lin, Xiong Jing Nan, Ayaka Miura and Mei Yamaguchi are all hard on her heels.
All of these fighters would be odds on to beat Stamp and the 21 year old admits she is far from the finished product in MMA terms,
“I’m not 100% comfortable in mixed martial arts yet, but when an opportunity like this comes along, you just have to take it,” she says.
At the Impact Arena on Friday she faces Asha Roka. The Indian is undefeated but Stamp knows her striking is superior,
“I think my opponent’s striking isn’t as advanced as the opponents I am used to facing. Her boxing will be her biggest threat.”
Interestingly the Thai fighter was not shy about sharing her gameplan,
“I plan to counter her punches with my elbows. When you fight a boxer, you want to use the leg kicks to avoid punches and counter with elbows.”
Fighting in Thailand brings its own challenges. Stamp is guaranteed to get vociferous support but that brings increased scrutiny and pressure,
“I’m happy to compete at home, there will be a lot of people there to provide motivation and cheer me on. I definitely feel there is an advantage fighting in Thailand, but that there is also extra pressure too. I don’t want to lose in Thailand!”
She still has two titles to defend but there is very little depth in the divisions she is currently queen of. By contrast ONE Championship regularly puts on atomweight MMA fights and there should be no shortage of opportunities for Stamp.
Prospective opponents include Jomary Torres, Jihin Radzuan, Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol and Itsuki Hirata. Stamp is taking her MMA career very seriously and will want to make a big impression in Bangkok on Friday,
“I’ve been practicing MMA for two years now, and I feel like it is time to test my skills on a bigger stage. I really like the diversity of the sport, and the new challenge it presents for me.”