Rodtang Jitmuangnon is a shining star and one of the world’s most exciting combat sports athletes. “The Iron Man” returns to the ONE Championship Circle on Friday, November 18, at ONE on Prime Video 4: Abbasov vs. Lee. The Thai star will defend his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship against Joseph Lasiri in the night’s co-main event.
Rodtang is happy to welcome the challenge from the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion. The reigning divisional king likens the attempt to his mixed-rules superfight against Demetrious Johnson. There is only reward to be had for the Italian-Moroccan, according to Rodtang.
“If I were him, I would do the same. There is nothing for him to lose, even if he loses that fight. On the contrary, if he wins, he will get a massive reward. It is just like when I accepted to fight with Demetrious Johnson. Although I lost that match, I didn’t feel the loss at all. Because I was willing to take a challenge and risk, but if I had won, I would feel like I have made a great step further,” said Rodtang.
The title tilt will not be Lasiri’s first go in the flyweight division. “The Hurricane” struggled to get consistent wins in the weight class previously, but he is now hitting his stride. Rodtang respects the attempt to move back up and challenge himself. “The Iron Man” understands the reasoning as he has his own goal of challenging himself against other competition.
“He had already lost to many people in the flyweight division before. So, I think it is his determination to challenge himself to win in this division. Like, if you lose to one opponent every time, then you definitely want to beat that guy someday. I understand his feelings. Everyone has their own goal. I, myself, also have my greater challenge waiting for me. After I defend my gold this time, I’m planning to challenge for the kickboxing gold,” said the Thai superstar.
Among those challenges is Takeru Segawa. The multiple-time kickboxing champion recently announced that he was a free agent, and Rodtang quickly called for the Japanese star to sign with ONE. “The Iron Man” wants a match with Takeru in either kickboxing or Muay Thai. Although he sees the Japanese striker as having the edge in kickboxing, Rodtang still has confidence he will find the right gameplan to defeat the former K-1 champion.
“I knew him before because he fought with my old foe, Tenshin [Nasukawa]. After Tenshin announced his retirement in kickboxing, that left me and him (Takeru) to be a good matchup. Our fight will benefit Muay Thai and kickboxing. Also, our fighting style is quite similar. So, I think our fight will be really exciting for the fans who are waiting to see it,” said Rodtang.
In addition to that possible dream match, Rodtang is examining other avenues for greatness. The Thai athlete is already looking toward his next match after Lasiri. Assuming he picks up the victory, Rodtang plans to try his hand against the top kickboxer in ONE.
Currently, that man is Ilias Ennahachi. That is who Rodtang is currently eyeing for a title challenge. However, Ennahachi will first be putting his ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title on the line against Superlek Kiatmoo9 on January 13. Even still, Rodtang is eyeing three-sport gold after ONE on Prime Video 4.
“Getting the kickboxing belt is still in my plans. After I win this upcoming World Title match with Lasiri, I’ll challenge Ilias Ennahachi for the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title next. And if I win, I will go to MMA next,” said Rodtang.
ONE on Prime Video 4: Abbasov vs. Lee airs live and free on Friday, November 18, to all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.