Rodtang Jitmuangnong impressed many with his walkout to the cage last weekend, almost as much as he impressed spectators with his performance in the circle moments after.
The ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion’s entrance to the arena was a performing act that gave fans an indicator of what kind of vibe he would bring into his return to kickboxing- a non-title fight with Jiduo Yibu.
Rodtang cruised through the fight, roughing up Jiduo en route to a unanimous decision.
While confident that he’s at the top of the food chain in fighting, he’s not so sure that he’s pound-for-pound the best dancer in the organization.
In a recent interview with the South China Morning Post, Jitmuangnon stated that he believes there are better performers than him in ONE Championship when it comes to the walkouts:
"For my dance moves, I’m probably the second or third [best]. Let her [Stamp Fairtex] be the first one."
Stamp Fairtex (a former girlfriend of Rodtang’s) frequently steals the show with her own walkouts, and her elaborate entrance at ONE Fight Night 6 paved the way to her own win.
She fought Anna 'Supergirl' Jaroonsak in a last-minute kickboxing fight, also winning by unanimous decision.
The bout had to be assembled the day before the event when Stamp and Jaroonsak’s original opponents faced issues that prevented them from competing, leaving the two Thai stars as sensible opponents.
Rodtang confident that fighting Jiduo with Muay Thai rules would have ended differently
While looking every bit like a world champion, Rodtang admits he was a bit out of his comfort zone in his fight last Friday night.
Immediately after his win over Jiduo Yibu, Mitch Chilson interviewed the flyweight Muay Thai world champion about the challenges of the fight and what he hopes to accomplish next:
"Of course I had to change my style, this is kickboxing this is not Muay Thai. I always have to be ready to change. If I came for the Muay Thai it wouldn’t be the result that you saw. I will try to get the kickboxing belt next."
ONE kickboxing fights use larger 8-oz. gloves, whereas the Muay Thai fights that Rodtang typically competes in use four-ounce gloves.
He’ll get to strap on the kickboxing gloves once again if he’s intent on going for the belt, which is now held by Superlek Kiatmoo9.
Superlek also fought the same night as him, beating Daniel Puertas by unanimous decision to pick up the vacant belt. Puertas was Rodtang’s original opponent, so it’s not unreasonable to think that the Thai star could be matched against his compatriot next in a champ vs. champ kickboxing world title fight.
Jitmuangnon has also spoken about joining the recently-announced openweight Muay Thai grand prix, and one day fighting in MMA. For one of the most feared men out of Thailand, the options are wide open for multiple opponents across three different sports.