On Friday, 28 February, the American will return to the Singapore Indoor Stadium to challenge the Thai superstar for the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE.
The 34-year-old California native knows it will be difficult to dethrone the seemingly-unstoppable atomweight queen in their main event clash, but she believes their previous encounter has prepared her for success in “The Lion City” this time around.
In February 2019, Todd made her ONE Championship debut on the biggest stage possible.
She traveled from the United States to Singapore, experienced the glitz and glamor of event week, and then squared off against Stamp – who, at the time, only held the kickboxing belt – for the inaugural ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title in the main event of ONE: CALL TO GREATNESS.
While the American valiantly competed over the course of five rounds, the Fairtex representative proved to be the stronger athlete that night. She earned a unanimous decision victory and a second title.
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Although it was a tough loss, Todd remained positive and reviewed the footage to see where she could grow as a martial artist.
“I realized the first couple of rounds, I wasn’t as confident in myself. It looked like I was hesitating when I was throwing,” she admits.
“It was in the fifth round when I felt like I was throwing with much more intention and much more confidence. That’s what I want to go into this fight with, but in round one rather than round five.”
Since that defeat, Todd has gained more confidence – and that is reflected in her sensational three-bout win streak.
Later in July, Todd out-struck former ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion “Killer Bee” Chuang Kai Ting to earn a majority decision win, and then in October, she knocked out Belarusian Muay Thai striker Ekaterina “Barbie” Vandaryeva with a highlight-reel head kick.
As a dedicated martial artist, “JT” lives by the philosophy that you either win or you learn in every contest, and her continued education has only strengthened her overall game.
“I feel like the more fights I do and the more training I’m doing, the more confident I get in certain skills,” she explains.
“Certain things that I pick up that I didn’t have before I can now use to my advantage. I think the last couple of fights, my coach and I have been working on adding a little more footwork into my fights. I’m hoping to utilize that a little bit more.”
Those three victories have brought Todd back into the World Title picture, however, her upcoming tilt with Stamp will be under the kickboxing rule set instead of Muay Thai.
Because “JT” comes from a traditional Muay Thai background, she will have to make a few adjustments. Even so, she is still excited about the challenge.
A quick look at her most recent performances – especially against Wang and Chuang – has shown that the Boxing Works product is learning on the job while employing a vast striking arsenal at distance instead of inside from the clinch.
“It [stinks] taking away from the clinch because that’s what we’re used to doing in Muay Thai,” Todd explains.
“That obviously changes the close-contact fighting because you can’t grab or knee for that long at that range, so you have to figure out how to move or create space in those kickboxing rules.
“I have been working hard on my kicking game. Stamp also kicks, too, but I feel like I have the setup and the timing to be able to land those kicks.”
Todd believes those will be just some of the keys to her success in “The Lion City.”
The American is much wiser than she was one year ago, and she intends to prove that with a much better performance in what will undoubtedly be the most important bout of her career.
“I hope the fans see someone who is smarter in the game now,” she says.
“I want to use my footwork and use my fight IQ to get her into compromised positions to be able to score. I’m hoping that they see a smarter fighter.”