By Dan Paulo Errazo
Alma Juniku failed to achieve her goal of being victorious in her ONE Championship debut last June 15 in Shanghai, China when she attempted to strip Stamp Fairtex of her ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title in the main event of ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST.
The Australian Muay Thai Champion pushed Stamp to her limits as they exchanged their best strikes for a grueling five-rounds. Despite the commendable efforts from Juniku, the 21-year-old Stamp from Thailand gained the unanimous nod from the judges. Although Juniku was certainly disappointed in the outcome, she was surprisingly very satisfied with her performance.
“I did exactly what we did in practice. I actually worked on movement during the match and it actually confused her a little bit,” Juniku said.
“She looked like she forgot what she was supposed to do. I feel that if I pushed harder in the earlier rounds I could have gotten the win but you know, it’s a lesson learned for me.”
Juniku was surprised with her performance in the clinch knowing that it was one of her weaknesses that her opponent was aware off. The 18-year-old was able to withstand the blows from the reigning champion and do as much damage as she could.
“I admit that clinching is not my greatest strength and she (Stamp Fairtex) knows it,” Juniku said.
“In my opinion, I think I did really well tonight in the clinch compared to my previous fights. I just forced myself to get in there, stay strong as I could, and land as many knees as I could.”
Yet in defeat, it was more than an unforgettable night for the young Australian who had her first taste of performing on the international stage. Juniku may have lost the bout but she feels no regrets as the experience gave her invaluable championship experience.
“I’ll be heading back home with this unforgettable experience,” Juniku concluded.
“Tonight’s match taught me a valuable lesson of what I still lack and that would be kicking. So once I’m back in the gym, I’ll be kicking those pads and starting all over again.”