With the highly-anticipated release of the new Pokemon "Brilliant Diamond" and "Pokemon Shining Pearl" video games, talk surrounding the popular franchise has been abundant.
As those who have indulged in the world of Pokemon know, one of the main features of the video games is the battle mechanics, pitting various Pokemon head-to-head or in team battles to determine who is the superior combatant.
Nowadays, with the popularity of competitive gaming on the rise, Pokemon battles require ample knowledge and strategy to achieve victory at a high level. This creates plenty of parallels to be drawn between the world of Pokemon and the world of martial arts.
There are even a handful of Pokemon designed to mirror specific martial arts or martial artists, like Urshifu representing the ancient Chinese art of Wushu or Hitmonchan designed with Jackie Chan in mind. The list goes on.
ONE Championship released a Pokemon-themed graphic on its social media channels matching some of its biggest stars with their corresponding Pokemon.
We’re here to break down why each athlete and Pokemon were chosen to partner up, and what exactly makes them suitable matches. Here are five ONE Championship stars as Pokemon.
#5. Rodtang Jitmuangnon / Pokemon: “Blaziken”
Consider ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang ‘The Iron Man’ Jitmuangnon and Blaziken as the easiest match to decipher on this list.
Blaziken underwent a bit of a makeover in generation six when the mega evolution mechanic was added to Pokemon's battle feature. A noticeable change was made to Blaziken’s sprite in which Mega Blaziken assumed a Muay Thai stance.
With its front leg in a lifted checking position and hands held high, complete with flames on its arms to represent the traditional Pra Jiad armbands worn by Nak Muays, the resemblance is uncanny.
Blaziken has the ability to become stronger as the battle wages on with its 'Speed Boost' ability. Similarly, Rodtang has long been known to start off slow and pick up the intensity as his fights go on. And of course, with Blaziken’s signature move being the “Blaze Kick,” how could he not be matched up with ONE Championship’s pound-for-pound striking king Rodtang?