Former two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex of Thailand is on the mend, looking to bounce back the first chance she gets and redeem herself from two world title defeats in 2020.
The Thai superstar first surrendered her kickboxing title to American Janet Todd back in February, and then succumbed her Muay Thai belt to Brazil’s Allycia Hellen Rodrigues in August, right in the middle of a global pandemic.
Needless to say, 2020 has been rough on pretty much everyone in the world, most especially so for Stamp.
But while she’s currently waiting for her shot at redemption, Stamp also remains an avid fan of martial arts, and loves watching the best fighters in the world compete in ONE Championship. Stamp revealed she is keeping a close eye on two bouts at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX — Christian Lee versus Iuri Lapicus for the ONE Lightweight World Title, and Ritu Phogat versus Nou Srey Pov.
The event broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore this Friday, 30 October.
“The first time I met Christian was when I was invited to compete in Tokyo in 2019,” said Stamp.
“I liked Christian initially because he’s handsome, but the truth is I was impressed by his performances. I have always admired his ability to fight. He’s a great martial artist, smart fighter, very well-rounded, with good wrestling skills.”
Lee is making the first defense of his lightweight belt after a phenomenal 2019. Last year, Lee captured the title after shocking the world with a second-round TKO victory over Japanese legend Shinya Aoki. He then stepped in as a last-minute replacement on 10 days notice to face the monstrous Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.
Lee ended up dominating “Dagi” and capturing the tournament title. He’s been on a high ever since.
Against the undefeated Lapicus, Lee faces the sternest test of his career thus far. Stamp is excited to witness a high level matchup between two top lightweights.
“I may be biased, but I would have to go with Christian Lee in this one. I feel like he’s the better fighter, both in close and long range. My only worry is his physical condition at lightweight. He may be small for the division, but I trust his judgement in taking this fight. I hope he has prepared well enough to face his next opponent,” said Stamp.
“In reality though, this fight can go either way. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Their styles are quite similar as are their performances in the Circle. But that’s why we fight the fights, and not just look at them on paper. This fight will decide the fate of the title. I’m on Christian’s side on this one. As a champion, just keep fighting and try to keep the belt with you as long as you can.”
Aside from the Lee-Lapicus lightweight showdown, Stamp also has her eye on a women’s atomweight contest between Ritu Phogat and Nou Srey Pov.
After ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong officially announced plans for a ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix, excitement quickly surrounded the division. Although there are no confirmed participants yet, both Stamp and Phogat are expected to be among eight contenders competing for the chance to become the number one contender to the atomweight throne.
Based on her assessment, Stamp fully expects Phogat to emerge victorious here.
“For me, I already know how tough Ritu is. Nou Srey Pov is also good in striking, but I haven’t seen much of her ground game. Ritu definitely has more of an advantage in terms of physicality and athleticism. I think she’s also great in close range,” said Stamp.
“Nou Srey Pov needs to stay on the outside and prevent Ritu from coming in if she wants to win. This fight will come down to whoever is smarter and asserts their will. Whoever dictates the pace will win the fight. I do support them both, so I can’t really give a prediction. All I know is it’s going to be a good fight.”
ONE Championship returns with ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX, scheduled for live global broadcast on Friday, 30 October from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. The event features four World Title bouts for a total of six compelling contests.
In the main event, two-division ONE World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang of Myanmar takes on undefeated challenger Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder of The Netherlands.