On Friday, Mar. 24, the striking world will get its long-awaited dream match. ONE flyweighft Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon will try to become a two-sport titleholder when he challenges ONE flyweight kickboxing champion Superlek Kiatmoo9 in the main event of ONE Fight Night 8.
The two Thai superstars have been on a collision course for years, and the time for the fight has never been better than now. Rodtang feels comfortable heading into this kickboxing battle, as his style lends itself to kickboxing, and he believes his comfort with the rules will be a key component to his success on Friday.
“I think kickboxing rules are compatible with my style because knees and elbows are not my forte. I’m good at punching and kicking. In other words, my style [has] always [been] kickboxing. That’s why I enjoy fighting in the kickboxing rule set,” he said.
In recent bouts, fans have noticed Rodtang beginning to employ more strategy against his opponents. Although he still has his trademark aggression, “The Iron Man” has shown more tactics during the action, which bodes well for his upcoming bout.
Ahead of the highly anticipated meeting, Rodtang has been breaking down Superlek’s game and outlining how he intends to make in-match adjustments according to what he sees from the flyweight kickboxing king.
“I’ve fought a lot, and I love to study my opponents ahead of time. So, no matter what my opponent will bring to me, I can adjust my game plan according to the situation. If they charge at me aggressively, I can’t fight them back with brute force. I have to switch my style to be more of a technician. Or if my opponent tries to walk away from me, I will use my aggressive mode and chase him. The trick is to read your opponent first,” he said.
Even though the two stars have been on a path toward one another, it was not an option until they both joined ONE Championship. And after scoring three kickboxing wins in the promotion, Rodtang finally secured the title shot to make the dream a reality.
With heightened expectations surrounding the match, the 13-1 athlete wants fans to tune in for a special night on a massive global stage. The most exciting striker on the planet doesn’t plan to let audience down, and he promises an electric main event.
“I can’t reveal anything that much because we are fighting in kickboxing rules [and the] focus is on scoring from clean shots. If I show my aggression and open up my face too much, I will be easily attacked and lose points,” Rodtang said.
“However, this is a title match, and I will feel very guilty if I give our fans a boring match. Just wait for it. Maybe I’m lucky enough to knock him down first. And then, it’s showtime.”
ONE Fight Night 8: Superlek vs. Rodtang airs live on Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Mar. 24. The event is free for all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers.