ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon had the opportunity to feel like his football heroes in his first on-ground match in the United States earlier this year.
‘The Iron Man’ treated American martial arts fans to a spectacular performance back in May at ONE Fight Night 10 on Prime Video when he knocked out Mexican challenger Edgar Tabares in the second round of their title showdown.
The impressive victory earned Rodtang a huge $100,000 performance bonus while fans who trekked to Colorado to watch the ONE Championship event widely celebrated the win.
In an interview with French kickboxer Antoine Pinto on YouTube, the 26-year-old Jitmuangnon Gym standout recalled with fondness the experience, even likening it to what his football heroes Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi might be experiencing each time.
“I won that day, I didn’t think of anything. There were many steps of happiness. The first happiness was a big applause and people screaming my name, you know, you always hear people say ‘Ronaldo! Messi!’ but I didn’t expect to get that same kind of chant. They just kept yelling my name, so I appreciate it. The second happiness was the US$100,000 performance bonus. So happy.”
Check out the interview below:
Rodtang returns to action on September 22 at ONE Friday Fights 34 at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok.
He will take on fellow Thai superstar and reigning ONE flyweight kickboxing world champion Superlek Kiatmoo9 in a catchweight (140 lbs) Muay Thai clash.
The fight was originally set as a title showdown for Rodtang’s Muay Thai gold until Superlek came in five pounds heavier in the weigh-in, rendering the contest a non-title bout.
In accepting the catchweight fight, Rodtang said he still wanted to face off against one of the top fighters in his division and show that he is still the best in what he does.
ONE Friday Fights 34 is available on the ONE Super App, the official ONE Championship YouTube channel, and other digital platforms.