Allycia Hellen Rodrigues Sets Her Sights on Smilla Sundell’s Strawweight Crown

August 31, 2023
From: Spartacus

At the cusp of combat sports legendary, Allycia Hellen Rodrigues is gearing up to grasp the kind of glory only dreamed of by many fighters. Already the queenpin of ONE’s atomweight Muay Thai division, this 25-year-old Brazilian virtuoso is stepping up a weight class. Why? To seize Smilla “The Hurricane” Sundell’s ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title. 

This high-octane clash will headline at ONE Fight Night 14: Stamp vs. Ham on Prime Video, staged at Singapore Indoor Stadium on September 29. But Rodrigues isn’t just fighting for a title; she’s fighting for a legacy. 

In her own words, the fiery Brazilian told ONE Championship: “I’m moving up in the division because I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. I want to make history. I want to be a champion of two divisions. I am very happy with this opportunity.”

Despite holding a world championship and an unblemished record in ONE Championship, Rodrigues knows that climbing weight classes is a monumental task—especially when you’re facing an 18-year-old prodigy like Sundell, who is already a formidable champion. The Swede stands tall, and not just figuratively. She has a size advantage that she’s used to lethal effect in past bouts. Rodrigues, however, views challenges as just another form of opportunity.

“People are doubting me, but that fuels me,” says Rodrigues. “But my biggest motivation is seeing that a lot of people are not believing in me, and I’m going to show them all that nothing is impossible when you work hard.”

Rodrigues isn’t taking Sundell lightly, and for good reason. The young Swedish champion, nicknamed ‘The Hurricane,’ lives up to her title by attacking opponents with devastating punching combos and punishing knee strikes. Rodrigues has been doing her homework, studying Sundell’s fights, and picking apart her strategies.

“She likes to be aggressive,” Rodrigues observes. “She also knows how to use her height advantage to box and use her knees, which troubles her opponents. I don’t worry about her size. I’m excited for this fight, and I know it’s going to be a war because of our styles.”

Not only is Rodrigues banking on her grit, but she’s also counting on her keen fight IQ and her diversified striking skills—assets that helped her topple Muay Thai luminaries like Stamp Fairtex and Janet Todd. While she acknowledges Sundell’s height could make a knockout more challenging, Rodrigues is unfazed.

“Knocking her out won’t be easy, but it won’t be impossible, either,” says the Brazilian dynamo. “I’m really looking forward to the fight, and I believe it will be one of the best fights of the event.”

Meanwhile, Smilla Sundell has her own ace in the hole—her training partner and fellow ONE Championship superstar, Stamp Fairtex, who is advising her on how to play her height and reach advantages.

Sundell told ONE Championship, “[Stamp] always told me to use my jabs and long knees. She tells me that I have to make use of my long legs. Everyone tells me that, and I’ve always done it too.”

As the showdown looms on the horizon, it’s not just about one fighter’s dream but the reverberations their clash will send through the world of Muay Thai. Will Sundell continue her reign, or will Rodrigues make history by becoming the latest two-division champion? 

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