ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon and seven other top strikers will compete in the first-ever ONE flyweight Muay Thai grand prix beginning on May 20, per ONE Championship. Announced over the weekend by ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, eight athletes will take to the global stage next month in what is sure to be one of the most exciting fields in martial arts.
Competing for the tournament’s silver belt will be Rodtang, Jonathan Haggerty, Superlek Kiatmoo9, Walter Goncalves, Taiki Naito, Savvas Michael, Jacob Smith, and Amir Naseri.
“On May 20, ONE will kick off its first-ever world grand prix championship in Muay Thai with the greatest 8-man global tournament ever assembled in the history of the sport,” wrote Sityodtong. “Without a doubt, this tournament will break all viewership records ever seen for Muay Thai on the world’s largest stage of martial arts, and ignite the sport to new heights around the world.
“Muay Thai has been my greatest love for more than 35-plus years as a student, a competitor, a teacher, a coach, a promoter, and now a CEO. It is truly the honor of my life to lead the sport of Muay Thai around the world and help to grow it for our beloved community everywhere.”
With Rodtang competing in the tournament while also holding the division’s gold strap, Asia’s largest sports media property announced that should he lose at any stage, the eventual winner of the grand prix will earn a shot at his belt following its conclusion.
Having the champion in the mix will give the other competitors a chance to size him up for a potential title showdown, and Rodtang will be able to do the same as he competes for a second belt, adding an innovative twist to this momentous occasion.
The grand prix begins with the quarterfinals on May 20, and the first round will feature an outstanding slate of matchups.
Naseri will make his ONE debut against former WBC and WMC Muay Thai world champion Michael, Superlek takes on Naito, top-ranked contender Haggerty squares off against Goncalves, and Smith gets the first crack at Rodtang.
Muay Thai in four-ounce gloves has been one of the most exciting elements introduced to martial arts in recent years, and now fans can see it on full display thanks to this outstanding flyweight tournament beginning on May 20.
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