Petchdam "The Baby Shark" Petchyindee Academy will soon share the Circle with a man he's all too familiar with – ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang "The Iron Man" Jitmuangnon.
The two compatriots will go head-to-head for Rodtang's flyweight strap at ONE: NO SURRENDER on Friday, 31 July, in Bangkok, Thailand.
Although it will be the first time the pair meet in ONE Championship, the two Thais have plenty of history.
"We fought each other two times before, so I know him well," said Petchdam, a former ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion. "He is good, and he doesn't have any weak points, plus he has very strong punches. Since we are fighting with 4-ounce gloves on, I have to be careful."
Petchdam knows how dangerous Rodtang can be when throwing 4-ounce leather. After all, it was the hands of the heavy hitter from Pattalung that dispatched Jonathan "The General" Haggerty at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW in January.
However, "The Baby Shark" may have the tools needed to beat ONE's reigning flyweight king. In May 2017, in their first meeting at Bangkok's Rajadamnern Stadium, Petchdam defeated his compatriot using the weapons designed to take on a strong puncher.
"I won by decision with my kicks," he said.
With one up on his compatriot, Petchdam met Rodtang for a second time in February 2018 at the same historic venue, except this time Rodtang caught "The Baby Shark" with his trademark punches.
"I got hit so hard by Rodtang and showed my weakness," Petchdam said. "The referee didn't [administer a] count, but I could not walk straight and lost to him by decision."
Having felt the fury of "The Iron Man," Petchdam and his crew have been building up the young charge's defense to halt the impending punches of Rodtang.
"My trainer 'Boonberkfah' trains me hard about protecting myself and footwork, so I can avoid Rodtang's hits or get hit as little as possible," Petchdam said. "My other trainer, Chatchai Sasakun, trains me specifically on my boxing."
Although the Petchyindee Academy standout isn't giving away any secrets on how he plans to snatch the belt away from his fellow Thai, he knows what he isn't going to do.
"I am confident that I can win this fight, but not by walking forward and backward [like Rodtang would want]," he said. "The point is, I will not play his game. That is for sure."
Watch Petchdam try to capture his second ONE World Title at ONE: NO SURRENDER, an audience-free, closed-door event in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday, 31 July. Catch the action for free by downloading the ONE Super App.Published 21 Jul 2020, 18:55 IST