As the countdown to September 22 begins, the combat sports world is abuzz with anticipation. ONE Championship is pulling out all the stops for its most extravagant instalment yet of the ONE Friday Fights event series. Set in the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, the global broadcast in Asia primetime promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime extravaganza that no fight aficionado will want to miss.
The evening’s crown jewel is the long-awaited bout between ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon and top-ranked contender Superlek Kiatmoo9. Initially scheduled for March under the banner of ONE Fight Night 8, an injury to Rodtang had momentarily dashed the hopes of fight fans worldwide. Now fully recovered and fresh off recent wins, both warriors are ready for a clash that’s been years in the making.
Superlek shared his excitement, saying, “This is a dream match for Thai and global fans. The fight between Rodtang and me has been highly anticipated for a long time.” He added that the timing couldn’t be more perfect: “I think it’s the perfect time for us to fight each other. We couldn’t run from each other any longer. The time has come right now.”
Besides this blockbuster main event, the show will present a litany of other high-profile matchups. Fans will see the returns of Prajanchai PK Saenchai, the ONE Interim Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion, four-time Muay Thai World Champion Seksan Or Kwanmuang, and Australian striking sensation Tyson Harrison. MMA aficionados can look forward to electrifying performances from stars like Lito Adiwang, Adrian Mattheis, and Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg.
Superlek, who has been making waves in all striking arts and is on a seven-fight winning streak, sees the duel as more than just another match. “It was my initial intention to climb the rankings to fight with Rodtang and become the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion. There are no other potential contenders left to challenge him in this division, except for me,” he elaborated.
This high-stakes bout holds significance for both fighters, each an icon in their discipline. Rodtang, the impenetrable fortress in Muay Thai, and Superlek, the divisional kickboxing titleholder, have often oscillated between the two forms of combat sport. Yet, Superlek felt that this collision was fated to happen. “I have had an eye on Rodtang for as long as he has competed in five-round Muay Thai. I knew that sooner or later, our paths would cross.”
Superlek articulated the universal sentiment surrounding this marquee matchup: “I think the ONE matchmakers want to put on the biggest main events that every fan wants to see.” In this vein, ONE Friday Fights 34 promises to be not just a series of fights but a unification of combat worlds. Here, traditional martial arts meet modern-day sports entertainment, showcasing the best each has to offer.
In Superlek’s view, the match is a significant landmark in the evolution of Muay Thai and kickboxing. “We couldn’t run from each other any longer,” he stated, alluding to the inevitable nature of this bout.
As we inch closer to September 22, it’s clear that ONE Friday Fights 34 is more than just another event on the calendar. It is a showcase of the epitome of martial arts, a celebration of combat sports, and a potential turning point in the careers of fighters like Rodtang and Superlek. With Lumpinee Boxing Stadium as the venue, it’s almost poetic that this iconic Thai stadium serves as the crucible where destinies will be decided.
As Superlek so aptly put it, “The time has come right now.” This sentiment encapsulates the emotion, the anticipation, and the sheer weight of what is set to unfold on that fateful night. Indeed, for fans and fighters alike, ONE Friday Fights 34 is a date marked in gold, a moment destined to be etched in the annals of combat sports history.