When Stamp Fairtex and Anissa Meksen stand across from each other this weekend history will be made.
For the first time two women will face off in a ONE Championship mixed rules match at atomweight – and the anticipation could not be higher.
With a Bangkok crowd behind her, Thai fighter Fairtex believes this is just another step on her path as a combat sports pioneer, while French Algerian Meksen will be looking to confirm her legendary kickboxing status in the groundbreaking match.
For Fairtex, it is a fight close to a year in the making, having told ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong of her willingness to fight mixed rules having watched Demetrius Johnson and Rodtang clash in the new format for the first time.
That was in March last year, and now the time has come to write that new piece of history herself.
“The day I fought with Angela Lee was the same day Rodtang fought with Demetrious. Chatri [Sityodtong, ONE Chairman and CEO], came to talk with me, and I told him that I was willing to take part in this kind of special fight. What I asked for came true. This is a new challenge for me, and it will push me to the limit.
“It will be a great opportunity to write a new page in my history book, to create my own legacy.”
To do so in Thailand, at Bangkok’s Impact Arena – is even more special to the former ONE Super Series Atomweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion, and current World Grand Prix Champion – but comes with its own unique set of pressures.
With two rounds of Muay Thai and two rounds of MMA alternating, Fairtex believes she has the upper hand. The former MMA champion will be a clear favourite if the fight goes to the ground, but with kickboxing and Muay Thai titles to her name her stand-up credentials should not be underestimated – even against the super-talented Meksen.
“ It is a great challenge for me to see if I could take her down or submit her. Moreover, this event will happen in Thailand,” said Fairtex. “I feel really pressured, but also very happy at the same time. I’m happy because I will fight in front of my family, teammates, and Thai fans. On the other hand, it’s a pressure on my shoulders because I have to fight with a very strong opponent.
“But I feel like this pressure is positive for me, because it makes me eager to win.”
Meksen, on the other hand, is expecting a short night’s work.
““My goal is to finish her, 100 percent,” she said. It doesn’t matter during which round, but a first-round [finish] would be good. So my goal is to finish her in the first round. [Fans can expect] a quick fight.”
She has also fanned the flames in the lead up to the fight questioning Fairtex’s career credentials – suggesting they do not stack up against her own accomplishments. With a fierce reputation before arriving in ONE, Meksen has now backed it up with three consecutive wins and is not willing to let that record slip.
““Before [Stamp] entered ONE Championship, I’m sorry to say it, but she was nothing. She had no title, no fame, and when she entered ONE, ONE built her, built her career.
“It’s not the same for me. I took everybody out [who was in] my way. I did not choose opponents, nothing. So we will see if she’s the bigger star.”
This is a very special fight on a very special night – and one not to be missed.
ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon v Allazov takes place Saturday January 14 4am GST at the Impact Arena, Bangkok. This is a night not to be missed so mark your calendars, download the ONE Super App, and go to watch.onefc.com now!