Stamp Fairtex is just days removed from winning her second World Title in ONE Championship, but she is already targeting a third – in mixed martial arts.
She added the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title to the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title she won last year by earning a unanimous decision after five rounds in Singapore
It was Stamp’s first bout in the art of eight limbs on the global stage for martial arts, but the Pattaya native says she had no problem switching back to a rule set that allowed her to throw elbows, spend more time in the clinch, and use dumps, sweeps, and trips.
That is hardly surprising since she has been practicing her national art since she was 5 years old.
“I haven’t fought Muay Thai in over a year, but it didn’t really matter. I feel like I can transition easily,” she explains.
“It is important not to overthink the rules.”
However, in an unexpected twist, Stamp focused more on her boxing to land the most significant strikes of the contest.
That may not have been the plan, but the representative of the Fairtex Training Center adjusted on the fly to employ a new, match-winning strategy.
“I wanted to leg kick and work my way into the clinch,” she explains.
“I thought the leg kick would be safer because I felt if I used my body kick, it would be easier for her to counter with punches. It is a lot harder to defend wearing small gloves.”
“But when I clinched up with Janet, I was surprised at how strong she was. I needed more time in the clinch to work, and was worried the referee would break it, so I decided to use my boxing instead.”
Though Stamp says she has always preferred to compete with a muay khao style – which relies heavily on physical strength to employ knees in the clinch – the World Champion proved she was effective with her hands at the highest level.
“I’ve always had strong punches, but never really needed to use them,” she adds.
The contest lived up to its main event billing as both women brought the capacity crowd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium to its feet with their display of skill, grit, and determination.
Stamp appeared to be on top for much of the early stages of the bout, but Todd came on strong and pushed her rival all the way for five rounds.
That ended up bringing out Stamp’s warrior spirit to hang on to her lead on the judges’ scorecards.
“She hit hard and was aggressive, so I needed to match her. I had to hit hard and be aggressive – match her shot for shot,” she explains.
“In the last round, my coaches told me to really go for it, I didn’t defend myself well and got hit a lot, but I did what my corner said and just really went for it.”
After five exhilarating rounds, it looked like Stamp would take the belt back to Thailand, but she admits she was “50-50” about whether she had won.
When the decision was announced, she was left at a loss for words in the ring as her emotions overcame her.
“When my hand was raised, I was truly left speechless and overwhelmed. I am really proud of myself,” she says.
Since then, she has found her voice, and is quick to give credit to her opponent, who she embraced in a touching show of sportsmanship after the final bell.
“Janet was really strong, she’s a great fighter,” Stamp adds.
“If she wants a rematch, I’d be happy to give her one.”
A second encounter with “JT” may have to wait if the two-discipline World Champion gets her way.
While she will be happy to take on any of the world’s best stand-up martial artists, Stamp is targeting a third belt for her collection.
Though she is only 1-0 as a mixed martial arts professional – following her stunning 19-second debut at ONE Warrior Series 2 last July – there is no doubt she has the striking skills to trouble anyone on the roster in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
“I’m always excited when I fight, this is what I do. I can compete in any discipline. If they want me to compete in mixed martial arts, I’ll be ready,” she says.
“Whatever opportunity ONE gives me, whether it be kickboxing or Muay Thai – I’m always ready to compete.
“My next goal is to win the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title in mixed martial arts.”
The division’s queen, “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, is occupied with her ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title challenge at ONE: A NEW ERA, for now.
Later in the year, however, another World Champion versus World Champion match-up with Stamp would be another blockbuster main event in The Home Of Martial Arts.