"To support my family" - Rodtang on why he decided to leave football and focus on Muay Thai full time as a teenager

Rodtang Jitmuangnon | Image credit: ONE Championship
Rodtang Jitmuangnon | Image credit: ONE Championship

At an early age, Rodtang Jitmuangnon had to make an important life decision on whether he would pursue the sport he loves or go with the sport that would help his family get out of poverty. The reigning ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion selected the latter, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions for him because it rewarded him with more than he expected.

Rodtang revealed this during a recent Instagram post by ONE Championship, as he stated:

"But I was paid very little for playing soccer compared to Muay Thai. I decided to compete in Muay Thai to earn more money to support my family. At that time, I would earn 300 baht (US$8) per fight."

The 'art of eight limbs' has opened limitless opportunities for Rodtang, as he can now support his family and enjoy life as a sports superstar. Furthermore, he became one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of his generation.

Despite choosing to become a professional combat sports athlete, the Jitmuangnon Gym athlete plays soccer during his downtime along with other Muay Thai stars.

Rodtang has set his sights on becoming ONE Championship's next three-sport world champion

In another video released by the world's largest martial arts organization, more facts about 'The Iron Man' were disclosed, such as being the highest-paid Muay Thai fighter of all time and winning 271 out of his 300-plus professional fights.

But the most intriguing fact about him is his dream of becoming ONE Championship's next three-sport world champion and following in the footsteps of Stamp Fairtex, who became the first athlete to do so.

Right now, he already has the ONE flyweight Muay Thai world championship in his possession, and his next targets are the kickboxing and MMA world titles that are with Superlek Kiatmoo9 and Demetrious Johnson, respectively.

Before he aims for three-sport supremacy, Rodtang has immediate business at hand. 'The Iron Man' will face Denis Puric in a non-title kickboxing match at ONE 167 this Friday, US primetime, at Impact Arena.

ONE 167 is available live and free to all Prime Video subscribers in North America on June 7. The card will emanate from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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