Stamp Fairtex is a two-sport world champion, which is something that no other ONE Championship athlete in history has accomplished. In fact, it’s pretty much rare in the world of combat sports. But what’s to come for Stamp could be even more massive.
On 16 August at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD in Bangkok, Thailand, the Thai superstar will enter the world of mixed martial arts as she attempts to capture another world title in a third sport.
Stamp is the reigning ONE Atomweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion, and is undefeated with ONE in both sports. She saw success competing in mixed martial arts in 2018 when she used a head kick to score a knockout win over Rashi Shinde in just 19 seconds — her mixed martial arts debut under Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series.
When she returns to the mixed martial arts scene, Stamp will face India’s Asha “Knockout Queen” Roka.
With background in boxing, Roka will bring her own brand of striking prowess against Stamp. She is an Indian National Boxing champion known for her fast hands. Throughout her career as a mixed martial artist, Roka is a perfect 4-0 with — all of her wins were stoppages, two of which by submission.
One major concern heading into the matchup is if Roka can go toe-to-toe with Stamp in striking. As a Muay Thai and Kickboxing champion, Stamp is advanced in this area. She, however, has a disadvantage when it comes to grappling, particularly on the ground.
Muay Thai requires quite a bit of clinch work, and Stamp has proven to be sturdy in these situations. Roka can go for a takedown to test Stamp’s ability to work off her back, which is a part of her game that was never tested in her two other sports.
Roka needs to be smart in picking her spots for a takedown. If she goes for a lazy or predictable takedown attempt, it could backfire on her given that Stamp is effective with her legs and knees. Stamp could counter and score another early knockout victory.
Roka must find a way to overcome Stamp’s home-field advantage as well. Beating Stamp at a neutral venue is already a tall order, but facing her in Thailand makes it all the more difficult.
Stamp will be challenged as well as she transitions to mixed martial arts, but she can look to past athletes for some inspiration.
The mixed martial arts world is littered with athletes who have made a similar transition in their careers. Names like Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Valentina Shevchenko experienced success in Muay Thai before shifting to mixed martial arts where they became champions or title challengers.
Stamp will need to adjust her skills a bit when she competes in mixed martial arts. A win over Roka in Thailand, though, would give her the confidence that she can succeed in a third sport.