Stamp Fairtex holds the ONE Championship kickboxing and Muay Thai titles in the atomweight division. The 22 year old is hoping to add a historic third title in 2020, and her campaign has gotten off to the best possible start.
Stamp’s record stands at 3-0 and she is coming off a hard fought decision win over Bi Nguyen at ONE: ‘Masters of Fate’. Beating a far more experienced opponent was the perfect way to underline her title credentials.
Next up for the Thai is Puja Tomar at ONE: ‘A New Tomorrow’. The event is set for Bangkok on January 10th but Stamp already has another opponent on her mind,
“Angela Lee is the champion. A chance to fight her really is a win-win situation for me.”
The reigning champion started her MMA career with ONE Championship too, Lee did not have any professional experience when she made her debut in 2015.
Test and develop
That still puts her several years ahead of Stamp who admits that her MMA game is still a work in progress,
“I think I’m improving as a mixed martial arts, in some areas more than others. I feel good in training but I don’t have enough experience yet. This fight will give me the opportunity to test and develop my skills.”
At ONE: ‘Dreams of Gold’ in Bangkok she snapped Asha Roka‘s four fight winning streak, handing the Indian the first defeat of her career. Meanwhile Nguyen was already a veteran of nine bouts and a two time King of the Cage 105lbs challenger when she fought Stamp.
So there is no question that the Thai is being tested against solid opponents and Tomar will also have an advantage in terms of experience. The Indian already has seven MMA fights under her belt and is coming off an impressive decision win over Indonesian Priscilla Gaol in Jakarta.
Stamp is expecting a tough test at the Impact Arena next week,
“I never underestimate my opponents. Puja is a wushu champion so she’ll have good takedowns. She is unpredictable, and she keeps a fast pace and stays active.”
Given Stamp’s credentials as a multiple time kickboxing and Muay Thai champion most opponents are going to come in with a takedown orientated strategy. The Thai says this is just part and parcel of her new life as a mixed martial artist,
“My opponent knows stand-up is my strong point, and she is probably thinking about taking me down, so I’m working on both my submission and takedown defense. My plan is simple (to) keep the fight standing, use my Muay Thai and defend takedowns.”
However Stamp is confident that, should Tomar concede in taking her out of her comfort zone and getting the fight to the ground, she will be able to cope,
“If I go to the ground I’ll figure it out then and there. I’m confident in my ground game, and I know I am very strong.”
A few of ONE Championship’s Thai mixed martial artists have fallen by the wayside after some disappointing results. But Stamp has won six fights out of six for the promotion across multiple different rulesets.
Her flamboyant dancing entrances have helped establish her as a fan favourite and Stamp says she particularly enjoys fighting in Bangkok,
“I love fighting in Thailand. My parents and family will come to watch, and I’ll have a big cheering section there for me.”
That also brings pressure. When Stamp competes as a mixed martial artist she doesn’t have the experience that comes with hundreds of prior fights to fall back on.
Winning the third ONE Championship title will be a tall task. But Stamp cannot afford any setbacks at this early stage and the significance of next week’s fight is not lost on her,
“This is an important fight for me. I have to win.”