Stamp Fairtex says Grand Prix win over Ritu Phogat proves she's 'worthy in MMA'

Stamp Fairtex says winning Grand Prix makes her 'worthy in MMA'
Stamp Fairtex says winning Grand Prix makes her 'worthy in MMA'
Andrew Whitelaw

Stamp Fairtex has now won world titles in kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA. Still just 24 years old, the Thai made history at ONE: 'Winter Warriors' on Friday when she submitted Ritu Phogat in the second round to win the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix.

Having trained in Muay Thai since the age of five, Stamp Fairtex only began competing in professional MMA in 2018. After winning the grand prix in her ninth pro-fight, she believes she's proven she belongs in the sport.

Speaking in a post-fight media interview, Stamp Fairtex said,

"This belt proves my path on the MMA journey. So even though I come from a Muay Thai career, today I got to prove that I am worthy of this path in MMA."

Stamp Fairtex surprised herself with submission win

Stamp Fairtex vs. Ritu Phogat was billed as a classic striker vs. grappler match-up. Phogat is famed for her dominant wrestling and models herself after Khabib Nurmagomedov. Fairtex has certainly shown improvements in her ground game in recent times, particularly against Alyona Rassohyna in the opening round of the tournament where she battled her way to a split decision victory.

Despite Stamp Fairtex's grappling having clearly gotten better, very few would have predicted that she would manage to tap out 'The Indian Tigress.' Before this, Phogat had never been submitted while Fairtex had only one submission victory to her name.

Having attempted a triangle choke, Stamp Fairtex transitioned brilliantly to the armbar and swiftly drew the tap. Before that, the Rayong-born striker had showcased excellent takedown defense. After the fight, Fairtex admitted that she never expected to win the fight via submission.

"I honestly never thought that I would submit her. The initial plan was to stand up and strike and also improvise my gameplan. And if my opponent comes out in this way, how would I adapt and I didn't think that I would submit her."
Nobody saw THAT coming! Stamp Fairtex 🇹🇭 finishes Ritu Phogat via ARMBAR to win the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix! 💪 #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship#ONEWinterWarriors | How To Watch:…

With this victory, Stamp Fairtex has not only secured the Grand Prix belt - she's also earned a crack at the atomweight title where she's expected to take on Angela Lee early next year. Fairtex describes Lee as her 'idol' and clearly has plenty of respect for the champion.

The clash with Stamp Fairtex will be Angela Lee's fifth defense of the atomweight belt. Her last outing was in 2019 where she successfully defended the strap with a submission win over Xiong Jingnan.

Stamp Fairtex's exceptional striking was always going to present an interesting challenge for Lee, but now that the Thai has proven her prowess on the ground, the proposed clash with Lee has become more intriguing than ever.

Edited by David Andrew
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