Asian MMA

Janet Todd On All Kickboxing, Muay Thai Contenders: ‘I Welcome The Challenge’

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ONE Championship will get an interim ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion at ONE 159: De Ridder vs. Bigdash on Friday, July 22. One of the women vying for the crown is reigning ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet Todd.

The American has been going after the Muay Thai title since arriving on the global stage but has never shied away from a challenge.

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And after claiming the kickboxing title, the bullseye has been squarely on her back. With many contenders calling their shot at the queen, the Boxing Works representative embraces the role as one of the top stars in the company.

“I think any title holder or top contender should be ONE’s most wanted, shouldn’t they? So yeah, of course [I feel like one of the most wanted athletes]. And I want to be able to stay on top and continue to fight top-level competition. So I welcome the challenge. It is a compliment,” Todd told ONE.

One of the key factors in Todd’s rise to the top of the sport is her intellect.

Under the tutelage of Bryan Popejoy, Todd has used her mind to consistently stay ahead of her competition. And the California resident credits the constant improvement as one of the key factors as to why she’s been able to compete at the highest level.

“I think that’s the part I love about this sport, too. There are always new people coming up. And once you get the belt, it doesn’t mean that you stay up there. You have to constantly find ways to improve and get better. I’m not perfect in the sport, either,” Todd said.

“It’s always a challenge, and I’m always trying to problem-solve. And I think that’s in my nature to do that. So I think that’s part of the reason why I love this sport so much.”

Standing across from her in the Circle on July 22 will be Lara Fernandez.

The winner will be in line to unify the interim strap with the titleholder, Allycia Hellen Rodrigues, who has been away from action since giving birth to her son.

That is one challenge that Todd is eager to take on as she hopes to become a two-sport World Champion at ONE 159.

“[Rodrigues is] a solid Muay Thai fighter. Watching her fight Stamp [Fairtex to earn the belt] was impressive. She has some immense forward pressure as well. And she is able to utilize all of her weapons. Her elbows, her knees. She had some good body shots as well, body shots, and left kicks with Stamp,” Todd said.

Regardless of the outcome at ONE 159, Todd cannot rest on her laurels. With a win, Todd can begin looking forward to an all-out battle with Rodrigues, but even in defeat, she will have to get right back to work to fend off the oncoming slate of challengers for her kickboxing crown.

As someone who wants nothing more than to compete against the best, Todd is living her best life in 2022.

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