Being a two-sport World Champion is a dream come true for Stamp Fairtex, but it also presents massive challenges for the young Thai star to overcome.
The 22-year-old arguably has a more demanding schedule than any other athlete in martial arts, which includes having to defend her belts from a queue of challengers. Next Friday, 28 February, Janet “JT” Todd, will be the latest woman to try and take her ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title in the main event of ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE.
Plus, Stamp has spent much of the last year putting in extra training to sharpen her mixed martial arts skills for a run at a third belt, and she is always in demand by fans and the media.
While the positives of her workload outweigh the negatives, the Fairtex representative admits she has her bad days like anybody else when her responsibilities wear her down.
“When I feel discouraged, everything gets to me – every little thing makes me feel sad and upset, but you have to be there for yourself and encourage yourself,” she says.
“Often, I get discouraged just because I am so tired. Sometimes it’s just normal and I can take it, other times even just the littlest thing will make me cry.
“It is usually never one thing that makes me feel discouraged, but just many things that I let build up inside. Then all of a sudden, I just don’t feel okay anymore and I just want to cry so I can let go of all of my feelings.”
- Stamp Fairtex Expects Another Five-Round War Against Janet Todd
- How Janet Todd’s Husband Is Key To Her Martial Arts Career
- Top 5 Performances From The Heroes Of ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE
Now is a particularly intense time for Stamp because she believes the pressure of being the defending World Champion is greater than challenging for a belt. She has the target on her back and has to stay one step ahead of the women who are dedicating their lives to dethroning her.
“Defending my titles is harder than winning them because it requires us to practice even harder than before,” she adds.
“We’ve got to study more and keep learning. It makes us become more diligent in more ways than one.”
Despite the weight on her shoulders, Stamp never lets it distract her for long. She has a supportive team by her side to offer encouragement and she has her own ways of staying positive, too.
Whenever she is struggling, the Rayong native reminds herself how her family earned a modest living through fruit farming, but struggled to get ahead when she was a child.
Stamp has seen the quality of her life, and her family’s lives, significantly improve through her success in martial arts, and that is her main motivation to maintain a positive attitude and give everything she has in pursuit of more success.
“It can be difficult, but I have to overcome this and keep going,” she says.
“I often stop to ask myself why am I doing this? If it is so difficult and tiring, why should I make myself struggle? But the answer is always my family. I want my parents to be comfortable financially and make them proud.
“I don’t want to be a burden on my parents or have them worry about me. I want to build a name for myself and let people know who I am. I want to build a strong foundation for myself so that I can be self-sufficient. I tell myself I must keep going.”