Thai megastar Stamp Fairtex knows Yodkaikaew “Y2K” Fairtex better than most people, and she’s witnessed all of his hard work ahead of a return to the global stage at ONE: BAD BLOOD this Friday, 11 February.
The pair spends a lot of time together at Fairtex Training Center in Thailand, and Stamp is expecting a strong bounce-back performance from “Y2K” in his flyweight mixed martial arts clash against South Korean debutant “Dynamic” Woo Sung Hoon.
“I see him training every day. He is so determined and energetic,” the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix Champion says.
“Because he lost in the last fight, he desperately wants to win this fight, especially when he knows about the performance bonus.”
Stamp and Yodkaikaew originally struck up a bond when the 24-year-old female star joined the Pattaya gym to focus on combining her Muay Thai base with a move to mixed martial arts.
When she arrived at the renowned facility, “Y2K” was the only other athlete training in the all-encompassing sport after making a similar transition. As a result, they soon began working side by side – and quickly formed a strong friendship.
“We got closer because Yodkaikaew was an MMA athlete before me. I came here to practice MMA, and he was the only MMA athlete at that time,” Stamp says.
“So I watched his training, asked his name, and we got to know each other. Since then, we have been spending time training together, so we are so close.”
While Stamp was impressed by the 30-year-old’s skills and work ethic, she also took note of his incredible stage presence.
In fact, “Y2K” helped Stamp evolve into the fun-loving and magnetic force the global fan base has become enamored with.
“Yodkaikaew is really a badass,” she offers. “Before he joined ONE, he participated in the Kunlun Fight tournament. I watched all of his fights and felt he was really cool. His body looked strong and skillful, and he was bold enough to take risks.
“And he’s a true entertainer. All of this impressed me. He is another reason why I like to entertain audiences. He inspires me to be myself and dare to entertain the fans in the Circle, like I always do today.”
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The former ONE Women’s Atomweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion says fans will see more of Yodkaikaew’s showmanship when he returns to the Circle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Plus, she’s added a little of her own influence for good measure.
“I asked him what hair color he’s going for this time because he likes to color his hair. And he told me he’ll dye it the same green – he was inspired by the Joker,” Stamp reveals.
“What I suggested to him to make it fancier is to add his nail colors because ONE allows athletes to paint their nails. I told him to paint them green and black alternately.
“I think it should look good, suitable for someone who likes something pomp, like him. I think that’ll make him more outstanding.”
More important than the theatrics, of course, is the performance, and Stamp is certain that her friend will get back on track after losing for the first time in four ONE Championship appearances.
She’s seen his diligence at the gym and believes all that preparation will be enough to secure the victory.
“He trains harder than before and does more training than other [athletes]. He tries his best to pass his [previous] limit,” Stamp adds.
“If he’s a striker too, I’m not worried at all, because Yodkaikaew is a professional Muay Thai fighter. He’ll never stand still and give his opponent a free punch. He can survive.
“And of course, he’ll win because he trains very hard. He is over 100 percent motivated.”