Rodtang “Iron Man” Jitmuangnon is little more than a week removed from his fourth straight win in ONE Championship, but he already knows what his next challenge will be.
At ONE: WARRIORS OF LIGHT on 10 May, the 21-year-old scored a second-round TKO of Sok Thy, which confirmed he will be next in line to challenge newly-crowned ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Jonathan “The General” Haggerty.
Rodtang Jitmuangnon knocks out Sok Thy with a crushing combination at 1:36 of Round 2 to stake his claim to a ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title shot!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 Friday, May 10, 2019
When Rodtang returned to the Circle in his hometown of Bangkok, Thailand, he felt like he had something to prove.
Though he has thrilled fans in each of his matches in the Home Of Martial Arts, he was disappointed not to get a finish, and he feels like an injury has held him back.
However, he was firing on all cylinders at the Impact Arena, and he has no complaints about his performance.
“I finally felt like myself in there,” he exclaims.
“I’m happy to get the win. I felt a lot better, a lot stronger this time around. After back-to-back fights where I didn’t perform to my full potential, it was great to be like the old Rodtang again.”
With Rodtang’s signature aggressive style on full display, Sok Thy had no answer for the offense that came his way. The Kun Khmer Flyweight World Champion was knocked down late in the first round, and then put away midway through the second stanza.
Who's next for Rodtang Jitmuangnon? 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 Friday, 10 May 2019
Rodtang saw his opportunity for a finish early on and is happy about how he stayed patient to seize it.
“I just fought my style. Leading with the hands, hitting the leg, and vice versa,” he explains.
“I think it was the third leg kick that I landed that really hurt him. I saw him lift his leg in pain, and I knew it did its damage. I wasn’t going to be careless though. I was confident and picked my shots – hard, heavy, clean shots.
“After the first knockdown, I stayed calm. With all my experience, I knew what I needed to do. I followed the game plan into round two. I could see him fading, and thought I would be able to knock him out.
“I wanted a knockout because I felt it would guarantee me a World Title shot.”
Following his victory, the “Iron Man” was asked how he felt about facing the man who defeated Sam-A Gaiyanghadao a week earlier to win flyweight gold, and then named Rodtang as the man he wanted to face next in front of a global audience of millions.
Who else wants to see Rodtang Jitmuangnon challenge for Jonathan Haggerty's ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title? Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, 19 May 2019
The man from Phatthalung had no hesitation about answering the challenge, and he is looking forward to facing the Englishman in what should be another incredible flyweight battle.
“I was really happy when he called me out. I want to fight him, and I want a World Title shot. I think it is going to be an incredible match-up,” he explains.
“To fight with Haggerty, I have to be 100 percent confident in myself. I’ll be making sure my body is in top form to help guarantee a win. I’m planning to take my training to the next level for the World Title fight.
“My heart is what will win me the fight. After that, I’ll be using my boxing and leg kicks.”
Although a time and place has yet to be set for the clash of these young warriors, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong has given the green light for the bout to go ahead, so fans can expect an announcement in the coming months.
It will be no easy task to defeat the rangy Haggerty, who shocked the world with his win against an icon of “the art of eight limbs” at ONE: FOR HONOR, but Rodtang is ready to do whatever it takes to make his dream come true.
“Ever since I’ve been training Muay Thai, it has always been my dream to become a World Champion,” he adds.
“This opportunity truly means a lot to me. I need to train harder, fight to my full potential, and bring my very best.”