‘I Want To Make History’ – Allycia Hellen Rodrigues Aims For Two-Division Glory Against Smilla Sundell
Reigning ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion Allycia Hellen Rodrigues is not one to pass up a chance at true greatness.
On September 29 at ONE Fight Night 14: Stamp vs. Ham on Prime Video, the Brazilian sensation will move up in weight to challenge Smilla “The Hurricane” Sundell for the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title live in U.S. primetime from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Now just a few weeks away from her highly anticipated shot a two-division glory, Rodrigues is training hard to take out the 18-year-old Swedish prodigy.
And while she’ll be giving up a significant size advantage to the towering Sundell, the 25-year-old also knows that moments like this don’t come along all too often.
Rodrigues spoke to onefc.com about the monumental matchup:
“I’m moving up in the division because I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. I want to make history. I want to be a champion of two divisions.
“I am very happy with this opportunity. I think Sundell is a good fighter, a very young girl who has also been conquering her space in the scene. I have a lot of respect for her, but I’ll be very prepared to take her belt home.”
Although she’s already a World Champion and undefeated in ONE Championship, some outsiders are doubting that Rodrigues can hang with a striker of Sundell’s caliber in a higher weight class.
But it’s that doubt, she says, that’s pushing her to train harder than ever and chase the biggest accolade of her 38-fight professional career.
The Brazilian said:
“Having two belts is one of my dreams, and I intend to make it happen. I want to make history, I want to challenge myself more and more, and I know I can do it.
“But my biggest motivation is seeing that a lot of people are not believing in me, and I’m going to show them all that nothing is impossible when you work hard. I grabbed this opportunity with all my might, and I’m going to show it in the fight.”
Rodrigues Predicts ‘War’ With Sundell
Talking about making history is one thing, but actually achieving it is another.
To that end, Allycia Hellen Rodrigues has closely studied Smilla Sundell. She recognizes that the Swede is a physically imposing athlete who tends to march forward behind aggressive punching combinations and punishing knee strikes.
But the Brazilian star is an equally aggressive fighter, creating a mix of tactics that she expects will result in an all-out firefight for as long as this World Title showdown lasts.
“She likes to be aggressive and put pressure on her opponents, always moving forward. However, I also like to play this forward game. She also knows how to use her height advantage to box and use her knees, and I know this is what causes her opponents a lot of trouble. She plays her game really well. I like her fighting style, but I don’t worry about her size.
“I’m excited for this fight, and I know it’s going to be a war because of our styles.”
Despite her great respect for Sundell’s skill set, Rodrigues believes she owns certain key advantages in this matchup.
Those include her highly developed fight IQ and her well-rounded, dynamic striking game – the same tools she used to take out superstars Stamp Fairtex and Janet Todd in previous ONE World Title contests.
Ultimately, Rodrigues will be gunning for a KO on September 29. But even if the finish doesn’t come, she predicts fans will be treated to an unforgettable battle:
“I believe that I am smarter and more accurate and that I am also more complete in Muay Thai. But, due to Sundell’s height, I know it will be difficult to knock her out. So knocking her out won’t be easy, but it won’t be impossible, either.
“I’m definitely going into the fight with the intention of knocking her out. I’m really looking forward to the fight, and I believe it will be one of the best fights of the event.”