ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong recently announced the company’s plans to hold a "special rules" super-fight between Demetrious Johnson and Rodtang Jitmuangnon. The fight will be held on December 5 at the ONE X mega event.
While Johnson – ONE's #1-ranked flyweight contender – has garnered plenty of shine in the mixed martial arts community, ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang is less known to the masses of MMA fans, for now.
In the duo’s earlier years, while Johnson was beginning to snatch necks and cash checks, Rodtang made a name for himself in Asia and beyond by dominating the crowded Muay Thai scene. So, before his official introduction to the unfamiliar viewers, here are five things you need to know about Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
#1 Rodtang Called 'The Iron Man' For A Reason
One trait MMA and Muay Thai fighters have in common is the fans' mutual amusement surrounding the athletes’ nicknames. Some are good, some are bad, some don’t make sense, and some do. In Rodtang’s case, 'The Iron Man' nickname fits like a glove.
The 24-year-old has made it a habit – for better or worse – to drop his hands and extend his neck forward in the midst of combat, inviting his adversary to hit him with unguarded strikes. Somehow, this has not come back to hurt Rodtang yet. In fact, it has done the opposite, proving to be as mentally deflating as any combat mind game.
After absorbing the strikes, Rodtang performs his signature neck and shoulder roll, akin to the Marvel superhero 'Ironman' putting on his suit of armor. After that is when he tends to initiate his attacks, masterfully combining physical and mental warfare.
#2 Rodtang Packs A Lot Of Power
Rodtang’s 'The Iron Man' nickname is not solely applicable to his chin. It also applies to his offensive prowess. That’s right, if his seamless absorption of punishment isn’t enough to mentally break the opposition, his return fire surely will be.
Rodtang’s ability to combine speed and power has earned him a feared reputation. With a seemingly unbreakable iron chin and punches and kicks strong enough to chop down a tree, you’d be hard-pressed to find a hole in his game. This partially explains his impressive record.