Rodtang Jitmuangnon blew up at ONE Fight Night 10. The ONE Championship flyweight king received thunderous ovations all week and capped it off with a highlight-reel knockout to defend the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship against Edgar Tabares. Every single person in the arena was buzzing, including ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
ONE Boss Talks Rodtang
“You want to see elite level; you see Rodtang. I don’t know if everyone caught it. In the first round, every time he caught [Tabares’] push kick, the guy would throw a spinning elbow. On that third one, he blocked and countered with an elbow. That is technical mastery at the highest, highest level,” Sityodtong said at the post-event press conference.
Following his victory, Rodtang called out Jonathan Haggerty. “The General” just completed his epic upset over Nong-O Hama for the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship. After winning their flyweight series, Rodtang sees an opportunity to move up and capture gold in another weight division.
However, Haggerty has options. Nong-O wants a rematch, and fellow Brit Liam Harrison wants an all-UK battle. Sityodtong is not ready to rush into the first title defense for the newly minted champion and does not see why all of those matches can’t happen in the future.
“I know everybody wants to fight [Jonathan] Haggerty. Nong-O wants to fight Haggerty, Liam [Harrison] wants to fight Haggerty, and now Rodtang wants to fight Haggerty. I need to sit down with my team and figure out what’s best. All those are incredible fights, so I don’t think it has to be either/or. I think we can do all of those fights. It’s just going to be a series of fights. But obviously, I don’t know who’s going to be first,” Sityodtong stated.
But there is another mega-fight for Rodtang that has emerged. After years of callouts between the two striking stars, Rodtang and Takeru Segawa are finally in the same organization together. Earlier in the week, Sityodtong traveled to Tokyo for a press conference to announce the signing.
Undoubtedly, the long-awaited matchup between the two stars would be massive. Sityodtong professed that the plan is to have that bout happen in Japan at some point in the near future. It will be the biggest kickboxing matchup of the year by far if it comes to fruition.
“I’d have to talk to Takeru. I want to see what he really wants to do and stuff, but I think he really wants to fight Rodtang. Right now, Takeru is the biggest combat sports star in Japan, full stop. Full stop, the biggest, he and Tenshin. In terms of kickboxing, definitely by far the biggest since Tenshin moved on to boxing. And I think there’s a lot of interest in Japan for Takeru vs. Rodtang because Rodtang beat Tenshin, and Tenshin beat Takeru. They’re just kind of like a triangle. Takeru gets his star back by beating Rodtang,” Sityodtong said.
And, of course, there is also ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion, Superlek Kiatmoo9. The Thai athlete was on-site at ONE Fight Night 10 as a potential backup but was not needed. However, that all-Thai striking collision is another huge bout waiting for “The Iron Man.”
Having so many massive opportunities only goes to show how huge Rodtang’s star truly is. Fans want to see him compete, no matter where or the opponent. The chants that filled the 1stBank Center only went to prove that Rodtang is unquestionably a superstar.
“If you look at his fan base, I think he has two and a half million followers, and half of them are from America. He doesn’t even speak the language. It’s because he has the charisma. Obviously, he’s pound-for-pound, one of the greatest strikers on the planet, if not the greatest striker on the planet. He comes and entertains, and he knocks people out. He has everything to be the next big global superstar,” Sityodtong said.
You can relive Rodtang’s KO and all of the action on Prime Video. ONE Fight Night 10 is available, for free, on demand. Check out one of 2023’s most spectacular events.