Johnson tips Stamp to seal World Grand Prix title
published : 3 Dec 2021 at 04:00
newspaper section: Sports
Singapore: Mixed martial arts fans have been chomping at the bit in anticipation of today's final of the ONE atomweight World Grand Prix Championship between Thailand's Stamp Fairtex and Ritu "The Indian Tigress" Phogat.
The bout takes place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and none other than 12-time MMA world champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson will be tuning in to catch all the action.
Johnson is all too familiar with MMA tournaments, having won the ONE flyweight World Grand Prix Championship in 2019. Therefore, his predictions carry plenty of weight.
With that said, he is siding with No.2 Stamp to win the Grand Prix, the accompanying silver belt, and the promised shot at current ONE atomweight world champion "Unstoppable" Angela Lee.
"If I had to pick one, I'm going to go with Stamp Fairtex," Johnson said.
"She's just huge for the weight class. I think she's bigger, [and] a better striker."
But the American is not discrediting fourth-ranked Phogat either.
Like most others who have seen Phogat compete inside the circle, Johnson knows she is an ace on the ground.
After all, she is a former Indian wrestling champion. Moreover, Phogat has used her ground game to power her to a 7-1 MMA record in just two years.
But even with those accomplishments, the Kentucky-born fighter does not see it help Phogat get past former Muay Thai star Stamp from Pattaya.
"Obviously, Ritu is a phenomenal wrestler," he said. "But I truly feel Stamp is just really big for that division."
This showdown will not be the first time Phogat is up against an opponent who she has not supposed to beat.
Likewise, this also is not the first time that Stamp is facing a strong grappler.
They are both at their peak and hungry to accomplish their goals.
Stamp wants to become a three-sport world champion while Phogat aspires to become India's first female MMA world champion.
But according to Johnson, there can only be one winner.
"I'm going to go with Stamp," he said. "Good luck."
Tonight's programme will be shown live on the ONE Super App, YouTube and AIS Play from 7.30pm, and on Thairath TV32 at 9.30pm.