Not surprisingly, Friday’s ONE Championship women’s grand prix final kicked off with Ritu Phogat attempting to take down Stamp Fairtex in the opening seconds of the fight.
The ultimate outcome, however, was anything but expected.
The wrestler versus striker battle gave Phogat a clear edge on the ground. But Stamp, a former two sport (Muay Thai and Kickboxing) champ in ONE, fought off that initial takedown attempt. Then another. The Thai striker got a few blows in, mixing in a knee or two, before Phogat drove her up against the fence and changed levels, again looking for a takedown.
That time, though it took a while, Phogat’s persistence paid off. Hoisting Stamp up, Phogat dropped her opponent on her back, though she could not keep her there. The sequence nearly repeated itself a moment later, but Stamp was able to lock up a guillotine while Phogat lifted her up, forcing the Indian fighter to abandon the takedown attempt.
In the second round, Phogat almost immediately got the fight to the mat. It didn’t have the desired result. Stamp quickly threatened to take the back, getting a hook in and trying to slide around her opponent. When she couldn’t make the transition, Stamp instead locked in a tight triangle. Phogat’s corner shouted directions at the wrestler, imploring her to move to the left and work her way out of the submission.
Phogat did — but Stamp trapped an arm next. A very tight arm-bar followed, forcing Phogat to tap for the first time in her career. That gave Stamp Fairtex the victory — and with it, the women’s atomweight grand prix title, and a shot at undisputed atomweight champion ANgela Lee.
That fight is expected to come sometime next year, and has been made all the more interesting by Stamp’s clearly improved grappling game.
Official Result: Stamp Fairtex def. Ritu Phogat by submission (arm-bar), Round 2, 2:14