This Sunday, 13 October, they will face off for the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title at ONE: CENTURY PART II in Tokyo, Japan, in a clash of styles that is tailor-made to create fireworks.
Rodtang has stormed to the top of his division with his relentless aggression, but his Brazilian challenger may be the first of the Thai superstar’s opponents in The Home Of Martial Arts who can match him in those stakes.
Of course, both men have more in their lockers than the ability to plant their feet, bite down on their mouthguards, and throw heavy leather. They both are master technicians who can implement a strategy to pick apart their rivals.
These are just a few of the tactics that could make the difference when they clash at the Ryogoku Kokugikan.
#1 Rodtang’s Famous Combination
Rodtang’s style is the epitome of muay mat – an all-out barrage of heavy punches and low kicks – and he is never more effective than when he combines his left hook and right leg kick.
The Thai hero showcased why it is one of the most effective pairings in his sport when he broke down Sok Thy with blows to the liver, and then finished the Cambodian by digging his shin into his thigh.
“The Iron Man’s” money punch is not just a set-up shot. Though it serves as the perfect anatomical primer to uncork his thudding right roundhouse, he throws it to the head and body with enough force to score a knockdown, or even a knockout, too.
#2 Goncalves’ Kick Counters
Goncalves will not let any lazy kick go unpunished. He likes to catch his opponents’ legs and reply with a variety of quick counters.
Many nak muay will only commit to catching body kicks, but the Blackthai CT representative is also adept at anticipating attacks to his lead leg, which will give him more opportunity to surprise the defending World Champion.
If he can gain control of his rival’s limb, he can disrupt their balance, and either dump them or attack with punches and high kicks on the break.
#3 “Iron Man” Elbows
The only thing on Rodtang’s mind is powerful offense, and he carries this ethos into the clinch where his elbows become his short-range weapon of choice.
The 22-year-old has an extremely strong base, which allows him to move his opponent and create space. A simple bump of the right shoulder is all he needs to create an opening for his left elbow to the jaw.
Depending on the reaction he gets, “The Iron Man” can follow it up by dumping his foe to the canvas, or breaking off to unleash his boxing attack.
#4 Brazilian Body Blows
Goncalves could make use of his body-punching arsenal to try to slow down the Jitmuangnon Gym representative and subdue his constant aggression.
The three-time Muay Thai World Champion has great accuracy when he goes to the midsection, and he has used his left hook to the liver and right cross to the solar plexus to fold some of his previous opponents in half.
Rodtang is as durable and well-conditioned as athletes come, but no one is completely immune to non-stop clean strikes.
If he disregards defense in favor of offense too much, his challenger can spot an opening and set his sights on energy-sapping body blows that can slow “The Iron Man” down, or put him down.
- Watch PART I in USA on 12 October at 8pm EST and PART II on 13 October at 4am EST
- Watch PART I in India on 13 October at 5:30am IST and PART II at 1:30pm IST
- Watch PART I in Indonesia on 13 October at 7am WIB and PART II at 3pm WIB
- Watch PART I in Singapore on 13 October at 8am SGT and PART II at 4pm SGT
- Watch PART I in the Philippines on 13 October at 8am PHT and PART II at 4pm PHT
- Watch PART I in Japan on 13 October at 9am JST and PART II at 5pm JST
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.