Nong-O Hama Vs. Jonathan Haggerty: 4 Keys To World Title Victory At ONE Fight Night 9
The main event of ONE Fight Night 9 on Prime Video has the makings of an unforgettable barnburner, as longtime ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Hama defends his belt against former flyweight Muay Thai king Jonathan Haggerty.
Set for the historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, this headline attraction might be the toughest matchup of Nong-O’s incredible 10-fight undefeated run in ONE.
The hard-charging British challenger will enter the contest with something to prove, hoping to knock off a legend and once again wear 26 pounds of gold around his waist.
Before the fans in Thailand and those watching around the world in U.S. primetime settle in for this monumental showdown, let’s dive into each athlete’s keys to victory.
#1 Nong-O’s Pressure vs. Haggerty’s Movement
The primary dynamic in this battle will be Nong-O’s steady forward marching against Haggerty’s speedy footwork and evasive movements.
The Thai superstar loves to wear down his opponents with a constant diet of suffocating pressure. He punishes their legs and body with the ultimate goal of cornering them and then unloading a lethal combination to score the knockout.
“The General,” on the other hand, has some of the division’s best footwork, staying on his bike as he cuts angles, lunges in and out of the pocket, and draws his foes into damaging counterstrikes.
The man who controls the pace will control this fight. And whoever can dictate the terms of the action will see more opportunities to score a highlight-reel knockout.
#2 Nong-O’s Leg Kicks
The eight-time ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion’s modus operandi is slowing down his foe’s movement in order to unleash his thunderously powerful strikes, and he accomplishes this by chopping away at the legs.
Against the speedy Haggerty, Nong-O’s leg kicks could be a deciding factor.
Look for the Thai athlete to pulverize the challenger’s lower body with inside and outside kicks from the opening bell and for as long as the five-round World Title bout lasts.
And while the Brit might wear a stone face and refuse to show any sign of damage, make no mistake – these massive leg kicks will add up quickly as the war wages on.
#3 Haggerty’s Elbows
“The General” is an all-around striker with elite skills at every range, but his most potent offensive weapons are his slicing elbows.
Whether he throws one as he leaps in from long range, in close quarters from the clinch, or as a spinning counterstrike, Haggerty’s elbows cause big damage, shattering noses and opening cuts.
The 25-year-old should use these strikes liberally against Nong-O. If the defending king has a weakness, it would be his close-range and clinch fighting – an area where Haggerty will find his best opportunities to land an elbow.
Moreover, the British star can utilize his elbows to intercept the Thai’s constant forward movement, slicing through his guard with a fight-altering strike.
#4 The Battle Of Chins
Stylistically, this main event showdown is likely to play out as a knockdown, drag-out war that could be decided by which superstar possesses the better chin.
With well over 300 career fights, including 10 bouts against elite competition in ONE Championship, Nong-O’s chin has been put to the test many times. Up to this point, it’s proven to be made of granite.
But the 36-year-old’s pressure-oriented style puts him right in the line of fire, and that will be no different against the high-output Haggerty.
In his most recent outing, the former flyweight Muay Thai king moved up in weight and looked good doing so, packing on pounds of muscle that he believes resulted in added fight-ending power.
Similarly, the Brit has shown himself to be one of the organization’s most durable strikers, and he’ll need to lean on that durability against a heavy-hitting knockout artist like Nong-O – who’s KOd his last five challengers.