This will be the third time they have faced each other and Rodtang remembers their earlier encounters,
“The first time we fought I had not long been back fighting in the stadiums and I had not got down to my best weight yet. I fought Kaimookao Petchyindeeacademy the month before at 131lbs and then Petchdam at 127lbs and hadn’t adjusted fully to the weight yet and lost a close fight on points.”
Settled and strong
The rematch went in Rodtang’s favour and he explains why,
“The next fight I was more settled at the weight and stronger and I managed to hurt Petchdam in the fourth round and took the win.”
While there might have been extenuating circumstances for his first loss to Petchdam he will have not excuse if Friday’s fight doesn’t go his way,
“I am in the best shape I have ever been in now and this is the hardest I have trained for a fight so I will be 100% ready for Petchdam.”
There have been reports in the Thai media suggesting that Rodtang had said he was worried that Petchdam was going to run away from him. But he claims to have been misquoted,
“I never said I was scared that Petchdam will run away from me. I like fighters to come to me and I like to put on a show. I hope that we can put on an exciting fight for the fans and not just a stadium style where one of the fighters does what they have to do to get the win on points. Everyone has been waiting a long time to see us fight and I want it to be something special for the fans.”
Rodtang is fully confident he will get the win, but also has a special source of motivation for this fight that is making him more determined than ever,
“My father is ill now and on the 23rd, which is also my birthday, he has to go into hospital for an important operation, so I am dedicating this fight to my father and I am determined to get the win for him.”
The Jitmuangnon Gym was slow to reopen after lockdown ended. As a result Rodtang spent some time at Fairtex in Pattaya training alongside his girlfriend Stamp Fairtex.
She is also on the ONE: ‘No Surrender’ card competing in an MMA match and it is a route Rodtang could end up taking,
“I really enjoy the MMA training and feel I have the basics down already. There is definitely a chance I could fight MMA in the future, when I feel 100% ready and maybe if and when I run out of opponents in Muay Thai and kickboxing.”
With Petchdam set to give him the biggest test of his ONE Super Series career and Panpayak Jitmuangnon and Superlek Kiatmoo9 waiting in the wings Rodtang won’t be running out of opponents any time soon. He might follow his girlfriend into MMA one day but for the time being the champion will have his hands full retaining his title in a stacked division.