‘He’ll Never Scare Me’ – Superlek Sees Holes In Rodtang’s Game Ahead Of World Title Defense
ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Superlek Kiatmoo9 isn’t planning to back down from one of the planet’s most feared strikers.
The Thai superstar is now entering the final preparations for the first defense of his belt against longtime flyweight Muay Thai king Rodtang Jitmuangnon at ONE Fight Night 8 on Prime Video.
Both athletes are widely regarded among the top pound-for-pound strikers in the world, and their matchup on March 24 in U.S. primetime has fans buzzing with excitement.
The Kiatmoo9 Gym representative captured the vacant ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title in his last bout, trouncing Daniel Puertas across five rounds at ONE Fight Night 6 in January while extending his winning streak to four.
On that same card, Rodtang picked up a dominant kickboxing victory of his own, setting the stage for his World Title challenge.
But despite “The Iron Man’s” status as a global superstar – and his undefeated record in ONE Championship striking bouts – Superlek is brimming with confidence.
He told ONEFC.com:
“I watched Rodtang’s videos and noticed holes in his game. And I’m practicing this surprise for him. This is as much as I can tell you.”
While he won’t divulge exactly how he plans to take out Rodtang, the man known as “The Kicking Machine” naturally sees an advantage with his kicks.
And according to the 27-year-old titleholder, his foe’s power-oriented, straight-ahead style makes him predictable and slow – something he aims to capitalize on.
“I believe my kicks are better than his in kickboxing. First, I’m a little taller than him. Second, I think my leg movement is better than his in terms of speed. Every fighter has their own way of stepping. And I see Rodtang step clearly, like how he will punch and follow with a kick. So, I can predict his patterns clearly. Rodtang may hit hard, but he is slower than me. This should be my advantage.”
Of course, the defending king is well aware that his opponent’s ultra-aggressive, brawling approach can pose a lot of danger in the Circle.
He also trusts in his own counter-striking abilities and won’t be intimidated no matter what Rodtang throws at him.
“The Kicking Machine” said:
“Maybe this time he will come to me with less aggression. He is likely to be more careful. He may have plotted to prevent me from throwing my weapons. But I can guarantee no matter what style he uses on me, he’ll never scare me.”
Superlek Anticipates Rematch With Rodtang In Muay Thai
Superlek Kiatmoo9 isn’t expecting his ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title clash with Rodtang Jitmuangnon to be their only head-to-head battle.
He plans to successfully defend his crown on March 24 and then challenge for the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title – a belt “The Iron Man” has owned since 2019.
“Victory over him will be my lifelong honor. It’s my pride to beat a superstar that everyone wants to fight with. And yes, after I beat him in this fight, I want to challenge Rodtang for ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title next.”
In order for that second fight to go down with a World Title on the line, Rodtang will first need to defend his gold against Edgar Tabares at ONE Fight Night 10 on May 5 in Colorado.
Nonetheless, Superlek is already envisioning a rematch with Rodtang – this time in 4-ounce gloves.
And with that in mind, he thinks the Jitmuangnon Gym athlete has found so much success in Muay Thai in part because certain opponents don’t take advantage of every weapon in the “art of eight limbs.”
“The Kicking Machine” explained:
“Muay Thai has a variety of dangerous weapons. This was the part that keeps him from losing. Rodtang is aggressive. He keeps throwing weapons, and he can absorb his opponent’s attacks.
“Muay Thai allows you to punch, kick, elbow, and knee, but many foreign fighters usually just focus on their punch. But Rodtang’s punch is good, with additional dangerous Muay Thai weapons, so he is always superior to those opponents.”
If they do square off under Muay Thai rules, Superlek says he would utilize every element of his striking arsenal – although he’s needed to switch up his game for kickboxing bouts.
“Rodtang’s basics depend on punch and kick in a Muay Thai fight. He doesn’t use elbows that much. That’s why his style is compatible with kickboxing rules. He didn’t need to adjust. But for me, I had to adapt a lot. I am still concerned about how I accidentally use clinch, elbows, or knees in kickboxing.”