Stamp Fairtex's plan for bringing MMA to Thailand includes a third world title

It should perhaps be no surprise that Thailand’s Stamp Fairtex is a world champion in both kickboxing and muay Thai. After all, in her native country, the striking arts are truly a part of the nation’s fabric.

“Muay Thai is very important in Thailand, especially for the people from the countryside,” Fairtex told MMA Junkie through an interpreter. “It’s our culture, but it’s also a way for people to make a living. It’s become an opportunity for some of the poorer people in the country to make money by learning to fight, and maybe they could even become a world champion.”

That was the path Fairtex took, as well, and at 22 years old, she’s already spent some 17 years training and competing in standup disciplines. But Fairtex wasn’t content. When she heard her gym was looking for female fighters to start competing in MMA, she immediately volunteered.

Her passion for the sport grew quickly as she immersed herself in wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu to help complement the striking skills she already possessed.

“For my standup, I already know everything about muay Thai,” Fairtex said. “Now I ‘m really looking forward to switching to a very strong MMA and ground fighter.”

Fairtex came to ONE Championship as an MMA fighter, but the promotion hosts both kickboxing and muay Thai divisions, as well. Following a successful pro debut in MMA, Fairtex as asked if she’d like to compete for the atomweight world title in each of the disciplines.

She won them both.

“I was looking to compete in MMA, but they gave me a chance to fight for a world title,” Fairtex explained. “Who can turn a title fight down, right?”

In August, Fairtex returned to MMA, scoring a submission win over Asha Roka. She admitted that for a grappling neophyte, winning that way felt far better than the knockout she earned in her MMA debut.

“I want to even be better in my ground game than my muay Thai,” Fairtex said. “I want to win by submission. It’s very challenging.”

On Friday, Fairtex (2-0) competes in MMA again, taking on Bi Nguyen (5-4) at “ONE Championship 102: Masters of Fate,” which streams live on B/R Live from Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.

Nguyen has shown a penchant for brawling in her MMA career but has openly admitted that slugging it out with such a seasoned vet might not be the wisest idea. Fairtex is expecting aggression but ultimately believes Nguyen will be looking to grapple.

“Bi is a pretty strong fighter,” Fairtex said. “She’s an aggressive fighter. She’s going to keep charging toward you, and she has good hands.

“We’ve been really practicing on our takedown defense. We had a new coach come in, D.J. Jackson. We’ve been working a lot with him for wrestling and MMA.”

Fairtex is still interested in defending her striking world titles, as well, but with MMA slowly but surely gaining a foothold in Thailand, she also hopes to help bring more attention to the sport.

What better way to do that than claim another world title.

“I want to get a third belt,” Fairtex said. “I think it will probably take me another three or four fights to get that opportunity, and I want to keep defending my muay Thai and kickboxing belts, too.

“For this fight, I’m just going to even do better than my last fight. I want people to realize ONE is coming, and Stamp Fairtex is coming to the MMA world, too.”

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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