ONE flyweight Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon is finally set to meet kickboxing king Superlek Kiatmoo9 in a colossal clash that has been highly anticipated for over a year. The two will square off at ONE Friday Fights 34 on Friday, Sep. 22, inside Bangkok, Thailand’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.
The scintillating matchup has been scheduled in the past, but it never came to fruition, and it looked less and less likely when Rodtang began to say that he would prefer not to face his compatriot as he wanted all Thai athletes to hold world titles.
This gave way to some thought that he may be ducking the ONE flyweight kickboxing world champion. But, in an interview with ONE Championship, “The Iron Man” assured everyone that that was the furthest thing from the truth.
“When the matchmaker offers the fight, we have to accept it. We are fighters. If they think the right time has come for us to fight each other, let’s make it happen,” Rodtang said.
“I already knew that someday we would have to face each other because there’s no one left in the rankings except Superlek and the newcomer, Takeru. And now Jonathan Haggerty is in another division [bantamweight].”
“So, I have to fight with Superlek, for sure. It is not just the fans who anticipate this fight. I do too.”
The two share a bond outside of the ring. However, those good feelings will now be put aside –at least for 15 minutes.
Rodtang has no issue competing against a friend and sharing the spotlight. And what happens in competition is purely sport, according to the man himself.
“It’s not hard at all [to compete against a friend]. Outside the ring, we are brothers in arms. We respect each other. But when we have to fight, we will leave the friendship behind. We will never let friendship influence us, as we are fighters in the ring,” the Thai superstar said.
“The Iron Man” is an undeniable superstar who is transcending his sport. But in his upcoming world title defense, many view him as the underdog.
With the naysayers shouting from the rooftops that his reign could come to an end, he is brushing the dirt off his shoulder and giving it no additional thought.
“I don’t care about those comments. I just go there to do my job and do my best,” Rodtang stated.
“I don’t want to silence anyone. Let them watch me in the ring. If Superlek happens to make a mistake, I can knock him out. It’s just as simple as that.”
ONE Friday Fights 34 airs live and free across ONE Championship platforms on Friday, Sep. 22. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. ET/5: 30 a.m. PT.
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