Rodtang recalls humble beginnings that pushed him to pursue Muay Thai: “My family is poor”

Rodtang (left) and Rodtang with his parents (right)
Rodtang (left) and Rodtang with his parents (right)

One of the most inspiring stories in sports is the ‘rags to riches’ narrative. Through sports, several athletes have clawed their way out of poverty to a better life. Among those athletes is ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion, Rodtang.

Before enjoying the success he currently does, the Thai superstar first experienced the difficulty of life, which forced him to make a living at an early age. The 26-year-old found Muay Thai, which gave him opportunities for income.

In his appearance on CUTZRADIO, ‘Iron Man’ took a short trip down memory lane to look back at his humble beginnings:

“My family is poor, my parents have 10 kids and I’m 8th. Everyone needed to work to put the food on the table. And one of my teammates suggested that I compete Muay Thai because they paid well. You can make 300-500 baht in the first fight.”

Since his first professional bout at 10, Rodtang has now registered over 250 victories in his name, which was also key to his entry into the world’s largest martial arts organization in 2018. He would then go on to become one of the biggest stars in the promotion.

Rodtang defeated Sergio Wielzen in his ONE debut before adding Fahdi Khaled, Hakim Hamech, and Sok Thy to his victim list and earning a world title shot against Jonathan Haggerty in August 2019. He maximized the opportunity and dethroned ‘The General’ with a unanimous decision win to realize his dream of becoming a world champion.

After that world championship triumph, ‘Iron Man’ has fended off the challenges from Walter Goncalves, Petchdam Petchyindee, Danial Williams, Jacob Smith, and Joseph Lasiri. His most recent title defense was a second-round knockout of Edgar Tabares at ONE Fight Night 10, which earned him a whopping $100,000 bonus for the spectacular finish.

Rodtang’s next opponent will be Superlek Kiatmoo9 as he defends his ONE flyweight Muay Thai world title in the headliner of ONE Friday Fights 34 inside the Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on September 22.

Watch Rodtang’s full interview here:


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Edited by Krishna Venki