When ONE Championship turns the lights back on inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium for ONE Fight Night 8, a long-awaited atomweight Muay Thai war will help bolster the card. Allycia Hellen Rodrigues returns to battle Janet Todd, with the winner walking out as the undisputed queen. The ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship will finally be unified in what promises to be an incredible battle.
After claiming the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title, Rodrigues took time away from action and became a mother. Motherhood has given her more motivation, and the time away from competition has allowed her more time to improve upon her skills. As her return nears, the Brazilian striker is becoming more motivated each time she steps into the gym.
“I certainly had more time to work on some things and improve others that I already felt comfortable doing. Anxiety is part of it, right? It’s been a long time since my last fight, so the desire to fight is getting stronger. And I try to put that desire more and more into each training session,” said Rodrigues.
The two were initially scheduled for a unification bout last December, but Todd was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. After being quickly rescheduled, Todd must be sharp to contend with the 24-year-old. Rodrigues says she has used the extra time to improve her boxing but also sees a decided advantage in the clinch.
“I feel very comfortable with my elbow and kicking game because it’s something I can do really well. But I’ve also been working a lot on my boxing. This postponement of the fight helped me to have more time to improve my boxing even more. I’ve been training every day since the postponement of the fight,” said the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion.
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Although the Phuket Fight Club star is wary of Todd’s power and skill, she is supremely confident she will reestablish herself as the top atomweight Muay Thai striker in the world. The Brazilian plans an emphatic knockout in her return to the Circle. But her return is about more than just making a statement to the division.
For Rodrigues, the return is about reclaiming her throne and continuing to build her legacy. She is in the sport to compete against other champions and top contenders. Doing that, and taking the undisputed crown home, is everything she has ever wanted.
“It represents my whole story – getting to where I am now, fighting at one of the biggest events in the world, and showing that I’m the champion and that I’m back to stay. Fighting the best and being able to defend my title with all my strength is my dream,” said Rodrigues.
ONE Fight Night 8 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, March 24. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT from the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The event is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.