The ONE Super Series Muay Thai flyweight division is one of the most action-packed groupings in The Home Of Martial Arts.
Typically, the athletes are smaller than competitors in the heavier divisions, which means they are faster and rarely run out of gas. This combination has led to epic clashes between some of the promotion’s most beloved flyweight strikers.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the ONE Super Series Muay Thai flyweight ranks.
The World Champion
Reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon is an unstoppable force in the division.
Moreover, the Jitmuangnon representative loves to use his hands. The man’s body punches can melt the marrow from rib cages.
Take his second bout with Jonathan “The General” Haggerty, for instance. In his World Title defense at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW this past January, Rodtang’s ripping body shots knocked Haggerty down one time in the first round and three times in the third en route to a TKO win.
With an 8-0 record in ONE, and having defeated the best the division has to offer, “The Iron Man” has just two potential opponents who haven’t yet acted as his punching bag.
One of those men, however, may be off-limits.
The Next Challenger
“The Angel Warrior” Panpayak Jitmuangnon, a teammate of Rodtang, is currently the #1-ranked flyweight contender in the division. But because the two men train together at Jitmuangnon Gym, they likely won’t be stepping into the ring together.
However, Panpayak could help Rodtang prepare for another fierce flyweight – the #2-ranked challenger, “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9.
Like Rodtang, “The Kicking Machine” is undefeated in ONE after beating Lao Chetra, Rui Botelho, and Panpayak. He’ll be riding his winning momentum into the ring against Fahdi “The Gladiator” Khaled at the previously recorded ONE: A NEW BREED II, which airs this Friday, 11 September.
After decisively beating Panpayak in July, a victory on Friday against Khaled would prove that Superlek is worthy of a World Title showdown against the reigning king.
Superlek’s nickname accurately sums up his weaponry. The Kitamoo9 standout is proficient at launching his left legs with precision in the heat of battle. It’s that timing, after all, that’s led him to all three of his wins in The Home Of Martial Arts.
The Former King
Haggerty, the former ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion, is still a top-five ranked flyweight in the promotion, and another win or two against ranked competition could catapult him back into World Title contention.
Although he suffered back-to-back losses against Rodtang, Haggerty scored wins over Joseph “The Hurricane” Lasiri in his January 2019 debut at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY and then living legend Sam-A Gaiyanghadao at ONE: FOR HONOR four months later.
In the latter fight, “The General” earned the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title.
With his varied skill set in “the art of eight limbs,” Haggerty can mix it up with the best flyweights in ONE. He proved that in his world-class performance against Sam-A, which resulted in many analysts trying to uncover what the Englishman did to topple a Muay Thai great.
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The Three Threats
Because Panpayak will likely not compete for the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title as long as it’s sitting around Rodtang’s waist, he might stay busy trying to fend off the would-be threats to his teammate’s World Title.
Mongkolpetch last appeared in ONE against Cambodia’s Sok Thy. Despite being pressured by Thy over three rounds, Mongkolpetch was able to keep his composure and pick off his rival from the outside to earn the win.
That tricky counter style also led him to wins over Alexi “Phet” Serepisos and Joseph Lasiri before his bout with Thy. His strategy contrasts with that of Rodtang’s, meaning he won’t get drawn into a scrap with his compatriot if they ever meet in the ring.
Naito, on the other hand, is just as tricky. As martial arts fans saw in his bout with “The Baby Face Killer” Savvas Michael Petchyindee Academy at ONE: WARRIOR’S CODE in February, the Japanese athlete stayed one step ahead of his aggressive rival, often using his push kicks and cutting kicks to push Savvas off-balance as the Cypriot native pressured forward.
It would be interesting to see if Naito can use those sneaky tactics against Rodtang, though, because the Thai is a lot more aggressive than Savvas and packs much more power.
“The Sniper” is another flyweight Muay Thai specialist who could break out at any moment. After splitting a win and a loss to Yukinori Ogasawara and Petchdam, respectively, he went on to stun martial arts fans with a victory over one of the trickiest athletes to ever grace the ONE ring – Lerdsila Phuket Top Team at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS in December 2019.
Mahmoudi’s tool bag is filled with a variety of weapons, but his kicking pattern, which he breaks up with random punches and elbows, can confuse even the most experienced flyweights in the division.
The Former World Title Challenger
Despite losing to Rodtang this past July, former ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Petchdam “The Baby Shark” Petchyindee Academy remains a dominant force in the division.
Although he has two blemishes on his ONE record, Petchdam has defeated Josh “Timebomb” Tonna, Kenny “Pitbull” Tse, Masahide “Crazy Rabbit” Kudo, Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi, and Kohei “Momotaro” Kodera.
Like Superlek, Petchdam is another southpaw with dangerous left kicks. In fact, he scored a knockout win over Tonna in stunning fashion when a left kick connected with his rival’s body. But it was the knee of that kick that struck the Aussie’s chin, which dropped him to the canvas instantly.
Khaled didn’t have an easy welcome to The Home Of Martial Arts. In his January 2019 debut, he faced Rodtang – who wasn’t yet a ONE World Champion – and was able to push the future superstar to the final bell despite dropping the decision.
What makes “The Gladiator” a worthy opponent for any flyweight on this list is his unpredictable attacking style. He puts together combinations that you normally wouldn’t see from Muay Thai fighters, and he’s rarely in the same spot for too long.
A win against Superlek in their kickboxing bout this Friday could put his name in the top-five contender rankings in either sport.
Read more: Full Card Announced For ONE: A NEW BREED II