Both men left everything in the ring at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES in Manila, Philippines on Friday, 2 August, but it was the Thai superstar’s power that earned him the victory by unanimous decision.
A NEW KING IS CROWNED Rodtang Jitmuangnon outstrikes Jonathan Haggerty in a five-round thriller to clinch the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title via unanimous decision!: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, August 2, 2019
Defending World Champion Haggerty controlled the first round inside the Mall Of Asia Arena as he used his long limbs to good effect to land piston-like jabs and stabbing front kicks on his shorter rival. Rodtang could not break through the range to land his power hooks, and he was made to pay when he tried.
A perfectly-timed teep sent “The Iron Man” reeling into the ropes, and “The General” feinted to set up his round kicks to the body and straight punches as he controlled the first three minutes.
Rodtang tried to land his right low kick in the second round, but again the Brit’s sharp teeps were faster and kept him out of danger, though some strikes did make it through. Haggerty also worked his elbows into his offense and landed a front kick clean to his opponent’s face.
“The Iron Man” came to life at the midway point of the contest. He entered the third frame with more aggression, but walked into some rapid left high kicks. However, he was not deterred and called the Londoner on.
A rapid salvo of hooks was a real turning point as the Thai began to turn up the heat and bring the match into his world. He landed to the body and head with his hands to weaken the resolve of the defending World Champion and show that he could still win the bout.
The pressure told in round four as the Jitmuangnon Gym representative charged his foe down and put him on the back foot. Solid low kicks found their mark, and then a left hook-right hook combination to the body made Haggerty wince.
“The Iron Man” then lunged in with a left hook and followed it with a right that dropped “The General” to the canvas for a count. Haggerty was up quickly, but he had to circle and jab to stay out of the headlights and see the end of the round, despite his rival’s insistence that he stand in front of him.
With a World Champion’s mindset coming into the fifth, Haggerty did not back down, and he got back to his earlier tactics, which included push kicks and left kicks to the body and head.
Rodtang continued his forward pressure and relentless boxing attack, but “The General” kept him off with jab-cross combinations as the bout went to the judges’ scorecards.
It was an extremely close encounter and the judges took their time in their deliberation, but they eventually rendered a unanimous decision in favor of the Thai challenger, who became the new ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion.
With the win, Rodtang added the biggest prize in martial arts to his collection and pushed his incredible record to 257-41-10. He also delivered another riveting showcase of Muay Thai.
“I am very happy and I am glad about my performance,” he told Mitch Chilson after the contest.
“[Winning the World Title] is something that every athlete dreams of, and today I made it!”