Rodtang warms up for ONE: ‘A New Era’ with Rajadamnern win
Rodtang Jitmuangnon is the man of the moment. Rise wanted him, ONE Championship got him and the Thai fighter still found time to register an impressive win at Rajadamnern last night.
Their previous encounter back in August 2018 won the Rajadamnern Stadium ‘fight of the year’ award so the rematch between Rodtang and Chorfar Tor Sangtiennoi was eagerly anticipated.
Rodtang won the first encounter by a razor thin margin, picking up a painful looking cut under his left eye in the process and had Chorfar’s camp straight away clamoring for a return.
The return match last night was again the highlight of the televised Thursday night broadcast on the Suk Muay Thai Rajadamnern promotion and in anticipation of another epic battle, a large crowd poured through the stadium turnstiles, with almost 2 million baht taken on the night.
Chorfar and his team felt they did enough to win their previous encounter and he started the fight looking like a man determined to get revenge, attacking Rodtang with sharp elbows and solid kicks.
Rodtang looked a little more reserved. With the prospect of a big money, big stage match in Tokyo at ONE: ‘A New Era’ on March 31st of March he put in a more calculated performance, perhaps looking to minimize any risks of injury ahead of one of the most important fights of his career.
The fight really came to life in the third as Chorfar upped the pressure on Rodtang, again coming from behind some big elbows and kicks, in an attempt to take it into the clinch and grind down the ‘the tank’ with knees.
The ONE Championship star showed how dangerous he can be though towards the end of the round with a couple of heavy left hooks that looked like they shook up Chorfar, who continued walking down Rodtang throughout the fourth round.
Chorfar had some success taking the fight into the clinch and again managed to open a small cut by the left eye of his opponent but Rodtang picked his shots with precision and power landing with several heavy, perfectly timed body kicks.
At one point Chorfar visibly needed to clear his head after eating a huge elbow. It was the kind of shot that would have instantly caught the judges’ eyes and saw Chorfar lose his poker face, a factor that helped Rodtang go into the final round comfortably ahead.
Chorfar refused to give up though and kept on coming at Rodtang throughout the final round, this time mainly attacking with punches and elbows. Rodtang showed a slicker more technical side to his game though, slipping shots and bobbing and weaving as he wound the clock down.
Chorfar had his moments, but they were too few and far between to dent Rodtang’s lead and the young Phattalung native took the decision again, this time with no complaints from anyone.
As with a lot of hyped rematches there was always the fear that the fight wouldn’t live up to expectations and although this match didn’t quite have the same intensity as their first encounter it was still more than worth the entrance money.
Next up for Rodtang is Hakim Hamech who he faces in Tokyo on March 31st at ONE: ‘A New Era’.