In the rich tapestry of Muay Thai history, few matchups have generated the electric anticipation akin to what we’re about to witness at ONE Friday Fights 34. Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, a hallowed ground for every Muay Thai aspirant in Bangkok, is already resonating with whispers and fervent discussions.
It’s a duel of titans on Friday, September 22. Rodtang Jitmuangnon, the reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion, prepares to defend his esteemed title. Across the ring, challenging his supremacy, stands the kickboxing dynamo, Superlek Kiatmoo9. This scintillating revelation came from ONE Championship’s Chairman and CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, via his social media channels, sending fans into a euphoric frenzy.
Headlining the evening’s lineup, the event promises to be an unforgettable experience for every Muay Thai aficionado tuning in during Asia’s prime time. While both stalwarts have left indelible marks on Thailand’s illustrious Muay Thai circuits over two decades, their paths have mysteriously never converged.
An earlier arrangement, at ONE on Prime Video 8, had the world on the edge of their seats. Superlek was primed to defend his kickboxing title against Rodtang. But, in a twist of fate, injury forced Rodtang into an unplanned hiatus, keeping fans yearning for this epic face-off.
Yet, like true champions, neither let this delay deter their momentum.
Rodtang’s triumphant return was the stuff of legends. At ONE Fight Night 10, he unleashed his fury on WBC Muay Thai International Champion, Edgar Tabares, not only consolidating his reign but also winning the hearts of a vast American audience. Amid this triumph, whispers in the corridors of power hinted at a future showdown with the Japanese kickboxing maestro, Takeru Segawa.
Parallelly, Superlek was carving a legacy of his own. His journey towards potentially being crowned the “Fighter of the Year” was in full swing. Despite the vacuum left by Rodtang’s unexpected exit, Superlek stood tall, successfully fending off the challenge posed by Danial Williams. But his hunger wasn’t satisfied there. He then orchestrated two spectacular knockouts, grounding Nabil Anane at ONE Friday Fights 22, and dominating Tagir Khalilov at ONE on Prime Video 12.
While their individual journeys have been tales of perseverance, dedication, and unmatched skill, their mutual desire resonates deeply with their Thai roots. Both envision a future where Thailand-born athletes reign supreme in every category of ONE Championship. And as the crucial date of September 22 looms closer, one guarantee remains: the prestigious ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title will continue to be adorned by a Thai champion. But which of these gladiators will exit the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium with that title around their waist remains the million-dollar question.
Superlek’s credentials as “The Kicking Machine” have been hard-earned. His track record against the likes of Danial Williams, Nabil Anane, and Tagir Khalilov showcases a master at the pinnacle of his craft. Every kick, every punch, every move executed with surgical precision.
Rodtang, on the other hand, isn’t merely a Muay Thai sensation. Earlier in January, he ventured into kickboxing, delivering a masterclass against Jiduo Yibu. This was followed by a showcase of raw power in ONE’s U.S. debut in May, as he executed a spine-tingling KO over Edgar Tabares.
This year, 2023, isn’t just another year in the annals of Muay Thai. It’s turning out to be a defining year for the sport. Both Superlek and Rodtang have not only displayed their supreme skill sets but have also taken the excitement and anticipation levels to new heights. As they prepare to face off for the very first time, the stage couldn’t have been grander.
To put it simply, ONE Friday Fights 34 isn’t just another event on the Muay Thai calendar. It’s a monumental celebration of a sport, its warriors, and their untamed spirits. When the bell rings on September 22, it will not only signal the beginning of a match but also mark a chapter in Muay Thai history. As fans around the world tune in, one thing is certain: the Muay Thai world is about to witness an eruption of unmatched proportions.