With ONE: ‘Immortal Triumph’ set for Vietnam on Friday night several match-ups have caught the eye in particular the fight between Thai star Panpayak Jitmuangnon and Japan’s Masahide Kudo.

Panpayak is making his second appearance for the promotion after a comfortable points win over Portugese fighter Rui Botelho, on ONE: ‘Destiny of Champions’, last year. This time though the fight will be under kickboxing rules which has seen Panpayak change his focus a little in his preparations for the fight.

“It’s exciting for me as I have never fought under this rule set before. I don’t think it should be too hard for me to switch over from Muay Thai though as I am naturally a technical fighter and I prefer to kick and punch rather than clinch. My best weapon has always been my left kick, but I am going to add more punches to my game as well, to set up my kicks. I am also going to be more aggressive than normal in this fight and really put on a show for the fans,” he said.

Panpayak has already studied his awkward opponent’s style and feels he has what it takes to take the win.

“I have seen his fight against Petchdam and seen his weakness in taking hard punches. He has an awkward and dangerous, aggressive style, but I have way more experience and I think that will be the key to getting the win. I cannot take him lightly though and can’t take any risks, especially wearing the small MMA gloves as they are harder to block punches with, so I’ve been working on some changes to my defense.”

Knockout artist

Mashide has a strong knockout ratio in his record and aims to try and finish every fight inside the distance. This could make things dangerous for Panpayak as he has shown in the past that he can be hurt and stopped if caught clean,

Mashide will be going all out to test the chin of the three times Sports Writers ‘Fighter of the Year’ award winner in the hope of causing a spectacular upset,

“I love to stand and trade hard shots with my opponent, it’s the best part of a fight for me, the thrill of trying to get the KO while nervous that your opponent may catch you with a finishing shot and the joy from everyone supporting you when you get that win is what the sport is about for me.”

Mashide is focused hard on trying to defeat Panpayak, but also has another Thai superstar firmly in his sights,

“I would love to fight Rodtang Jitmuangnon, his fights are always exciting and he uses a lot of power in his fights. I think this would be a really exciting and fun fight for the fans.”

Possible upset

Whatever happens on the 6th of September, when these two warriors clash, concentration could be the decisive factor in determining who comes out the winner. Both have shown in the past they can be vulnerable to a heavy shot and the small gloves only increase the danger.

Panpayak with his experience and skill level will undoubtedly start as a strong favorite, but Mashide with 13 KO wins in his last 19 fights has shown in the past he has the power at his disposal to cause an upset.