‘She’s an Above Average Fighter’ – Stamp Fairtex Shares Her Thoughts on Her Next Opponent Julie Mezabarba

Published 10/05/2021, 7:03 AM EDT


A sudden change of opponent isn’t going to faze Thailand’s Stamp Fairtex. The former two-sport ONE world champion has been through it all, having held the atomweight Muay Thai and kickboxing belts, and now chasing a third one in mixed martial arts competition.

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So when she heard her original opponent, Seo Hee Ham, wasn’t going to make it to their semifinal showdown in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix, Stamp was ready and able to take on who was going to step up to the plate.

Enter Brazil’s Julie Mezabarba, who beat veteran Mei Yamaguchi at ONE: Empower to earn her spot in the tournament as an alternate. Stamp will face Mezabarba on October 29 in a battle of talented strikers.

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“She’s an orthodox fighter, and has good strong punches. She’s also quite fast. We have a lot of the same qualities. I think she’s a good fighter, and I’m excited to face her in the Circle,” Stamp said of Mezabarba.

Mezabarba was originally scheduled to face #1-ranked atomweight Denice Zamboanga, but after Seo Hee Ham was forced to withdraw her position due to an injury suffered in training, the Brazilian was tapped to replace the South Korean instantly.

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Like Stamp, Mezabarba favors striking over grappling, so fans can expect plenty of fireworks when the two meet in the Circle. The Thai superstar laid out her thoughts on their coming matchup.

“Her best weapon has to be her striking, of course, although we haven’t seen much of her ground game, so I’m not sure of her skill level in this. She has tremendous knees and elbows, and she mixes the two very well. I noticed that after throwing her knees, she likes to suddenly attack with elbows,” Stamp said.

“I think my kicks are much better and much more powerful, I know how to use distance to my advantage, and I have more experience in striking. She has good boxing, but I am a better fighter. I don’t think anyone can match me in striking. At the same time, I just can’t underestimate her.”

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A victory for Stamp would propel her into the final round of the high-profile tournament, where she would face the winner between Ritu Phogat and Itsuki Hirata.

If she captures the tournament title, Stamp will have booked a date with reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, and a chance to realize her dream of becoming a historic three-sport world champion.

But Stamp isn’t looking past Mezabarba by any means, and knows the legitimate threat the Brazilian poses.

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I’m expecting a very tough fight. I’m not taking her lightly at all. After studying her style, looking at her strengths and weaknesses, I think this fight is going to be tactical, and I won’t be surprised if it goes the distance,” Stamp said.

“She beat Mei Yamaguchi for a reason, and she’s dangerous. But I also think that’s partly because of her size advantage. She’s big for the division, but she definitely has good skills. If I were to gauge her, she’s an above-average fighter.”

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ONE Championship returns on Friday, October 15, with ONE: First Strike, featuring a battle for the inaugural ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship between Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan and Superbon. Also, the quarterfinal round of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix commences with eight of the best kickboxers in the world.

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Arman Khan

171 articles

Arman Khan is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He began following combat sports when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor competed in 'The Money Fight' in 2017. 'The Notorious' attracted Arman to the UFC and he became an ardent fan of professional fighting as he could draw parallels with the action from his combat sports experience and break down techniques such as striking and striking defense lucidly for the casual fans.

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