Asian MMA

Rodtang Prepared For Everything Demetrious Johnson Has To Offer At ONE X

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One of the premier matchups at ONE X, ONE Championship‘s 10-anniversary spectacular, is a mixed rules superfight between ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Demetrious Johnson.

Rodtang Prepared For Demetrious Johnson

The stature of both men and the unique rule set has put the contest under the microscope as it captures the attention of the martial arts world.

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Most expect a finish in the first two rounds. The prevailing thought is that Rodtang will score a knockout in the first or that Johnson will earn a submission in the second. However, the Thai legend is putting in the hard work to be prepared for however long the match goes.

“I feel exhausted. I’ve never practiced this hard. I enjoy practicing, but watching my opponent’s videos made me nervous,” confessed Rodtang.

“What if I have to deal with his speed? How do I survive? Because if DJ can take his opponent down, he will move and change positions all the time. Like [go for an] anaconda choke, and I don’t have MMA experience. Yes, I practice some MMA, but I have to practice Muay Thai as well.”

Knowing he may have to deal with Johnson’s incredible all-around game in the second and fourth rounds, Rodtang has been put through the wringer by his coaches. Going through this camp, the reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion has gained more respect for the training it takes to be a mixed martial artist.

“I used three coaches, [learned to] defend myself from takedowns, did sparring, and learned the do’s and don’ts when facing DJ. It’s quite a hard job,” admitted Rodtang.

“I have DJ Jackson as my main coach. He’s my sparring partner. I had to train with a 70-kilogram foreigner who was trying to take me down all the time. I had to run 20-30 kilometres uphill and then bike and run full speed for 30 minutes.”

“It was the hardest training in my career. The Iranian coach told me that when he was young if he did not follow orders, his father would slap him hard. Now he uses the same method with me. This hard training made me so much stronger (and also a bit sick).”

While the Thai star is training for the ground game, he understands that will be his weakness against “Mighty Mouse.” But if he does end up on his back, do not expect Rodtang to roll over and admit defeat.

“What I can answer is I won’t give up easily. If you can get me on the ground, you have to beat me until I die or choke me to sleep. Otherwise, I will not give up,” said Rodtang.

“Anyway, if he thinks he can come close to me, I would not let him take me down easily. Let’s eat my punches first, and he will know if he dares to come close. If he can survive my Muay Thai. He needs to submit me in round two. Otherwise, he will be out of luck.”

Under ONE Super Series rules, yellow cards can be a factor in the Muay Thai portion of the match. While Johnson may want to utilize his movement and stay on the outside, he will be forced to engage.

“He is fast. He hits and runs. He always tricks his opponent with a punch and then takes them down. I won’t stand still and let him trick me. If he keeps running away from me in the first round, I hope he will get a yellow card,” said Rodtang.

“It doesn’t matter if he’s a legend in MMA. As long as I’m breathing, if my arm or leg hasn’t broken, I’ll fight to the end. Everyone has a weakness. It’s up to who will miss first. Maybe my weakness [in MMA] is something I can use to kill him.”

Rodtang expects Johnson to steal some of Jonathan Haggerty‘s game plan for the Muay Thai sections of the bout and utilize his speed and movement. The flyweight king also acknowledges that Johnson has power that he has to be mindful of during exchanges as well.

And that is what excites Rodtang about the matchup. He is challenging himself against the best in the world.

“It’s a good opportunity, but on the other hand, should I ask the ONE matchmakers how it feels for them when I accepted this offer? I want to ask them if they were proud that DJ and I accepted this offer, even though I have no MMA experience and he has no Muay Thai experience,” said the Thai star.

“But we dare to take a fight like this, while the UFC doesn’t dare to hold a fight like this. For me, I’m proud. It will be my milestone when I fight with the world’s best 12-time MMA champion.”

“This fight will prove that I can do well in MMA or not. If I could survive in the second round with a legend like DJ, it would be amazing to me. So in the future, I can say I’m ready to fight with everyone.”

The highly-anticipated matchup is set to awe cards on Saturday, March 26, from the Singapore Indoor Stadium. This is one match every combat sports fan needs to see.

ONE X airs live on Saturday, March 26, beginning with ONE X: Part I at 1:00 a.m. ET/10:00 p.m. PT on

ONE X: Part II begins at 5:00 a.m. ET/2:00 a.m. PT.

ONE X: Grand Finale concludes the evening on pay-per-view on at 8:00 a.m. ET/5:00 a.m. PT.

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