ONE Championship's fast-rising star Stamp Fairtex has taken the combat sports world by storm every since her official debut with the promotion in 2019.
In her first two bouts, Stamp Fairtex made history by becoming the first two-sport champion under the ONE banner. After becoming an atomweight kickboxing and Muay Thai champion, Stamp looked ahead to becoming a three-sport champion by capturing ONE's atomweight women's MMA title.
Today, though, we look at Stamp's past and how she was set on the path that made her a combat sports superstar. Speaking with Sportskeeda MMA's Dylan Bowker, Stamp spoke about her early days with Muay Thai, including her motivation to start training.
“When I was a child, I’ve known Muay Thai since I was five years old. Since then, I am a very small girl and I got bullied from my friends. So I tried to join Muay Thai because in my house we have a Muay Thai camp in the house as well by my father. Since then, I started to train Muay Thai just to protect myself from bullying from friends.”
While her original motivation to learn Muay Thai stemmed from the need to defend herself, it didn't take long for Stamp Fairtex to realize that Muay Thai was more than self-defense. It was something that she genuinely loved to do.
“After I practiced Muay Thai, I kind of loved it and my parents decided for me to start competing for just a little bit. The reason since then is just only like to make my friends scared of me, you know. For them to [not] bully me, but after I tried just once, I kind of fell in love with Muay Thai. Since then till now, it’s become my career.”
Starting the sport at such an early age, Stamp asked if she had been interested in or partook in any other sport while growing up. Stamp Fairtex stated that Muay Thai was her closest option and in many ways, her only option as a young girl growing up in Thailand.
“In my childhood, I focused more on Muay Thai because when I was very young, there were not a lot of sports or activities. Also because we have Muay Thai camps in my house. Like, when I wake up, I already see the teams. That’s the only thing I can see.”
When asked about what motivated her to compete at such an early age, Stamp Fairtex answered honestly. It was about the money.
Being able to earn money at a young age was a big deal, but over time, Stamp began to appreciate the attention and notoriety that competing brought her. Not because she loved being loved, but because it gave her an opportunity to use that attention to become a role model for the younger generation.
“To be honest, at first, after I [fought] in Muay Thai, I received money or a bonus after the fight after I win. This is when I was a child. It’s kind of like a happy moment that I can get some money from the fight when I was very young. That’s the first motivation. Secondly, when I started Muay Thai and I would win more and more, people [knew] me and I can be a role model for a younger generation. This keeps me doing Muay Thai until now.”
Stamp Fairtex realizes that her time in combat sports is finite
At 24 years old, Stamp Fairtex likely has many years left of competing at a world-class level.
Still ripe with goals, she is destined to be a part of combat sports for the foreseeable future, but that hasn't stopped the atomweight Grand Prix champion from preparing for the future and life outside of Muay Thai.
“I know that for now, I’m not too old. It’s kind of like a golden age for me in [my] Muay Thai career, but at the same time, I also study in the university as well. Because [my time in Muay Thai] depends on my body condition. When you get older, you cannot fight in Muay Thai. So, for now, I kind of do two things at the same time because Muay Thai gave me a better life, my family a better life, but at the same time, I always spare some time for my study in the university because that can be my future whenever I think I should stop Muay Thai. We cannot do Muay Thai when you get older, but [the] education will be with me forever.”
When discussing ONE Championship, Stamp Fairtex gave a brief background of her entry into the promotion through the ONE Warrior Series, but also discussed what she loves about ONE Championship and why she took the opportunity that the organization presented her with.
“ONE Championship is not just a local competition, it’s a global stage. I got the chance to compete in ONE Warrior Series. I got a chance, I won that fight and then I became a ONE Championship athlete. It’s the biggest martial arts competition in Asia. People around the world know ONE Championship so I can represent Thailand and my roots of Thai people and my roots of Muay Thai to the world. This is the reason I joined ONE Championship.”
Stamp Fairtex ended the interview with some parting words to her fans, letting them know that she continues to improve every day and with the support of the fans, she will not let them down.
“This is a message to all the fans around the world. Please support Stamp Fairtex forever. I will keep improving myself non-stop. I try to improve myself every day that I train so, just be with me and I will not let you down.”
Catch our full interview with Stamp Fairtex below: