‘I Was Utterly Devastated’ – How Stamp Fairtex Overcame The Darkest Period Of Her Career
She might be one of the most beloved athletes on the ONE Championship roster, but Thai sensation Stamp Fairtex has gone through plenty of hard times.
On September 29, Stamp will return to the bright lights of the Singapore Indoor Stadium to face Ham Seo Hee for the ONE Interim Women’s Atomweight MMA World Title live in North American primetime.
Slated for the main event of ONE Fight Night 14 on Prime Video, that showdown could mark the pinnacle of the 25-year-old’s professional career, as she could become a historic three-sport queen after previously holding the ONE Women’s Atomweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Titles.
However, the massive highs of incredible success and global fame can also lead to some terrible lows.
In 2020, Stamp suffered her first two defeats in ONE, losing the World Titles that had established her as an international superstar. Those losses – coupled with hardships in her life away from competition – led to a bout of depression and self-doubt.
She opened up to onefc.com about those struggles:
“That time, I was utterly devastated – I lost two golds and was going through a difficult time in my personal life. I felt defeated and felt like I didn’t want to do anything anymore. I wanted to isolate myself and needed some time to think. I really was not okay.”
During that challenging year, the Fairtex Training Center representative was forced to re-evaluate herself and her career. How would she handle such high-profile defeats? Would she fade away into obscurity, or would she push forward toward bigger and better things?
Through it all, Stamp says she never once considered stepping away from competition:
“I just needed to take a short break. Then, I would return as a better version of myself. I just needed a break to heal my body, mind, and calm my nerves.”
Taking that time to regroup has served the three-sport phenom well.
Since 2020, Stamp has won the ONE Women’s Atomweight MMA World Grand Prix, challenged for a World Title in the 2022 MMA Fight of the Year, and made a triumphant return to the sport of kickboxing.
Looking back, she thinks the key to getting on track was positive self-talk and unwavering belief in her potential:
“I just told myself, ’Give me a moment to rest, so I can regain my faith and become a better Stamp.’”
Stamp Offers Advice To Those Struggling With Depression
Given her experience in those dark times, Stamp Fairtex is happy to offer advice to anyone else who might be dealing with struggles of their own.
Wise beyond her years, she believes that healing from depression starts from within. Rather than dwell on everything that could be going wrong, she says it’s important to remind yourself of everything that’s going right:
“I would like to advise others to give themselves a ton of encouragement. Many people might receive a lot of encouragement from others but not from themselves, so they can’t heal their heart.
“I want them to try to think positively. Don’t let negative thoughts overwhelm you and make you unhappy.”
Practically speaking, Stamp also says that exercise – whether an intense martial arts workout or just a walk through a park – can do wonders for one’s mental health.
“Exercise can help because it’s a good way to express your feelings. It makes you focus on what’s in front of you because you have to focus on controlling your body or movement.
“Not just Muay Thai or MMA – any exercise can help you stay mentally healthy, and it’s also good for your body.”