ONE: Empower’s Stamp Fairtex Wanted Rassohyna Rematch “As Soon As Possible”

In the opening round of ONE Championship’s atomweight grand prix, Stamp Fairtex finds herself in a rematch with the only woman to defeat her in MMA, Alyona Rassohyna.

And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I really wanted my rematch with her as soon as possible,” Fairtex told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview ahead of ONE: Empower, where the grand prix kicks off. “Because I feel like, in the last fight, I shouldn’t have lost that fight. And somehow, I feel like it was just unlucky for me to have lost that fight. I will show everyone in this fight that I’m going to win.”

Despite the loss being the first of her pro MMA career, there wasn’t much of a mental setback for Fairtex. “I was ready since the day that I lost. So I really need to compete with her, as soon as possible. Even the day after I lost.”

Since the first fight, Fairtex has been working on takedown defense, and defending Rassohyna’s arm-bar. “I need to defend myself, [when she tries] to take me down. Then her [striking], and of course her arm-bar. This is really, really her strength, and I cannot forget about it.”

While her 5-1 record leaves her as one of the most inexperienced fighters in the tournament, Fairtex believes her Muay Thai experience should level the playing field.

“I think it’s quite a benefit for me in this grand prix match, because Muay Thai also helps me keep the distance in when competing in my rematch with Alyona, when I’m defending myself [from] her taking me down,” Fairtex explained. “The other athletes might have BJJ, most of the women in the grand prix have strength in BJJ, but me, just me alone has Muay Thai as my strength. So it’s quite a benefit for me.”

The Empower card, originally slated for May but pushed back to September due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, is the first all-female event from a major promotion outside of Invicta FC.

“For me, to compete in such a big card, this is very meaningful to me, because all of the athletes in this fight card, all of the women in this fight card from ONE Championship, we can tell the world that anything that men can do, we also can do at the same level,” Fairtex replied when asked what the occasion meant to her. “We can [have the same] success as men’s success.”

As for how she’s approaching the tournament, “I will not underestimate [Rassohyna] again in this fight.”

“I will try to finish her in the early rounds,” said Fairtex, who is aiming for a first or second round stoppage. “I will put more [emphasis] on my striking, because this is my strength to finish. Let’s say I’m trying to finish her as quickly as I can.”

Watch our full interview with Stamp Fairtex ahead of ONE Championship’s Empower card above. The event takes place September 3, 2021 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.