ONE Atomweight dual world champion Stamp Fairtex is no stranger to adversity, both inside and out of the cage.
Raised in Thailand’s Rayong Province, Stamp learned the value of hard work from a young age as she helped her family survive in impoverished circumstances.
Her passion for martial arts developed almost as soon as she could walk, fostered by relentless practice at her uncle’s gym. By the age of five, she was fighting on a regular basis.
And while Muay Thai is close to religion in its birthplace, being accepted as a female fighter is an altogether different story. It’s an issue Stamp was forced to confront and cope with throughout her career.
“The hardest thing was overcoming female stereotypes,” she admitted.
“In Thailand, female Muay Thai athletes were not very culturally accepted. Females are viewed as weak and are expected to act ladylike.
“Every female who became a Muay Thai athlete has her passion. They want to be recognized, but in fact, they are not accepted by society.”
Now with her incredible achievements at just the age of 21 – has made history by becoming the promotion’s first two-sport champion – Stamp has become a role model for young girls in her homeland who are faced with the same obstacles she was.
And those hurdles are starting to fall. Last year, Stamp earned the honor of first-ever sponsored female Thai athlete at the world famous Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya, undoubtedly a source of genuine inspiration to those who share her dreams.
“Society is now accepting the idea of women competing in combat sports, which is really great,” she said.
“Martial Arts is a great platform to show the world that sports should be an even playing field for both men and women.”
But Stamp’s most immediate challenge lies in rising Australian prodigy Alma Juniku, who will attempt to wrest Stamp’s ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title from her grasp at ONE: Legendary Quest in Shanghai on June 15.
Always diligent in her approach to training and fighting, Stamp is confident that she and her expert team have devised the right formula to ensure she overcomes Juniku to keep hold of both of her championship belts.