Even ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong was stunned by the ovation Rodtang Jitmuangnon received during his North American debut at ONE Fight Night 10.
This Friday night, Rodtang will make his return to the Circle as he puts his ONE flyweight Muay Thai world title on the line against one of the promotion’s most feared strikers, Superlek. The matchup has been a long time coming, but at ONE Friday Fights 34, fans will finally see the superfight being touted as the biggest contest in the history of the art of eight limbs.
That bout may be going down in Rodtang’s backyard, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, but it seems like everywhere ‘The Iron Man’ goes, he is given the superstar treatment.
Speaking about Rodtang’s incredible rise, Chatri Sityodtong suggested that social media has given fans around the world the opportunity to discover athletes like ‘The Iron Man’ no matter where they are in the world.
“I think Rodtang has truly become a superstar,” Sityodtong said. “You know, he walks to Japan, and they kind of go crazy for him. I have to admit, I was very surprised, I think the right word was shocked when I went to Denver, and Rodtang had a bigger ovation from the entire crowd than Demetrious Johnson did or any of the American stars we had. And Rodtang doesn’t even speak English
“It's just the world is more connected than ever before. You know, the digital economy, social media, everything, you know. You can not speak the language but you can understand the art of fighting, as a fan or as a fighter, that these are the very best on the planet and you have the appreciation for it.”
After scoring 12 straight wins in ONE’s flyweight Muay Thai division, Rodtang has looked virtually unstoppable, but ‘The Iron Man’ will certainly have his work cut out for him when he squares off with ‘The Kicking Machine’ this Friday night.
ONE Friday Fights 34 is available on the ONE Super App, the official ONE Championship YouTube channel, and other digital platforms.