Rodtang Jitmuangnon has been denied entry to Canada! The Thai superstar, who earned 10 million baht (276,000 USD) for his last fight, was turned away at the airport by a border officer who suspected he was going to try and seek illegal employment in the country.

Had the border officer been able to access the internet he would have discovered that Rodtang was a decorated Muay Thai champion who earned far more in the past year than the average Canadian does. Unfortunately it seems they were either unable or unwilling to do the necessary research.

According to Champion’s Creed MMA in Calgary, where Rodtang was scheduled to conduct a seminar,

“A CBSA agent, adopting a notably challenging stance, levied unfounded accusations against Rodtang, suggesting an intent to permanently settle and seek employment in Canada.”

Incredible misjudgment

Quite why Rodtang would want to overstay his visa in order to settle and work in Canada isn’t clear. The vast majority of his fights take place in South East Asia and he has a wife and a very successful career in Thailand.

According to Champion’s Creed MMA 200 tickets had been sold for Rodtang’s seminar there. It seems incredible that a border officer could have misjudged the situation so badly and it will be very interesting to see what the official explanation for turning the Thai superstar away is.

If the CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) really did adjudge Rodtang to be planning to overstay his visa in order to try and seek illegal employment in the country then an explanation and apology must surely be forthcoming. Of course we have only heard a second hand account of events that transpired so the actual situation might turn out to be more complex.

Second setback

It is not the first setback Rodtang has had this year. He dropped a split decision to Superlek Kiatmoo9 at ONE Friday Fights 34 , tasting defeat for the first time since signing with the promotion.

The 10mn baht purse will have come as some consolation to the 26 year old who has fought three times this year, including his American debut at ONE Fight Night 10 in March. It seems surprising that Rodtang would be allowed into the US but not Canada so perhaps there was some problem with the paperwork.

If a CBSA agent really did decide that the famous Muay Thai champion couldn’t come into the country because he was planning on getting a job and overstaying his visa then they are definitely going to have some explaining to do!