Smilla Sundell Vs. Allycia Hellen Rodrigues: 4 Keys To Strawweight Muay Thai World Title Victory
Reigning atomweight Muay Thai queen Rodrigues is moving up to challenge Sundell for the ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title at ONE Fight Night 14: Stamp vs. Ham on Prime Video in North American primetime this Friday, September 29.
Given that both titleholders own incredible skill sets, fans can expect a war of attrition at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. But while the five-round tussle will give each striker plenty of time to implement their game plan, how can they get ahead in such a finely balanced matchup?
Here are four keys to victory that could make the difference for both Sundell and Rodrigues when they clash for gold in “The Lion City.”
#1 Sundell’s Length
Standing 5-foot-8 with a 69-inch reach, Sundell will enjoy a significant length advantage over the 5-foot-3 challenger, whose reach clocks in at 62 inches.
They’re just numbers on paper if the 18-year-old Swedish phenom doesn’t make use of them, but she has some excellent tools that should aid her against Rodrigues.
Sundell’s long limbs will be ready to intercept any forward movement from the Brazilian, especially by using her assertive jab.
The Fairtex representative can get a lot of force behind her stiff lead hand, which helps her dictate the range and get her opponents backing up. She thrives when her foes walk backward toward the Circle Wall, where she can start to unleash her furious salvos.
Sundell’s jab is also a strong deterrent for shorter fighters who know they have to find a way through it, so it could hinder Rodrigues’ offense if she stays patient over the course of the fight.
#2 Rodrigues’ Work In Close
Rodrigues will be able to negate some of the strawweight queen’s range advantage if she can get into close quarters.
It’s easier said than done, but the 25-year-old Brazilian is experienced at traversing the range since the clinch is one of her go-to positions.
Sundell always comes forward, so Rodrigues can make the most of that by standing her ground and tying up the aggressive Swede. And once they’re in tight, the Phuket Fight Club representative can unleash some of the most potent weapons in her arsenal.
Rodrigues has a ripping right elbow that doesn’t need much room to do serious damage and strong knees that could hurt the body of her lanky rival.
She’s looked stronger in the clinch than her opponents at atomweight, and she’ll hope that advantage can transfer up a weight division against Sundell.
#3 Sundell’s Body Shots
Sundell is a ferocious body-hitter, never wasting an opportunity to tear into the midsection of her foes.
This was particularly notable in her fight against Diandra Martin, as she landed regularly and effectively to the body to score three of the four knockdowns.
From longer range, she uses straights that can keep Rodrigues at bay while accumulating damage. And as she gets closer, “The Hurricane” has hurtful liver punches, which she likes to intersperse into her boxing combos.
As well as her hands, Sundell owns powerful knees. Using her long limbs, she can step in from a distance or use them in tight from the clinch.
These are potentially match-ending weapons on their own, but they can also take their toll over the course of a battle and create opportunities for the Swede to attack the head when her opponent drops their guard to defend.
#4 Rodrigues’ Slick Kicks
Rodrigues is likely the better kicker of the two, with a smooth Thai-style game that includes lots of roundhouses to the midsection.
With legs being longer than arms, this is a benefit for the Brazilian, who can make the most of the extra reach if she’s struggling to find a way through Sundell’s rangy punches.
Rodrigues kicks with speed and accuracy from both directions, with her powerful right side often battering the body and arms of her opponent before they have a chance to check.
The Brazilian counters well off the left, especially against aggressive rivals – which is exactly what she’ll face in this matchup.
When Sundell charges in with her usual vigor, Rodrigues will look to fend her off and do damage through any openings.
This could slow “The Hurricane” down while building up damage and points over the course of five rounds.