top of page

Rodtang Jitmuangnon's Resilient Comeback at ONE 167: Confronting Adversity and Eyeing a Historic Bout

Rodtang Jitmuangnon
Black Belt Plus

Rodtang Jitmuangnon made his triumphant return to ONE Championship at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II.

The ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion went toe-to-toe with Denis Puric in a catchweight kickboxing battle and showcased his superiority over the course of nine minutes.

However, his emotions ran over during his post-match interview after dealing with backlash on social media for missing weight.

“I feel relieved right now. On the day that I missed weight, I felt bad for myself, and there was heavy drama and harsh comments online. I couldn’t even pick up my phone to check my phone again. But the comments went too far. They were aimed at the people that I love and the people around me,” Rodtang told ONE.

The comments show the power that social media can have, even on one of the brightest stars in martial arts. Rodtang was coming off an injury, and although he failed to meet the contracted weight, the bout went on with a catchweight.

“The Iron Man” thanked those fans who continued to support him, but it was clear the sharp words from others still stung.

“About social media, a lot of people talked about how I didn’t train or anything like that. When I’m training, I’m focused on that. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to show everyone what I’m training each day or what I’m eating each day. It’s really irrelevant,” the Thai star detailed.

While the win itself was a silver lining, it also kept Rodtang on the path of one of the most highly-anticipated kickboxing matches possible. His potential meeting with Takeru Segawa has been hyped for years.

Rodtang clearly wants the match and plans to take on the Japanese superstar next.

“Now that I’m back and fighting again, I want to fight Takeru. Takeru, let’s go,” Rodtang exclaimed.

The bout between the two was initially scheduled for January. However, the aforementioned injury forced Rodtang off the card in Tokyo.

With Rodtang fully healthy, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong is ready to make the fight happen later this year.

“I want to do Rodtang vs. Takeru. 100 percent. I want to do that fight this year. Maybe in Japan, let’s see. Let’s see,” Sityodtong said.

“I need to sit down with Rodtang, and I need to sit down and talk with Takeru to see if and when they’re gonna fight. Or actually, when they’re gonna fight. It’s such a huge fight for them, and it will definitely be one of the biggest fights in Japan’s history, so we want to do that ideally in Japan. But again, there’s a lot of moving parts.”

bottom of page