‘It’s The Perfect Time’ – Superlek Ready For Long-Awaited World Title Fight With Rodtang

Superlek Kiatmoo9 Tagir Khalilov ONE Fight Night 12 55

After putting it off for as long as possible, Superlek Kiatmoo9 and Rodtang Jitmuangnon are set to collide for the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title on Friday, September 22.

The Thai superstars are friends outside of the ring, but they’re now preparing for war in the main event of ONE Friday Fights 34 at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Asia primetime.

Superlek knows how much fans have longed to see them do battle, and he’s ready to put their relationship aside when they square off for gold in front of a home crowd in Bangkok, Thailand.

“The Kicking Machine” told onefc.com:

“This is a dream match for Thai and global fans. I think the ONE matchmakers want to put on the biggest main events that every fan wants to see. The fight between Rodtang and me has been highly anticipated for a long time.

“I think it’s the perfect time for us to fight each other. We couldn’t run from each other any longer. The time has come right now.”

Superlek won the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title while he was taking a break from title contention in Muay Thai, but he knew that a clash against his compatriot was inevitable.

He’s followed “The Iron Man’s” career with interest since their time on the regional circuit, but Rodtang became a target after claiming the flyweight Muay Thai throne in ONE.

Both men have defeated the top contenders in their respective divisions, and with #1-ranked Superlek next in line for the Muay Thai belt, there was no other option but this World Champion vs. World Champion super-fight.

“The Kicking Machine” explained:

“I have had an eye on Rodtang for as long as he has competed in five-round Muay Thai. I used to compete at Lumpinee and Rajadamnern Stadiums like him. I knew that sooner or later, our paths would cross.

“It was my initial intention to climb the rankings to fight with Rodtang and become the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion. There are no other potential contenders left to challenge him in this division, except for me.

“Like I said before, I would prefer to fight with foreign opponents rather than with compatriots. But now, we don’t have any potential opponents left, so our paths must collide.”

Superlek Opens Up On Relationship With Rodtang

Superlek Kiatmoo9 has held Rodtang Jitmuangnon in high regard outside of Muay Thai for a long time.

However, even when the two friends were socializing away from combat, their professional goals were never far from their thoughts.

Superlek recalled how his relationship with Rodtang grew and how they navigated the elephant in the room:

“I’m fairly close to him. Rodtang is such a nice guy. We used to play soccer together. He’s a humble and funny person. He is one of those fighters that young fighters should look up to.

“We used to tease each other about our fight, saying we shouldn’t fight each other. But we realized that sooner or later, we couldn’t avoid it.

“Last time we had a chat, we talked about this fight, and he said, ‘Wait a bit. I still don’t want to fight you.’ But we are professional fighters. We must do our jobs when the matchmaker throws any opponent our way.”

Some fans and pundits who weren’t privy to the pair’s friendship suggested that Rodtang was avoiding a fight with Superlek out of fear, but “The Kicking Machine” was quick to refute that accusation.

He doesn’t see any reason why “The Iron Man” would refuse a fight on those grounds, and he would never call his upcoming opponent’s courage into question.

He added:

“In my opinion, [neither of us] are afraid. It’s purely an accident that caused our earlier fight to be canceled [in March]. He got injured from training.

“I never see any opponent as afraid of me. They all want to fight with me. And especially for Rodtang, he is a world-class superstar. There is no reason for him to fear me.”

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