5 Burning Questions Ahead Of ONE Fight Night 8: Superlek vs. Rodtang
ONE Fight Night 8 on Prime Video is ready to deliver another action-packed night of martial arts this Friday, March 24.
Topped by a pair of World Title contests, the stacked 10-fight card will have serious implications for several divisions, and it offers up some exciting storylines that will come to dramatic conclusions inside the Circle.
With event day fast approaching, here are five burning questions for this U.S. primetime showcase at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
#1 Who’s The Best Flyweight Striker In The World?
For years, fans have been clamoring for a matchup between Superlek Kiatmoo9 and Rodtang Jitmuangnon – and the Thai superstars will finally meet in the ONE Fight Night 8 main event.
Adding to the intrigue, this highly anticipated clash comes with both men holding ONE World Titles.
Superlek will make his first ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title defense against Rodtang – the longtime ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion – and the winner will make a strong case to be considered the best flyweight striker on the planet.
Their styles couldn’t be much further apart, but they’re both incredibly effective and carry the kind of power that can instantly turn any bout on its head.
Superlek’s sharp striking will be up against Rodtang’s ruthless aggression, but can the defending king keep his composure in the face of “The Iron Man’s” brute force?
We’ll find out when the Circle door shuts and these elite competitors go head-to-head with gold on the line.
#2 Will Rodrigues Show Rust Following Long Layoff?
Another long-awaited battle is the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title unification bout between reigning queen Allycia Hellen Rodrigues and interim champ Janet Todd.
Rodrigues won the belt back in 2020 when she dethroned Stamp Fairtex, but she then took a long hiatus surrounding the birth of her first child and hasn’t competed since.
The Brazilian claims that her hard training at Phuket Fight Club means she’ll be as sharp and strong as ever, but the gym is not the same as the Circle – and that’s where it matters.
Meanwhile, Todd won three straight fights to claim the interim crown and is riding a seven-fight winning streak overall. She’s hoping to continue that momentum on Friday and push her opponent into uncomfortable situations from the opening bell.
Will Rodrigues be ready for an all-out war, or will she slip and allow “JT” to become the undisputed World Champion?
#3 Is Hirata A True Superstar In The Atomweight MMA Division?
Itsuki Hirata has been touted as a future face of the women’s atomweight MMA division since she joined ONE, and she has a massive opportunity to prove herself on Friday.
The 23-year-old Japanese phenom will take on #2-ranked contender Ham Seo Hee after she missed weight for their originally scheduled matchup last year.
At 36, Ham is an experienced and tough veteran who owns the striking to trouble Hirata, but if the rising star can implement her grappling, she could find a potential route to victory.
A win over “Hamzzang” would guarantee Hirata a spot in the rankings, and a dominant stoppage might even elevate her near the top.
#4 Which Strawweight Strikers Will Emerge As World Title Contenders?
Three all-striking strawweight contests are on the bill, and each of them could produce a top-ranked contender.
Zhang Peimian challenged for the ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title in his last outing and put up an incredible fight against Jonathan Di Bella. He’ll be aiming for a rematch with the reigning king if he can get past Russia’s Torepchi Dongak.
Danial Williams and Rui Botelho will square off under Muay Thai rules, and while Williams has focused more on MMA of late, he’s a former WMC Muay Thai World Champion and owns the #5 ranking in ONE’s strawweight Muay Thai division.
Botelho has gone the distance with the likes of Superlek, Panpayak Jitmuangnon, and Taiki Naito, so beating him would make a major statement.
Finally, Ekaterina Vandaryeva and Iman Barlow will throw down in the women’s strawweight Muay Thai ranks.
Following a debut KO win and holding a stellar 96-6 career record, Barlow is hoping for a shot at Smilla Sundell, and she might just get her chance if she can dispatch the durable Belarusian.
#5 Can Undefeated MMA Debutants Live Up To The Hype?
A pair of unbeaten MMA fighters will step into the Circle for the first time, and there are plenty of insiders who believe they can become stars in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
Akbar Abdullaev meets Oh Ho Taek in a featherweight bout, while Keito Yamakita debuts against Alex Silva at strawweight.
Kyrgyzstan’s Abdullaev is 8-0 with all of his wins coming inside the distance – mostly by KO. He now gets his toughest test to date against the man known as “Spider.”
Yamakita enters with a 7-0 slate and a DEEP Title to his credit, but he’ll go up against former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex Silva in his first outing.
If the Japanese athlete can get past Silva – a decorated veteran who’s consistently proven himself against the best – the hype will certainly be justified.