Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym booked his ticket to challenge divisional king Nong-O Gaiyanghadao with a stunning defeat of Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai in a battle of ONE Super Series power punchers.
The 30-year-old pulled off the shocking result to win the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament final via unanimous decision despite coming into ONE: A NEW BREED as a late replacement.
Rodlek dropped a close match in the semifinals earlier this month, but he jumped back into the ring on Friday, 28 August, after Saemapetch Fairtex pulled out due to injury – and made the most of that second chance in Bangkok, Thailand.
When the first round began, there were few hints about the destructive striking to come, as both athletes showed a lot of respect for each other’s power.
However, the feeling-out process ended at the start of round two, as Rodlek marched forward and fired his right hand. Despite the heavy artillery coming his way, Kulabdam stayed calm and responded with powerful straight-left counters off the back foot that left their mark.
Even with the damage to his face, “The Steel Locomotive” picked up steam in his own signature style, tipping the contest in his favor. The Bangkok native continued to push “Left Meteorite” back with haymakers before landing a right uppercut and a left hook in the pocket that sent him crashing to the canvas.
Though Kulabdam got up and reached the final round, he was left needing a miracle when Rodlek extended his lead with another knockdown. A right knee in the clinch folded the Surin resident in half to all but end his chance of victory.
Once again, the two-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion stood up, but he showed no sign of being able to land the knockout blow needed to stop his opponent from a wide unanimous decision.
By claiming the 129th win of his career, Rodlek has guaranteed himself an opportunity to challenge Nong-O for his ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship belt later in the year.