ONE Championship: Predictions, How to Watch Stamp Fairtex vs. Alma Juniku

Haris KruskicContributor IJune 13, 2019

ONE Championship

The atomweight muay thai championship is on the line at ONE: Legendary Quest on Saturday as Stamp Fairtex defends her crown against Alma Juniku in a matchup of two talented athletes transcending their age.

But who are Fairtex and Juniku? How did they get here? What's on the line for both women?

Here is everything you need to know about Stamp Fairtex vs. Alma Juniku.


Muay Thai

First, it's important to understand the differences in this match compared to other mixed martial arts bouts. Since it is a muay thai fight, the competitors are focused on striking through punches, kicks, elbows and knees. Grappling on the ground and wrestling are not allowed.

Instead of five-minute rounds, muay thai has three-minute rounds. Because Fairtex and Juniku are competing with a championship on the line, this match can go up to five rounds. 


Where and How to Watch

The event will be held at Shanghai's Baoshan Arena in China.

Those in the U.S. can watch the contest for free on B/R Live.

The main card starts at approximately 7 a.m. ET.


Main Card

Stamp Fairtex vs. Alma Juniku (ONE atomweight muay thai world championship)

Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Agilan Thani

Zhang Chenglong vs. Tyler Hardcastle (kickboxing)

Han Zi Hao vs. Andrew Miller (muay thai)

Koyomi Matsushima vs. Kwon Won Il 

Tarik Khbabez vs. Anderson Silva (kickboxing)

Reinier De Ridder vs. Gilberto Galvao

Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym vs. Liam Harrison (muay thai)


Stamp Fairtex

ONE Championship

Age: 21

Height: 5'1"

Weight: 115 pounds

Stance: Orthodox

Amateur Record: 62-15-5

ONE Record: 2-0

Don't let her age fool you. Fairtex claims to be a muay thai veteran, with "about 80 (amateur) fights officially" under her belt, as she told Richard Arthur of Fox Sports Asia

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

"When you see an athlete like Stamp, you know right away that she's special." -@RichFranklin 21-year-old phenom Stamp Fairtex defends her muay thai crown this Saturday on #BRLive 🔥➡️ https://t.co/WaOJljGO9i https://t.co/JRKNh4eokl

She loves to put on a show and is unafraid to get inside the heads of her opponents during matches. She manages to back up her talk more often than not and has quickly become a fan favorite.

Although she is also the ONE atomweight kickboxing world champion, Fairtex's bread and butter is muay thai.

The 21-year-old is a physical force, throwing her opponents down with ease by using her long reach to close the distance. She also uses that reach as a defensive advantage, making it difficult for competitors to time strikes and grappling attempts effectively.

This is just the second step of a much larger goal for Fairtex. Not only is she ONE's first two-sport world champion, but she also wants to eventually earn a mixed martial arts title shot.

"It is still a goal for me to win a title in MMA," she told BJPenn.com's Tom Taylor. "I still do mixed martial arts training. I plan to compete under mixed martial arts rules this year, but my team asked if I wanted to compete in a muay thai bout. It's hard to pass on that. ... The goal is to become a three-sport world champion."

The wonderkid has already accomplished plenty in her young career, but she must put her long-term goals to the side for now and continue using her natural attributes to her advantage for the next bout.

The question remains: How will she do against another phenom ready to take her mantle?


Alma Juniku

ONE Championship

Age: 18

Height: 5'4"

Weight: 115 pounds

Stance: Orthodox

Record: 24-4

ONE Record: 0-0

What were you doing at the age of 18? Juniku, an Australian muay thai prodigy who won the WBC bantamweight title on her most recent birthday, is getting ready to compete for a ONE title in her debut with the promotion.

ONE Championship @ONEChampionship

Alma Juniku's 🚀 rise to the top culminates with a shot at Stamp Fairtex's ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title this Saturday! #WeAreONE #LegendaryQuest #Shanghai #MartialArts https://t.co/0ws6ef60d5

"It's not the first time I've been going for a title and fighting in the main event, but I'm really, really excited and thankful that I'm fighting for the belt [in my ONE debut]," Juniku told Tom Taylor of BJPenn.com. "It would mean the world to me to win this title because it would really boost my career. It'd be such a huge accomplishment."

Juniku is an aggressive competitor who prefers to push forward as often as she can, outworking her opponent throughout a bout. Her win against Zaza Sor Aree to capture the WBC strap was a masterclass, as the Aussie dumped the renowned kickboxer to the canvas on multiple occasions. 

Although that is Juniku's most high-profile win, it did come against a natural kickboxer and not a muay thai athlete on the level of Fairtex.

"I know a lot of people are doubting me, but I push forward, and I bring a good fight every time," she said. "I hope to do really well in ONE Championship. I hope to become the champion and remain the champion also."

How will the teenager fare against a two-sport champion who has honed the muay thai craft her entire life?



ONE Championship

Both of these young women appear to be the future of muay thai, and I'd wager a guess this won't be the last time they meet in the ring.

But to favor an 18-year-old who has never been on this big of a stage before against a fearless opponent like Fairtex—who wants nothing more than to put on a show for the crowd through her attack—appears to be quite the mountain for young Juniku to climb.

I'm predicting Fairtex defeats Juniku by unanimous decision to retain the ONE atomweight muay thai world championship.