Former two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex didn't have an ideal start to her 2020. But that won't stop her from soldiering on.
After defeating Puja Tomar by technical knockout in early January, Stamp surrendered her ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title to American Janet Todd by decision just a month later. Then COVID-19 hit and the world came to a standstill.
After a few months in quarantine lockdown, the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion finally resumes her ascent through the ranks against ONE Championship newcomer Sunisa Srisen at ONE: NO SURRENDER, set for Friday, 31 July in Bangkok, Thailand.
Stamp is on the hunt for redemption, and hopes of one day earning a shot at the mixed martial arts belt.
"I want to showcase my skills, and I always want to compete against the best in MMA because I want to improve myself," said Stamp.
"I don't want to make any predictions for this fight, but I need to win. It's another step towards the world title."
A product of Rich Franklin's ONE Warrior Series, Stamp began her ONE Championship career looking to make it big in the world of mixed martial arts. But when ONE Super Series came knocking on the door, Stamp received the opportunity to challenge for a world title, and it was too good to pass up.
After eventually capturing both the Muay Thai and kickboxing belts, Stamp redirected her focus to her mixed martial arts career, where she has remained unbeaten in four bouts. Against Srisen, she goes for win number five and wants to make a statement against a tough competitor.
"This is her (Sunisa Srisen) debut fight. I've studied her style and she seems like a great fighter. I won't underestimate her at all," said Stamp.
"She's got a good ground game. I'm a better striker. It's a good matchup."
Stamp has worked hard in training, even during lockdown, spending time in her hometown to train and spar with her brother, in addition to doing some light exercises. She just recently returned to the Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya after Thailand relaxed domestic travel restrictions in conjunction with an improved COVID-19 situation in the country.
Speaking to global media recently, just weeks ahead of the blockbuster show, Stamp expressed her gratitude for all the support she has received from fans.
"It feels good to get back into training full swing, and of course, I'm happy to be fighting again after taking a break for a few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm excited to get in the ring with my opponent," said Stamp.
"I'll see what I can do in this fight. It's definitely a worthy challenge. I've also improved a lot since my last bout. I want to thank all the fans for their continued support."
ONE: NO SURRENDER is ONE Championship's first live event since February. The promotion deliberated carefully on safety protocols, and made the necessary adjustments to its operations.
The main event features a rubber match between reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang "The Iron Man" Jitmuangnon, and the challenger, former ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion "The Baby Shark" Petchdam Petchyindee Academy.
In the evening's co-main event, defending ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy will put his World Title on the line against legendary "The Boxing Computer" Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex.
Also on the card is a ONE Super Series Kickboxing Super-Bout between striking superstars Superbon Banchamek and "The Killer Kid" Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong.Published 21 Jul 2020, 21:45 IST