Diving Into The ONE Super Series Atomweight Muay Thai Division
Following a shocking changing of the guard, a slew of high-profile signings, and a handful of dangerous contenders, the ONE Super Series Atomweight Muay Thai division has certainly grabbed everyone’s attention.
The weight class is teeming with top-ranked talent from all over the world, which makes any matchup in the grouping a potential headliner or show-stealer.
That makes this a perfect time to take a closer look at the ONE Super Series Atomweight Muay Thai division.
The New World Champion
Although she hadn’t competed in the promotion until the World Title bout, Rodrigues had made a name for herself in “the art of eight limbs” – first in Brazil, and then in Thailand.
She became the Sao Paulo Portuarios Stadium Champion back in 2017, but after finding it difficult to land matches in her home country, she moved to Thailand to pursue her dream. There, she defeated the likes of Thanonchanok Kaewsamrit en route to becoming the Ayutthaya Miracle Champion in 2019.
The Brazilian, who now owns a 31-5 professional record, carries a traditional Thai fighting style into the ring. Rodrigues starts slow and picks up the tempo as the fight progresses, which she did exceptionally well in stunning Stamp and fans around the globe.
She has developed those skills at one of the more established gyms in Thailand, Phuket Fight Club, where she trains under Leo Elias, who has a track record of producing Brazilian Muay Thai champions.
With strong skills in the striking art and a solid team behind her, Rodrigues could hold the belt for a while – that is, unless, Stamp can take back what used to be hers.
The Former Queen
Before falling to Rodrigues, Stamp captured the inaugural ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship in February 2019 at ONE: CALL TO GREATNESS, outpointing America’s Janet “JT” Todd.
Four months later, she successfully defended the belt against Alma Juniku at ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST, where she earned a hard-fought unanimous decision win over the Australian. That match really showed martial arts fans why Stamp was the rightful queen, as she emerged victorious after being pushed to her limits by Juniku.
What made the Thai’s reign even more impressive was that she defended her gold while simultaneously holding the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Championship for a year and a half and going 5-0 in mixed martial arts.
Although she ultimately surrendered her belt to the Brazilian in late August, Stamp has kicks that can fold bodies. Couple that with her combined kickboxing and Muay Thai record of 63-17-5, and she remains a threat to Rodrigues or anyone else she faces in the division.
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The American Standout
Todd, who also happens to be the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion, began her promotional run in that inaugural ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title loss to Stamp in February 2019.
Although the American lost via decision, she went on to defeat Wang Chin Long and “Killer Bee” Chuang Kai Ting in kickboxing contests, and then she beat Ekaterina “Barbie” Vandaryeva in a Muay Thai matchup – all in the atomweight division.
The woman who trains out of Boxing Works in California under the esteemed Bryan Popejoy later earned the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title by defeating Stamp in a rematch under kickboxing rules in February 2020.
“JT” loves to pressure her opponents and has dangerous low kicks, as seen in her clash with Wang, which featured a second-round TKO by way of those weapons.
However, Todd can just as easily finish bouts with high kicks. The American made that clear at ONE: CENTURY PART I in October 2019, as she knocked out Vandaryeva with a cracking high kick in the second round.
A Trio Of Tough Contenders
Anne “Ninja” Line Hogstad, Juniku, and Vandaryeva are three dangerous competitors in the ONE Super Series Atomweight Muay Thai division.
Hogstad made her ONE debut against Juniku in January 2020 at ONE: FIRE & FURY. In that bout, “Ninja” outworked her rival, showing competence both inside and outside of the clinch, which makes the Norwegian a dangerous opponent wherever her matches unfold.
Juniku, on the other hand, was thrust into the division in June 2019, when she went the distance with Stamp in their ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title fight. The debut elevated her name almost immediately, as she pushed the Thai megastar until the final bell.
Vandaryeva, like Juniku, made her debut against one of the division’s greats – Todd – at ONE: CENTURY PART I in October 2019. The three-time World Champion showed her skill and poise in pushing “JT,” but she went down following the unbelievable head kick from the American.
To date, Vandaryeva has only shown the global fan base a glimpse of what she’s capable of, and martial arts fans should expect her next outing to come against another top-ranked atomweight.
The Newcomer With Nine World Titles
Further down the pecking order is a woman who may be new to ONE, but she’s certainly not new to the fight game.
Anissa Meksen recently signed with the promotion, and it could take just one bout for her to shoot up the rankings. The fighter from Nancy, France, holds a professional record of 100-5 with 32 of those victories coming by way of knockout. Also, she is a nine-time Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion.
Meksen possesses devastating power in her right hand and likes to set her power punch up with crafty low kicks. Outside of The Home Of Martial Arts, the Frenchwoman owns wins over Tiffany van Soest, Jady Menezes, and Sofia Olofsson, as well as a knockout finish of Iman “Pretty Killer” Barlow.
With a history like that, we could see Meksen thrown right into the mix in her promotional debut.