ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon will take a break from defending his belt to showcase his striking skills in front of an American audience next month.
Rodtang will face the United Kingdom’s Jacob Smith in a three-round ONE Super Series Muay Thai clash at “ONE on TNT I,” which will air live on Wednesday, 7 April, in United States prime time.
Before “The Iron Man” introduces himself to martial arts fans in North America, we look at five reasons why the Thai superstar is the most aggressive fighter in his sport.
#1 Soaring Confidence
Whenever Rodtang steps into the ONE Circle, his foes immediately take notice of his confidence.
It doesn’t matter whether he’s battling a promotional newcomer like Tagir Khalilov or taking on a former ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion like Petchdam “The Baby Shark” Petchyindee Academy. According to Rodtang, a fight’s a fight.
Once his opponents realize this fact, it’s mostly downhill from there. Because once Rodtang lands – or takes – a few strikes, his confidence multiplies faster than wet gremlins.
And after the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion gets going, his hands usually follow.
#2 ‘Muay Maht’ Style
Kickers, clinchers, tacticians, and scrappers – Muay Thai athletes embody many different styles. As for Rodtang, he typifies the puncher’s style, known as muay maht in Thailand.
Also, the man from Phatthalung almost never engages in the clinch unless his opponents drag him into it. And if he does wind up in close range, Rodtang commits one of the cardinal sins of clinching – he punches to the body from within, leaving his head and face open for elbows.
But does that stop “The Iron Man” from imposing his will? Not at all.
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#3 Born To Fight
There are people in the world who weren’t meant to defend clients in a courtroom or sit across the chess table from Bobby Fischer. Rodtang is one of those people.
That’s no swipe at the man’s intelligence; he simply chooses to use his smarts in a more physical way.
As witnessed during his nine undefeated bouts in ONE, Rodtang enjoys the act of stepping into the spotlight and having himself an action-packed fight while entertaining the crowd.
Whenever his opponents refuse to engage, he has no problem waving them on. And if that doesn’t work, it’s nothing but forward pressure from the Thai.
#4 Rarely Steps Backward
Rodtang only knows one direction, and that’s straight toward his opponent.
Whenever the devastating puncher enters the Circle, his mission is to seek and destroy.
If his adversary tries to backpedal, “The Iron Man” stays right in front of them, egging them on. If they step left or right, he shadows their every move.
Rodtang wants to engage quickly, and he can only do that by moving forward, which usually results in fiery, crowd-pleasing action.
#5 Explosive Power
“The Iron Man” also happens to be built like an iron tank, which means he carries immense power in both hands.
His favorite punches seem to be body shots, which he churns into his opponents’ rib cages with a shuddering effect.
At ONE: A NEW TOMORROW, for instance, he floored former ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Jonathan “The General” Haggerty with a whirlwind of body hooks that eventually helped finish the Englishman.
Will Smith become the tenth opponent to succumb to Rodtang’s aggressive Muay Thai style inside the Circle? Find out when “ONE on TNT I” goes down on Wednesday, 7 April.