For years, martial arts fans have been looking forward to the long-awaited trilogy bout between ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon and Petchdam “The Baby Shark” Petchyindee Academy.
This coming Friday, 31 July, the global fan base will finally get to see these two warriors clash in the main event of ONE: NO SURRENDER in Bangkok, Thailand.
The first time these athletes met was back in May 2017 at the historic Rajadamnern Stadium in the Thai capital. Petchdam struck first, achieving a decision victory in the opening battle of the series.
However, in their rematch in February 2018, Rodtang returned to the world-famous venue and defeated “The Baby Shark” to even the score.
Now, two and a half years removed from the rematch, the duo will meet for the third time with the Jitmuangnon representative’s ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title up for grabs.
Ahead of this marquee showdown, some of ONE Championship’s finest athletes break down this epic clash.
“I am so excited about this one. These guys are two of the most exciting athletes in ONE Super Series.
“I think Rodtang’s aggression and pressure are going to be a key point in this bout.
“Petchdam has great kicks and counter-boxing skills, and also a reach advantage. I think if he can utilize his teep and long jab to keep Rodtang at bay, and keep smacking in that left kick while switching the levels with it – like kicking the legs, body, and head – then he might bring it home.
“But if Rodtang does what Rodtang does best and brings that #IronManMentality, I think we will ultimately see one of the highest paced and exciting fights that we’ve seen yet. His power, endurance, and durability are in his favor, and that could cause a problem for Petchdam in the later rounds.”
“Rodtang is a real threat with his hands, and he has fire in his heart. Petchdam is also the real deal. I can imagine Rodtang rushes in and pushes Petchdam around, while Petchdam finds his angle for some good shots.”
“I think this will be a fantastic match. Both athletes are fantastic, young, and hungry, and both have proved their worth in ONE since joining in 2018.
“This is going to be epic. Rodtang is undefeated [in ONE], but Petchdam is also hungry to take the lead in their rivalry. If you ask me, I think it will be a very close match. Both have equal chances to win, but if I have to choose a winner, I will choose Petchdam only because he is challenging for the title.”
“I am also a flyweight athlete, so this bout catches my attention the most.
“World Title bouts are five-rounds, and it is more like a normal Muay Thai bout. So, I think Petchdam, who is good at the standard style of Muay Thai, has the advantage. Also, I competed against Petchdam, so I know a lot about how strong and skillful he is.
“Rodtang makes bouts exciting by going forward relentlessly. If Rodtang can accumulate points from the beginning of the bout, it might make things different.”
“I am so curious about the bout between Rodtang and Petchdam since they are in the same weight class as me.
“Rodtang is so strong – everyone would admit this fact. Also, I have been checking out Petchdam since before he started competing in ONE. I think we are going to watch a fight between the strongest Thai athletes.
“Some people predict Rodtang will win, but I think if Petchdam can keep his distance, he can find a chance to win. I think the key to this bout will be controlling the distance.”
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“For me, it’s hard to predict who will win. Inside the ring, things get difficult to predict. Rodtang has the power, but power doesn’t always guarantee a win. I can’t really tell who will win, but this is going to be an amazing fight.
“Rodtang has the durability and endurance, but it doesn’t mean he can take all Petchdam’s punches. This is interesting since both of them are from Thailand. I think they are among the best in Thailand now, and Petchdam once held the [ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World] Title as well.
“Petchdam must have the motivation to get the [ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World] Title, too. Rodtang has the power and I think Petchdam will try to maintain the distance because a close-range fight would benefit Rodtang.”
“This fight will be all about how they maintain the distance. Rodtang always goes forward aggressively using his punches.
“I think to deal with Rodtang’s style, Petchdam will want to create some distance and fight in the muay femur (technical) style. I think whether Petchdam can pick up his pace or not will depend on how Petchdam can stop Rodtang, who will try to go forward.”
“When they competed previously, Petchdam played better and won. He withstood Rodtang’s strong punches by blocking them and throwing middle kicks.
“It’s been three years since that first bout and their styles haven’t changed, so I think the bout goes the same way. However, this time, they are fighting with small mixed martial arts gloves and under ONE Super Series rules.
“The key to this bout will be how Petchdam can overcome Rodtang’s punches.”
“I think this is going to be intense because both of them are still young. I have watched some of Petchdam’s fights and he always entertains. But more than that, he is also a good fighter, although his last fight against Momotaro felt a bit off.
“This is going to be tough for both because Petchdam once held the [ONE Flyweight Kickboxing] World Title belt, so the stakes are high. Rodtang will try to defend the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title while Petchdam will go all-out to snatch it.
“In many cases, the one who defends the title will play it safer because defending is more difficult than attaining it. Rodtang will be extra careful.
“I hope they both deliver so we can see their techniques. I hope Rodtang will not hold back because he’s afraid of losing the belt. I want them both to go all-out so we, the viewers, can learn from them. I think Rodtang will still come out victorious, but they will both show aggression throughout the bout.”
“This is an interesting match-up and deserves to be the headline attraction.
“Although they are both from Thailand and might have known each other very well, they will go all-out inside the ring.
“In terms of techniques, I think Petchdam has the upper hand. He will try to land beautiful kicks and rely on speed, while Rodtang is like a bulldozer who will keep moving forward. I also think Rodtang has a better fighting mentality at this moment.
“Rodtang will try to provoke Petchdam to make him more emotional. He will keep banging his chin when he gets hit, although I know he feels the pain, too. That’s part of the psychological war.”
“The speed of Petchdam’s kicks is hard to deal with, and the aggression of Rodtang will make for a good, hard battle.
“Both of their styles are hard to beat. I feel whoever has been training harder over the pandemic and wants it more on the night will win. However, my money is on Rodtang.”