Stamp Fairtex has been at the top of the martial arts world and tasted the sweetest of successes. But, even at 25 years old, the Thai has experienced devastating stumbles that have shown her the reality of being a professional athlete.
In 2020, Stamp held the ONE women’s atomweight kickboxing and Muay Thai world titles, but she lost both in quick succession to Janet Todd and Allycia Hellen Rodrigues, respectively. That served to compound other problems she was struggling with.
“That time, I was utterly devastated. I lost two golds and was going through a difficult time in my personal life. I felt defeated and felt like I didn’t want to do anything anymore. I wanted to isolate myself and needed some time to think. I really was not okay,” Stamp told ONE Championship.
What the young martial artist needed was what many of those who are starting of in the fight game fail to give themselves — time.
“I just told myself, ’Give me a moment to rest, so I can regain my faith and become a better Stamp,’” she recalled.
When Stamp returned to action in 2021, she was refreshed. She took home the ONE atomweight world grand prix belt that year and became the top contender for the division’s top prize, which gave her chance to become the ONE’s first three-sport champion.
Although she faltered against Angela Lee when she came to challenge the longtime queen at ONE X in Mar. 2022, the Thai sensation looked outstanding and went down swinging.
Since then, she has been near-perfect, and she’ll try her hand to claim the interim ONE women’s atomweight MMA championship on Friday, Sep. 29, at ONE Fight Night 14 against Ham Seo Hee.
Having gone through a rough patch personally and professionally, Stamp has advice for those who look to her for inspiration.
“I would like to advise others to give themselves a ton of encouragement. Many people might receive a lot of encouragement from others but not from themselves, so they can’t heal their heart,” Stamp said.
“I want them to try to think positively. Don’t let negative thoughts overwhelm you and make you unhappy.”
Her advice extends beyond those competing in martial arts. Ahead of her bid for history, she wants to encourage those battling dark days to find light through exercise in whatever form best suits them.
“Exercise can help because it’s a good way to express your feelings. It makes you focus on what’s in front of you because you have to focus on controlling your body or movement,” Stamp said.
“Not just Muay Thai or MMA – any exercise can help you stay mentally healthy, and it’s also good for your body.”
ONE Fight Night 14 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, Sep. 29. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and is free for all Amazon Prime members based in the U.S. and Canada.
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