With ONE Championship’s arrival at Lumpinee Stadium now confirmed, fans can look forward to incredible matchups at one of the most iconic combat sports venues in the world.
Located in Bangkok, Thailand, the stadium is famed for showcasing the best of the best in Muay Thai – but ONE will deliver much more when the weekly events get underway in January 2023.
Although the local fans in attendance will no doubt witness some of the finest Muay Thai stars in action, the world’s largest martial arts organization can also offer up something new.
With that in mind, here are five fights we’d love to see when ONE Championship kicks off the new partnership at Lumpinee Stadium next year.
#1 Nong-O Vs. Saemapetch II
As a four-division Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion and a multiple-time Fighter of the Year at the famed venue, legendary striker Nong-O Gaiyanghadao would be welcomed back with open arms.
The reigning ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion has crushed all of his opponents since joining the promotion, but #1-ranked Saemapetch Fairtex feels ready to take another shot at the king after an unsuccessful first attempt.
Both men are heavy hitters with fierce punching power that seems to be getting even more dangerous with time.
Their matchup would make for an explosive showcase of Thailand’s national sport – in front of a partisan crowd and a global broadcast audience.
#2 Stamp Fairtex Vs. Janet Todd III
Stamp Fairtex and Janet Todd have split the spoils in their two meetings, so putting them together in a trilogy bout in front of Stamp’s home fans would give their rivalry a great platform to reach its crescendo.
Stamp won their first bout for the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title in 2019, but Todd dethroned the Fairtex star to claim kickboxing gold in their 2020 rematch.
It would be fitting for their rubber match to come under Muay Thai rules given the venue, and with “JT” recently becoming the ONE Interim Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion, there could be gold up for grabs, too.
#3 Rodtang Vs. Superlek Or Panpayak
Rodtang Jitmuangnon is a fan favorite wherever he competes, and the rampaging ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion would draw a passionate crowd close to home.
“The Iron Man” had to withdraw from the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix semifinals, but that paved the way for striking great Panpayak Jitmuangnon to step in.
Either man would be an exciting challenger for the division’s reigning king. Rodtang and Panpayak would have to put aside their team allegiances and go to war, while many think Superlek is “The Iron Man’s” biggest threat.
Either way, it would make for a fascinating tussle.
#4 Superbon Vs. Tang Kai
Why not celebrate ONE’s unique ability to offer up the best of multiple martial arts disciplines by having two reigning World Champions duke it out in a special rules super-fight?
Just like the popular bout between MMA legend Demetrious Johnson and Rodtang earlier this year, Superbon and Tang might be open to switching between MMA, kickboxing, and potentially even Muay Thai.
It would certainly be a spectacle that piques the interest of fans of each sport.
#5 Kade Ruotolo Vs. Garry Tonon
ONE could create some history at Lumpinee Stadium by staging the first elite-level submission grappling contest at the renowned Muay Thai arena.
However, the promotion would have to feature the sport’s most exciting athletes to show the striking-savvy fans that ground battles can be just as intense.
Both men are known for pushing an incredible pace and hunting for submissions. After losing to Kade’s twin brother, Tye Ruotolo, last time out, Tonon would be hungry for redemption, while the rising Ruotolo would be eager to follow his sibling and defeat one of the sport’s icons.