Stamp Fairtex’s biggest flaw going into the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship Final was her ground game.
However, the former two-sport queen’s submission savvy proved to be the deciding factor at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS in Singapore on Friday, 3 December.
The Thai megastar banished talks of her weakness in the grappling department and displayed her evolution as a mixed martial artist by submitting Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat via armbar en route to claiming the historic tournament’s prestigious silver belt.
Phogat came out of her corner aggressively once the opening bell sounded, tossing out a couple of feints and then shooting for a takedown. But Stamp – the former ONE Atomweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion – diffused the situation with a sprawl before catching Phogat’s head and unleashing a left knee.
When “The Indian Tigress” attempted yet another takedown, she failed again and was hit by another one of the former two-sport queen’s knees. The Evolve MMA athlete was frustrated by her opponent’s solid defense, but it did not sidetrack her quest to take the contest to the canvas.
At her third attempt, she managed to take it to the mat, but Stamp quickly brought the action back to the feet, showing her Indian rival that she had fully prepared for her game plan, and her refusal to fall while up against the Circle Wall continued to make life difficult for Phogat.
In the second frame, “The Indian Tigress” hunted for the takedown once again, but this time around, the Thai fighter was not afraid to let her fists and trademark right kick loose.
Stamp gave away her lead leg during an exchange, however, and Phogat took advantage of it. She shot for a single-leg takedown and took the fight to the ground once more.
The Fairtex representative’s grappling prowess was undeniable, though, and from then on – in a shock to those inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium, the global fan base, and Phogat herself – the Indian wrestling sensation was the one who had to worry about the action on the canvas.
Stamp locked in a triangle choke from guard. Phogat escaped by turning over to her left, but the Thai started to transition toward an armbar and managed to separate her rival’s right arm.
As “The Indian Tigress” attempted to uncork some ground-and-pound, Stamp brilliantly rolled her way to the top, hyperextending her rival’s arm in the process. Phogat was left helpless, and she eventually tapped to Stamp’s armbar at 2:14 of the second frame.
The victory took her mixed martial arts record to 8-1, earned her the tournament’s silver belt, and booked a shot at “Unstoppable” Angela Lee’s ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title – which keeps her dream of becoming a three-sport World Champion very much alive.
Following the historic victory, the Thai spoke to ONE Championship commentator Mitch “The Dragon” Chilson and made her feelings – and intentions – very clear.
“I’m really happy right now, and I was surprised as I was able to pull the armbar on her,” she said.
“I will try my best to take down Angela Lee and take her belt.”