Reigning two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex is confident she has what it takes to pull off a victory in her first World Title defense.
At ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST on Saturday, 15 June, the Thai hero will defend her ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title against Australian challenger Alma Juniku.
Known for her stylish entrance dances and cheerful demeanor, Stamp cuts a happy figure ahead of her main-event contest in Shanghai. This is no surprise, considering it will be the Pattaya native’s first visit to China.
Though excited about traveling to, and competing in, a new country, the 21-year-old is all business when it comes to preparing for her opponent.
A WBC and IPCC Muay Thai World Champion, Juniku is on a mission to headline her debut with ONE Championship by pushing Stamp to her limits.
Even at 18 years old, the Australian sensation has the tools in her arsenal to challenge Stamp.
The product of Modern Warrior Muay Thai in Logan City holds a professional record of 24-4. She has also shown plenty of power with a TKO victory over Zaza Sor Aree in Hong Kong to claim her two World Title belts.
In response, the Fairtex representative has formulated a game plan with her team that she believes will temper the Aussie’s combination of her strong overhand right and powerful elbows.
“I plan to use my punches a lot, and kick her leg out to slow her down,” Stamp begins.
“She’s fast and aggressive. She likes to put a lot of pressure on her opponents, and moves quickly.
“I think if I put the pressure on her, she might not be able to handle it as well. I will try to use her strengths against her.”
Juniku, meanwhile, is willing to trade with her Thai counterpart and will likely lean on her offensive experience to match her opponent’s intensity and strength.
Humble but confident, Stamp readily acknowledges her rival’s experience, but she is betting on her own path to martial arts to see her through this encounter.
“She’s got a lot of experience too, but I feel I’m more experienced because I’ve fought since I was a child. It is a way of life for me and my family,” she says.
Surrounded by a family of Muay Thai practitioners, Stamp’s love for her country’s national sport only grew when she was picked on at elementary school.
Seeking solace in the comforts of honing her skills in self-defense, the young Thai was hooked on learning “the art of eight limbs” and never looked back.
Competing since the age of five has also prepared Stamp for the competitive and societal pressures that have followed her rise to superstardom.
“In Thailand, female Muay Thai athletes were not very culturally accepted,” she says. “These days, it’s normal to have female athletes in this sport.”
For now, she maintains focus on the task at hand – defending her belt and showing the world that women can be elite Muay Thai athletes, just like their male counterparts.
“I’m proud of what we can accomplish as women, and proud for the opportunity to perform in front of the eyes of the entire world,” she concludes.