Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon certainly lived up to his nickname on Sunday, 31 March.
It was a closely-contested battle inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan, but the 21-year-old did just enough to claim a split decision victory.
Thai phenom Rodtang Jitmuangnon outstrikes Hakim Hamech to win via split decision and remain undefeated in ONE Super Series!Watch the full event on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, 31 March 2019
Rodtang opened up the bout by attacking the Frenchman’s lead leg with low kicks, and he also utilized a strong teep to keep the taller man at bay.
However, Hamech began to find his range with counter-punches — in particular, a solid jab and cross, which saw his right hand crash into the Thai’s jaw several times.
The Jitmuangnon Gym representative diversified his attack a little bit more. He worked his rival’s body with left kicks and punches, while Hamech continued on the offensive with his boxing prowess.
Hamech was effective with his straight right again in round two, using it as a reply to his opponent’s left kick.
“The Iron Man” changed up his tactics to try and negate the Frenchman’s range. He blasted his way into the clinch with tight hooks and elbows.
When they tied up, Rodtang worked with knees and sweeps to damage the body and assert his dominance.
Hamech never backed away, however. He continued returning fire, and connected with solid hooks and uppercuts.
Rodtang knew his work in close quarters was effective, so he stuck with that plan in round three and dumped his adversary to the canvas several times.
When Hamech was standing, however, he was relentless with his punching attack.
Both athletes were content to stand in the pocket and unload stinging hooks to the head and body.
The Thai unleashed his elbow strikes, while Hamech used his remaining reserves of energy to land tight uppercuts through the middle.
It was a furious pace from start to finish, and both men were impressive with their output.
The judges were torn after three rounds of action, but two of them sided with the Jitmuangnon Gym representative.
Rodtang was awarded the split decision, which gave the two-time Omnoi Stadium Muay Thai World Champion his third straight ONE Super Series victory and his 256th win overall.