Allycia Rodrigues is well and truly back. After missing two years to give birth to her first child the Brazilian is looking to land a second belt in 2023.

She made a successful comeback to defeat interim atomweight champion Janet Todd at ONE Fight Night 8 and unify the belts. Now she is moving up to strawweight to challenge Smilla Sundell.

Having had to sit on the sidelines for several years she is well and truly back in the mix and looking to ‘make history’,

“I’m moving up in the division because I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. I want to make history. I want to be a champion of two divisions.”

Biggest motivation

The opportunity to fight Sundell only came about because original challenger Jackie Buntan withdrew. But Rodrigues was not going to turn down the chance to fulfill one of her dreams,

“Having two belts is one of my dreams, and I intend to make it happen. I want to make history, I want to challenge myself more and more, and I know I can do it.”

She is moving up a division and facing one of the biggest strawweights on the roster. Rodriguez feels the odds are against her and she wants to upset them and silence the doubters,

“My biggest motivation is seeing that a lot of people are not believing in me, and I’m going to show them all that nothing is impossible when you work hard. I grabbed this opportunity with all my might, and I’m going to show it in the fight.”

Her two previous ONE Championship fights have both gone the distance. But whereas most fighters take on a few contenders before earning a title shot Rodriguez has only ever fought for belts.

That trend continues at ONE Fight Night 14 and she hopes to register her first ever finish for the promotion,

“I believe that I am smarter and more accurate and that I am also more complete in Muay Thai. But, due to Sundell’s height, I know it will be difficult to knock her out. So knocking her out won’t be easy, but it won’t be impossible either.”

Constant pressure

So far no-one has been able to cope with the constant pressure Sundell applies. The Fairtex representative likes to fight on the front foot but Rodriguez feels she has exactly the same style,

“She likes to be aggressive and put pressure on her opponents, always moving forward. However, I also like to play this forward game.”

Previous opponents have struggled to find and answer for Sundell’s size and pressure but Rodrigues believes it won’t be a problem for her,

“She knows how to use her height advantage to box and use her knees, and I know this is what causes her opponents a lot of trouble. She plays her game really well. I like her fighting style, but I don’t worry about her size.”

They say that styles make fights and whatever happens at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on September 29th Rodriguez is sure that it will be entertaining,

“I’m excited for this fight, and I know it’s going to be a war because of our styles.”