Stamp Fairtex Reveals Secrets To Defeat Of Alma Juniku

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Stamp Fairtex faced her toughest test at ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST, but she overcame the challenge of Alma Juniku to keep her crown by the finest of margins.

On Saturday, 15 June, the Thai superstar was pushed to the limit in Shanghai, China by her 18-year-old challenger who competed as if she had nothing to lose.

The Australian gave the 21-year-old from Pattaya a scare as she threatened to take her ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title, but Stamp passed this test to stay The Home Of Martial Arts’ only two-sport World Champion.

“She’s really young and has a really big future ahead of her, I think that she will improve a lot,” says Stamp.

“She’s really fast and has great combos too. Overall though, I feel I was able to shut her down pretty quickly.

“She liked to use her right hook, but it left her open, so I went for the opportunity to counter. Even though she was throwing more punches, I feel like mine were more effective – I was landing more clean shots.

“In the first round, I predicted her style and used my knee to block her kick. I think it hurt her because, after that, she didn’t want to kick anymore.”

The Fairtex Training Center representative started strong, but admits the bout did not go quite as she planned.

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She reveals that she was riddled with injuries during her training camp that stopped her from coming into the match at full strength.

“I didn’t get to train to my full ability. I feel like I was only 60-70 percent going into this match-up,” she explains.

“There were just a lot of little things plaguing me. I just couldn’t train properly. I had a pain in my shoulder, and couldn’t clinch

“Then, I had a really bad blister on the bottom of my foot. I opened it up to let the water out, and kept training. However, it got really big and deep to the point I just couldn’t run or kick anymore.

“It felt like lots of little things kept interrupting my camp and prevented me from training at 100 percent.”

Despite her troubles, Stamp was determined to compete at the Baoshan Arena, and make her first World Title defense.

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However, because she could not get her gears in motion in the gym, she admits that her performance started to suffer after a strong first couple of rounds.

I got a really bad cramp in my foot in going into the third round. It happens sometimes in training when I am really tense. I couldn’t kick properly after that,” she explains.

“Plus, I just got tired in this fight. It was probably because I wasn’t as well-conditioned as I normally would be. All of a sudden, it was like I was just exhausted in there, and had to go off heart and my experience.”

The 21-year-old was determined to make sure her belt stayed in Thailand, so she drew on all of her ring IQ to work around her problems and find a way to regain her momentum after Juniku started to have some success.

At the end of round four, Stamp looked like she had no energy left, but she showed tremendous courage and spirit to shrug off her fatigue and come out firing in the final round to secure a unanimous decision.

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“I’m proud of myself. This fight really showcased my heart. I really went for it, and I showed that I am not afraid to trade,” she adds.

“I have never really fought like this before, but I just had to bite down on my mouth guard and really go for it.

“It was a close fight, but at the end of the five rounds, I was confident I had won.”

Now she has safely passed her first test as a defending World Champion, Stamp has several options in front of her.

She can either defend one of her two belts, or resume her quest to become an unprecedented three-sport World Champion by crossing over to mixed martial arts.

Whatever she decides, the Rayong native hints that her fans will not have to wait long to find out what is next for the poster girl of the global stage for martial arts.

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