What’s Next For Rodtang, Musumeci, And Other Big Winners Of ONE 167?

Rodtang Jitmuangnon Denis Puric ONE 167 142

With victory comes opportunity, and many of the big winners from ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II will be looking ahead to some interesting challenges. 

After battling hard to get their hands raised on June 7, the event’s successful competitors are one step closer to their respective goals – whether it’s dominating their division or continuing their rise toward the top. 

Here are some potential matchups – along with a scheduled World Title fight – that could be next for the athletes who left the Impact Arena in Bangkok with a victory.

Tawanchai PK Saenchai Vs. Jo Nattawut III 

Although he’s gone 2-0 in their head-to-head series, Tawanchai PK Saenchai could be looking at a trilogy showdown with “Smokin” Jo Nattawut.  

Following their razor-close featherweight kickboxing clash last year, the Thai stars duked it out for Tawanchai’s ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title last Friday – and it was just as tight across another five rounds. 

Tawanchai remained the divisional king with another decision win, but “Smokin” Jo has been right there with him every step of the way. 

Speaking at the post-event press conference, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong said he thought Nattawut had done enough to earn the nod, and with even less clarity than before, it makes sense to run it back once more.

With ONE set to debut in “Smokin” Jo’s adopted home of Atlanta on November 8 at ONE 170, it could be the perfect time to showcase Tawanchai to a U.S. audience and offer his compatriot the chance to compete in front of a partisan crowd. 

Rodtang Jitmuangnon Vs. Takeru Segawa

Although he’s the reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion, Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon offered up another excellent display in the kickboxing ranks when he defeated Denis “The Bosnian Menace” Puric last Friday.

The Thai megastar thrilled the crowd for three rounds in his comeback from injury and put himself back on track for a super-fight with Takeru “The Natural Born Crusher” Segawa. The pair were slated to throw down earlier this year, but Rodtang’s injury kept him on the sidelines. 

Now back firing on all cylinders, “The Iron Man” used his post-fight interview to call for a rescheduled clash with the Japanese legend.  

Following Takeru’s epic war with “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9 in Tokyo earlier this year, he’s still incredibly popular with his home fans.

For that reason, Sityodtong is eager to return to Japan and put on one of the biggest shows of the year with this high-profile matchup on the card. 

Mikey Musumeci Vs. Kade Ruotolo – Booked For September 6

ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey “Darth Rigatoni” Musumeci righted a wrong when he submitted Gabriel Sousa in their bantamweight submission grappling clash at ONE 167. 

As the last man to defeat Musumeci, Sousa was a hurdle that the American needed to overcome mentally. The win puts “Darth Rigatoni” in a good place to challenge Kade Ruotolo for the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title on September 6 at ONE 168: Denver.

Musumeci put on some muscle for the bantamweight contest with Sousa, and he will now jump up a further two divisions for this lightweight battle. 

Ruotolo will certainly have the size advantage, but could his recent switch to MMA at ONE 167 mean there’s the potential to take his eyes off the ball against a grappling purist like Musumeci?  

With both of these pound-for-pound greats coming off submission wins and so many intriguing variables, their matchup is one that can’t be missed.  

Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong Vs. Luke Lessei 

In a performance that rolled back the years, Thai legend Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong proved he is still one of the greatest kickboxers on the planet with a victory over Masaaki Noiri

The #3-ranked featherweight kickboxer will be keen to feature in the division’s upcoming World Grand Prix, but until the bracket is finalized, it could be fun to see him return to his Muay Thai roots. 

“Killer Kid” has competed sparingly in “the art of eight limbs” since joining ONE, but he’s defeated current ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Tawanchai and is a true World Title threat given his #2 ranking.

The Kickboxing World Grand Prix silver belt is surely high on Sitthichai’s list of priorities, but if he can defeat another highly ranked foe like #5 featherweight Muay Thai contender Luke “The Chef” Lessei, he could put the Muay Thai gold within touching distance, too.  

Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat Vs. Elias Mahmoudi 

“No.1” Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat silenced a lot of doubters with a convincing decision win over surging teen phenom Johan “Jojo” Ghazali in their flyweight Muay Thai battle at ONE 167.

Ghazali was riding a five-fight winning streak with four knockouts, while Duy Nhat was coming off a loss to Puric. However, the Vietnamese veteran showed he can’t be written off. 

After halting the “Jojo” hype train in impressive fashion, “No.1” is now 3-1 in the world’s largest martial arts organization and deserving of a chance to crack the flyweight division’s top five. 

As the division’s #5 contender, Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi would be a great potential opponent for Duy Nhat.

Both strikers possess exciting and unique fighting styles that could make for a technical masterclass with a lot at stake. 

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