Stamp Fairtex

Photo via ONE Championship PR

Stamp Fairtex discusses Ritu Phogat Atomweight Grand Prix finals bout

Stamp Fairtex tests skills against Ritu Phogat in the finals of the ONE Atomweight Grand Prix. The culmination of this massive global tournament takes place at ONE: Winter Warriors on December 3rd from Singapore Indoor Stadium.

I spoke with Stamp ahead of this high-stakes clash to crown a tournament champ and a number one contender for the returning Angela Lee. Excerpts from our recent chat are below.

Stamp Fairtex

If this is the biggest fight in the overall combat career of Stamp Fairtex

“Probably if it would be a tournament base, this would be the biggest event I’ve ever had.”

Thoughts on the broader overall tournament effort across her two victories in the Atomweight Grand Prix

“One of the things I really liked is the armbar defense with Alyona (Rassohyna). I get to show a lot of people that I have improved so much.”

Stamp’s ever-growing grappling and training partners who’ve fostered that noticeable development

“I would say my coaches helped me a lot in this fight. If I have any questions, he would specifically dive deep into it. Also, my training partner which always helped me during the MMA training. I would give credit to both of them in a different approach. My coach DJ and training partner Y2K.”

ONE Atomweight Grand Prix

The GP finals offering up a quick turnaround from her October 29th semi-final fight

“So overall I’m okay with the quick turnaround of having only one month to prepare for this fight. Because if you were to compare it when there was COVID training, there wasn’t many fights. I feel a bit slower. So having fight after fight after fight, it would help. It’s like I get to move a lot and it’s a big part. So I train a lot and then train and then fight. Train and then fight. Train and then fight.”

Managing the range and thoughtful monitoring of distance being key factors in this fight with Ritu Phogat

“Yes, probably range control is one of the things that makes a lot of advantage. If I try to keep the distance and to maintain the distance between Ritu and me.”

Stamp’s thoughts on Ritu’s broader overall tournament run and how she assesses Phogat’s pair of tournament wins

“Firstly, I see some weakness in her which is her shin. The other part is her abdominal area. So other than that, the standup striking I don’t see much of a threat. Maybe some punches. Mostly if she gets you on the ground, maybe some knees on the ground.”

ONE: Winter Warriors

Stamp’s quest centered on holding a third championship across a third different combat discipline after capturing Muay Thai and kickboxing gold in the promotion

“This is for me to prove that I am able to do it. From a Muay Thai background and then I can become an MMA champion as well. I can show the people that I can become that.”

Stamp Fairtex seeing Angela Lee as an idol and thoughts on fighting Lee for the belt should she win this GP

“I first started to see Angela (Lee) as an idol ever since I was trying to get into MMA. Training in MMA and seeing that she was the champion in this Atomweight division. I like her because she was very nice outside the cage, very friendly and nice. But inside the circle, it’s like she is different. She is very vicious and very strong in there.”

Being involved in Muay Thai since she was five years old and when MMA really captured her attention

“So it was around when I was 19 and Fairtex was trying to recruit women to make MMA fighters. So that’s when I started to get interested in this sport and stepped in to train.”

ONE Championship

The importance of performance in pugilism through the lens of the Stamp dance

“Outside of fighting, the Stamp dance is one of the things that is a selling point of me. Other than fighting, people would recognize and know about me more. It’s one of the things that helped me grow my fan base. Because in the first fight there was a hashtag Stamp dance. People get to know it more later on when there is more fight coming.”

Initially thinking she’d fight Itsuki Hirata in the finals and if Stamp sees that Hirata bout invariably happening

“I really want to fight with her (Itsuki Hirata) because she’s well rounded. She has the striking aspect and the ground game. If one day I get to fight her, it would be a fun and exciting match.”

Stamp feeling that Bi Nguyen provided a blueprint on how to best Ritu Phogat

“So looking at that fight with Bi Nguyen and Ritu (Phogat). So the fight really benefit me in the way that I can see that Bi Nguyen, she’s using a lot of weapons. Throwing strikes and doesn’t stop even on the ground. Get back up and strike back at her. So that exposed some kind of weakness out of Ritu.”

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