Vietnamese-American atomweight Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen believes second-ranked Thai contender Stamp Fairtex has the edge against Indian MMA fighter Ritu Phogat ahead of their ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship Final on Friday.
“I believe Stamp [Fairtex] is more dangerous now. She has improved on the ground immensely. Ritu [Phogat] has done well, but I believe Stamp has become more well-rounded,” Nguyen, who has faced both Stamp and Phogat in the Circle, said.
Nguyen faced Stamp in November 2019, dropping a unanimous decision to the former ONE Atomweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion after a three-round battle.
Meanwhile, “Killer Bee” figured in a much closer affair against “The Indian Tigress” Phogat earlier this year, when she edged out the Indian wrestling champion by split decision.
Weighing in on what the fighters will need to come out on top in the upcoming bout, Nguyen said that Stamp would need to work on her footwork and Phogat on her defence.
“If I was Stamp, I would work on my footwork. You cannot stand still against a high level wrestler like Ritu. If Stamp could move more, she would do a lot of damage with her strikes. On the other end, Ritu needs to tighten up her defense coming in for the takedown. She needs to get Stamp down, and keep her down,” she said.
The ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix began with eight of the world’s best atomweight fighters in September. The winner of the tournament will go on to face Singaporean-American “Unstoppable” Angela Lee for the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title in 2022.
With her style and skill sets, Nguyen reckons Stamp stands a better chance than Phogat of claiming the world title from Lee.
“I think stylistically, Stamp has a better chance [at beating Angela Lee]. She has more tools. You can try to defend on the ground against Angela, but she can also beat Angela on the feet, whereas Ritu will have a hard time because her strength is wrestling, and Angela is a dangerous submission artist.”
ONE: Winter Warriors goes down this Friday night, December 3, live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium. In the main event, ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion Regian Eersel defends the belt against Russian sensation Islam Murtazaev.
- Karun Nair hopes for a national comeback after career reset with Vidarbha
- Vijay Hazare Trophy LIVE Score, Round 7: TN qualifies for quarterfinals; Karnataka needs 125 to win; Bengal collapses vs Punjab
- NBA: LeBron James, Lakers relish tourney matchup vs. Suns
- Pakistan board gives Rauf green light for short Big Bash stint
- India’s series win vs Australia highlights squad depth and leadership potential ahead of T20 World Cup