Stamp Fairtex knows second fight with Alyona Rassohyna will be harder than the first.
FanSided spoke to Stamp Fairtex one of the women competing in the ONE Empower tournament on Friday. The winner of the tournament will face ONE Championship champion Angela Lee, who will return from maternity leave, at the completion of the tournament.
Fairtex answered questions through a translator and the entire Q & A can be found here.
It’s been a long wait for ONE Empower, how are you feeling now that it’s finally happening?
Nothing I can say more than I’m ready both physical and mental. I’ve been extremely focused on my MMA game, especially this year. I can say I’m ready to fight anyone, including Angela [Lee]. I’ve been training non-stop.Sta
There have been some changes to the line-up, has that affected the way you are preparing for the event?
Nope, not at all.
You are a fan favorite here in the United States, does knowing you have the support of the fans mean something to you?
Yes, to have my fans and family support helps motivate me to be better fighter every day. I want to get the belt, this is not just for me but also for my people who always support me.
This is a historic card for ONE and WMMA as a whole, what does it mean to you to be a part of it?
It’s such an honor for me to be selected to participate among the top eight female martial artists in this tournament. I’m happy to be able to represent Thailand. This is something that I’m very proud of.
You will be fighting Alyona Rassohyna again, how have you both changed since your first fight?
It will be a tougher fight for me this time around, for sure. I know her now, and she knows me. She’ll make some adjustments and so will I. However, I think her cardio isn’t too good, so I’ll try to knock her out as fast as I can.
Do you feel the fight will be different from the first? How so?
I know what I can do in the Circle, and I’m planning to go back to my strengths, which is going back to my striking rather than my ground game. She’s a great grappler. I’ve improved a lot with my takedown and submission defense, because we don’t know how this fight will go.
What is your prediction for your fight with Alyona Rassohyna?
The armbar is still her biggest threat, but I believe she’s coming into this fight more improved all around. I can’t underestimate her.
There’s no doubt the ground game will be the most difficult aspect of this fight. But I’ll focus on striking because this is my strength, especially my elbow and knee strikes. Whether I win this fight by decision or by knockout, I have to win. I’m determined to.
Who do you think the toughest woman to beat at ONE Empower will be?
Itzuki Hirata. As I think she is well-rounded athlete. She got both striking and ground game. I think she would be the toughest in my opinion.
Looking ahead to a potential fight with Angela Lee, what do you envision that fight could look like?
She has a very good ground game which will be one of the most difficult fight for me. But however, I’ll just need to improve more on my ground game and as well as keep training on my striking since it’s my strengths. However, it will be a dream if I win this tournament and face Angela for the belt. She’s my idol and if we fight, I do not care if I win or lose. I just want the chance.
What would it mean to you to defeat Angela?
I would say, it will be the best thing in my life.