‘I Had No Idea That Americans Would Respond That Way’ – Rodtang Humbled By Fan Reaction After Latest World Title Defense
Rodtang Jitmuangnon’s co-main event spot at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III on Prime Video was no accident.
The ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion is a fighter who guarantees excitement, and he delivered it in spades against Edgar Tabares at the sold-out 1stBank Center in Colorado on Friday, May 5.
“The Iron Man” dispatched the WBC Muay Thai International Champion with a second-round knockout, and in doing so he bagged a US$100,000 performance bonus and achieved his main objective – to showcase “the art of eight limbs” to the global fan base at ONE’s historic U.S. debut.
“I was really thrilled with the opportunity to fight in America and show the beauty of Muay Thai. I want to elevate it as an art.
“I truly believe in Muay Thai, I love Muay Thai, and I want the world to see the beauty of Muay Thai, too.”
There were a handful of American favorites in action on the bill. However, Rodtang received arguably the biggest reaction from the fans inside the stadium after he delivered his finishing blow to the Mexican challenger.
In fact, people were even chanting his name when he came out to watch the main event trilogy bout between ONE Flyweight World Champion Demetrious Johnson and former divisional king Adriano Moraes.
Already a superstar in the East, “The Iron Man” didn’t realize that his uniquely thrilling fighting style had already penetrated deep into the West. So, he was humbled by the response he got from ONE supporters in Colorado.
The Jitmuangnon athlete said:
“I was shocked. I had no idea that Americans would respond that way or that I already had a fan base in America.
“I’m just very grateful. I never thought as a child struggling in poverty that I’d be here.”
Rodtang Wants Takeru Segawa And Jonathan Haggerty Next
Rodtang Jitmuangnon now boasts a perfect 14-0 record in striking contests in ONE Championship, with six successful ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title wins among them.
The 25-year-old juggernaut looks unstoppable, but there are still plenty of opponents he’d love to throw down with inside the Circle.
Rodtang is eyeing his old foe Jonathan Haggerty – who just moved up a division and took the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title from Nong-O Hama – and recently signed Japanese icon Takeru Segawa for his next matchups.
“It’s up to [ONE Chairman and CEO] Chatri Sityodtong [whether I fight Haggerty next], but I want to fight them all. I definitely want to fight Takeru.”
However, the current ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion and #1-ranked Muay Thai contender Superlek Kiatmoo9 is one of the other fights on everyone’s lips.
The all-Thai clash would pit the nation’s best against one another, and while Rodtang would never turn down a challenge, he admits “The Kicking Machine” isn’t on top of his list.
“The Iron Man” said:
“I’m willing to fight anybody, including Superlek. But I just think from a Thailand perspective that Superlek’s a Muay Thai athlete holding the kickboxing belt, and I hold the Muay Thai belt. That’s better for Thailand.
“But I’m willing to face anybody. I really want to fight Haggerty and Takeru right now.”