5 Major Takeaways From ONE Friday Fights 34: Rodtang Vs. Superlek
The world’s largest martial arts organization kicked off three straight weeks of blockbuster events with ONE Friday Fights 34: Rodtang vs. Superlek at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, on September 22, and the 11-bout extravaganza did not disappoint at all.
Fans across the globe were mesmerized by the long-awaited Muay Thai Super Fight between ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon and ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Superlek Kiatmoo9.
However, there were several other athletes who captivated the global fan base and left the Thai capital with statement-making victories that will undoubtedly take their careers to another level.
With that in mind, here are five major takeaways from the biggest edition of ONE Friday Fights yet.
Rodtang, Superlek Deliver On Monumental Hype
The weight of expectations for the biggest Muay Thai fight in the past 50 years could have been too heavy of a burden for Rodtang and Superlek to carry, but the duo made it seem like a feather, as they produced one of the most entertaining battles in ONE Championship history.
For three breathless rounds, the Thai megastars slugged it out in a give-and-take battle.
Rodtang sliced Superlek open with an elbow in the ultra-competitive first stanza, but “The Kicking Machine” simply smiled and knocked down his compatriot in the second to tip the scales in his favor. Then in the third and final frame, both men unloaded everything they had left in their arsenals to the delight of the fans, who erupted any time a strike was thrown.
After nine of the most exciting minutes of martial arts action that anyone will ever see, Superlek edged out the reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion in their non-title super fight.
The matchup certainly delivered on the hype, and it left athletes, pundits, and fans clamoring for more. This could, perhaps, be just the beginning of a brand new rivalry.
Prajanchai Eyes Two-Sport Gold
Both reigning ONE Interim Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion Prajanchai PK Saenchai and three-time ISKA Kickboxing World Champion Akram Hamidi entered their strawweight kickboxing clash with the hope to emerge as the next potential challenger to the divisional crown.
Ultimately, the Thai star did enough to possibly be that man, as he walked away with the unanimous decision nod.
Though not satisfied with his own performance, Prajanchai’s brilliant combinations, versatile striking, incredible speed, and shocking power stymied the French-Algerian dynamo. By the time the match concluded, the Thai proved he had the skills to compete – and defeat – the world’s best strikers in yet another sport.
Like fans everywhere, the 28-year-old’s eyes will be locked on the upcoming ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Championship bout at ONE Fight Night 15 on Prime Video, as undefeated titleholder Jonathan Di Bella defends the belt against Thai-Aussie contender Danial Williams on October 6.
Kulabdam Is A Threat To All
Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai was a man on a mission from the opening bell against Tyson Harrison. As a former two-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion, he was out to defend his home turf and did so in impressive fashion.
Harrison had been a breakout star on ONE Friday Fights and claimed some incredible wins, including a pair of awe-inspiring knockout victories. But Kulabdam walked through him like a hot knife through butter, with his left hands echoing off the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium walls each time they collided with the tall Aussie’s flesh.
At the end of the opening stanza, the damage on Harrison’s face was evident, and both doctors and the referee gave him a close inspection. Ultimately, the contest was waved off before the second round could even begin.
It was a decisive win for Kulabdam, and it proved that the 24-year-old’s hands – especially his “Left Meteorite” – will always make him a threat to anyone who stands across the ring from him.
Seksan Is Ready For U.S. Primetime
Overture, curtains, lights, Seksan Or Kwanmuang is ready for the U.S. primetime audience.
“The Man That Yields To No One” kept his ONE Championship record spotless with a unanimous decision nod over Amir Naseri in their 140-pound catchweight Muay Thai contest. For three straight rounds, he showed the global fan base why he has become Mr. Friday Night.
But after six heart-racing performances on the weekly ONE Friday Fights event series, the next stage could await him. A spot on a ONE Fight Night on Prime Video card should be in the Thai veteran’s future.
Seksan has consistently thrilled the Asia primetime audience, and it could be only a matter of time before he makes his first U.S. primetime appearance.
‘Thunder Kid’ Is All The Way Back
When an athlete returns from an injury, especially a torn ACL, they could be tentative in their first match back. That was not the case for Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang, however.
After nearly a year and a half away from competition, the Filipino made a triumphant return at ONE Friday Fights 34, where he scorched Adrian Mattheis in just 23 seconds for a TKO victory.
It was not just a feel-good comeback story for Adiwang. The win had more significant implications. The Filipino’s performance was a firing shot at the rest of the strawweight MMA division, informing them that he’s back and ready to rejoin the chase for gold.
“Thunder Kid” got back to what he does best and showed everyone why he is one of the most exciting MMA fighters to watch.