Jonathan Haggerty Believes Youth Will Be the Key to Defeating Nong-O Hama in ONE Championship Matchup; Admits Being Drawn Into War with Rodtang Jitmuangnon in Past Matches
In the main event matchup with Nong-O Hama, “The General” predicts that Jonathan Haggerty’s inexperience will be a major factor in denying the Thai fighter his first ONE Championship defeat:
“I really do think my footwork and my style will be a real challenge for Nong-O [Hama]. My youth, my fitness, and the way I’m going to feel now at bantamweight, the more confident I’m going to be. I’m going to be fit. So yeah, I just feel like my footwork and my youth will be a challenge for Nong-O.”
Although his opponent at ONE Fight Night 9 is 10 years older than Jonathan Haggerty, 26, there is also a 10-year experience difference between them. In contrast to Nong-O, who presently has an impressive 265 victories over 300 career fights, “The General” has only won 24 of his 24 career fights.
In actuality, ‘The General’ has fought less times than Nong-O has won matches under the ONE name. On April 21, that may very well be the deciding factor.
Jonathan Haggerty admits that getting into a conflict with Rodtang “wasn’t meant” to happen.
Jonathan Haggerty claims he was drawn into a war with ‘The Iron Man’ Rodtang Jitmuangnon despite the advice of his corner.
Between August 2019 and January 2020, a five-month period, “The General” twice shared the Circle with Rodtang. Although both matches featured exciting Muay Thai battles, Haggerty acknowledges that getting involved in a physical conflict with one of the sport’s most legendary fighters was probably a bad decision.
In an interview with Heatrick Muay Thai Performance, Jonathan Haggerty discussed the advice that his support team gave him during his fight with “The Iron Man” but that he eventually disregarded.
He said, “Just do what you have to do to win. I fell into a war with him, which I wasn’t meant to do. I’m not sure my trainer was happy with me. One of them was like just clinching him. That one shoulder was saying clinch, that other shoulder was saying don’t clinch, people will think you’re scared.”
Rodtang is a mystery, but even if ‘The General’ couldn’t figure it out, he might be able to deny another legendary Muay Thai fighter his first ONE Championship defeat.
Haggerty will try to defeat Nong-O Hama and win the ONE bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship in the main event of ONE Fight Night 9. This is something no man has ever done inside the Circle.
In the same interview with Heatrick Muay Thai Performance, Haggerty disclosed that while he had a very clear game plan heading into the contests, “The General” concentrated more on entertaining the crowd than sticking to the plan once he was inside the circle:
“Before the fight, I’m always switched on 100 percent. But you know, there’s little things when I was in the last fight with Rodtang, I was scoring and scoring, and I was grabbing him,” Haggerty revealed. “I just wanted to score and clinch, but when I was in there, I was thinking to myself, ‘People don’t want to see this. Why are you grabbing him? Don’t grab him, don’t look scared.’ Don’t care about that. Don’t care about what people think.”
The only defeats Jonathan Haggerty has suffered in the ONE Championship so far have come at the hands of Rodtang.
The General recovered like a real champion, defeating Taiki Naito, Mongkolpetch Petchyindee, and Vladimir Kuzmin three times in a row. His second chance to defend the ONE world title has been made possible by those wins, but it won’t be against Rodtang in a trilogy.
Instead, Nong-O Hama, the current ONE featherweight Muay Thai champion, will face off against Haggerty. On April 21, when the promotion returns to the storied Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, the duo will serve as the main attraction of ONE Fight Night 9 on Prime Video.