The road to redemption for Jonathan Haggerty, the newly crowned ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world champion, was filled with obstacles and challenges that tested his resolve. However, despite his setback in 2019 against Rodtang, where he lost his ONE gold, Haggerty was determined to regain his throne.
The 26-year-old Englishman’s perseverance and unwavering belief in himself finally paid off when he emerged victorious in his recent bout in front of an electrifying audience at the historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
During his post-fight interview with Mitch Chilson inside the ONE Championship ring, Haggerty reminisced about his initial victory when he first captured the belt years ago. He spoke with conviction and confidence, stating that he always knew that he would reclaim the championship title someday.
“I dedicated my life to this. I visualised this, you know this, I’ve been telling you all week – ‘and new’! I’m buzzing, I really am,” says Jonathan Haggerty.
Jonathan Haggerty’s journey to reclaim his throne as a world champion in ONE Championship’s flyweight Muay Thai division was a rocky one. In his second fight for the promotion in 2019, Haggerty made a name for himself by defeating legendary Thai fighter Sam-A Gaiyanghadao by unanimous decision, thus claiming the world title. However, his reign was short-lived as he lost the belt to the current reigning king, Rodtang ‘The Iron Man’ Jitmuangnon, in his first defence. A subsequent rematch with Rodtang resulted in a demoralising defeat for Haggerty, leaving him with a burning desire to make a comeback.
Realising that he needed to move up a weight class to regain his stature, Haggerty made the difficult decision to leave the flyweight division behind and set his sights on the bantamweight belt. With a renewed sense of purpose, he began his journey to reclaim his title, determined to prove his worth as a champion.
On Friday, in front of a fervent Thai crowd, Haggerty took on the iconic Nong-O Hama in a riveting battle for the bantamweight championship. It was a fight for the ages, with both fighters leaving it all in the ring. In the end, Haggerty emerged victorious, and once again claimed the mantle of world champion.
Nong-O, the Thai megastar, was set to continue his dominant streak as he stepped into the ONE Championship match with a perfect 10-0 record, including 8-0 in world title fights, and five consecutive knockouts. The numbers alone were enough to intimidate any opponent.
However, Haggerty, the former ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion, was undeterred by Nong-O’s impressive record. He was determined to show that those accolades were just numbers, and that he was capable of dethroning the Thai champion.
From the opening bell, it was clear that Haggerty was a man possessed. He unleashed a flurry of strikes and sent Nong-O to the canvas with a quick right overhand. Undeterred, Nong-O tried to regain his footing, but Haggerty was relentless in his pursuit of victory. He continued to land powerful blows, and soon, Nong-O was down for the second time in the match.
With the prospect of greatness within his grasp, Haggerty knew that he had to give it his all. He launched an onslaught of punches that felled Nong-O for the third and final time. The crowd erupted in cheers as Haggerty secured his legend with a stunning victory over the previously undefeated champion.
In the end, it was clear that Haggerty’s determination and grit had paid off. He had shown that even the most dominant champions could be defeated with the right strategy and mindset. This victory would go down in history as one of the greatest upsets in ONE Championship history.
Haggerty’s triumphant return to the top of the Muay Thai world is a testament to his unwavering determination and perseverance. It is also a reminder that setbacks and defeats are not the end, but rather an opportunity to learn, grow, and come back stronger. Haggerty’s victory has earned him not only the coveted championship belt but also a whopping $100,000 bonus, a fitting reward for a fighter who refused to give up on his dreams.
With his impressive comeback victory and reclamation of the bantamweight Muay Thai world title, Jonathan Haggerty now finds himself in a position to take on some of the biggest names in the sport. While there are plenty of intriguing options for his next fight, a rematch with Nong-O Hama seems like a likely possibility. Nong-O is an accomplished veteran who has proven himself as one of the best in the business, and he will undoubtedly be eager to avenge his loss to Haggerty.
Another fighter who may have earned a shot at the world title is bantamweight contender Felipe Lobo, who put on a dazzling performance on the same card as Haggerty’s victory. Lobo’s impressive showing has certainly caught the attention of fans and promoters alike, and he may well be next in line for a shot at the championship.
Of course, there is also the possibility of a third fight between Haggerty and Rodtang Jitmuangnon, who is undoubtedly still stinging from his defeat at the hands of Haggerty. With the added motivation of Haggerty’s newly won belt, Rodtang will undoubtedly be eager to get back in the ring and prove himself once again.
Regardless of who his next opponent may be, one thing is for certain: Jonathan Haggerty will continue to deliver an exciting brand of fighting that will thrill fans around the world. With his tenacity, skill, and heart, he has proven himself as one of the top fighters in the sport today, and his future looks brighter than ever before.