ONE X: Grand Finale was the resounding climax of an incredible three-card extravaganza on Saturday, March 26. With many of the biggest names on the ONE roster competing at the event, one bout, in particular, had a lot of hype – the special rules super-fight between Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon.
Intended to be four rounds, with the first and third rounds set to be judged under Muay Thai rules and the second and fourth focusing on MMA, fans were unsure which way the fight would go. And to the surprise and excitement of many, “Mighty Mouse” finished the fight early in the second round.
The first round saw Rodtang skillfully work Johnson around the Circle, utilizing his Muay Thai mastery to pile the punishment onto his 35-year-old opponent. Johnson got through the round by closing the distance and entering the clinch, but Rodtang still managed to land multiple staggering blows.
The tide turned immediately after the fight entered its second round, where “DJ” reigned supreme. The 12-time mixed martial arts world champion, one of the main draws of this super-fight, was ready to put his skills on show after surviving Rodtang’s depth of skill that has seen him through over 300 Muay Thai fights.
While Johnson survived the first round, Rodtang didn’t make it out of the second. “Mighty Mouse” brought his opponent to the cage and urgently sought a takedown. From there, he expertly took hold of Rodtang and secured his back, a position that the Thai superstar struggled to break out of. Johnson then grabbed hold of Rodtang’s neck and sank in the rear-naked choke. Showing his mettle, Rodtang refused to submit and tap. However, as it became apparent there was no escape, referee Olivier Coste stepped in to end the bout.
Since his victory at ONE X, a host of ONE competitors have thrown their names into the hat, eager for an opportunity to compete against the MMA legend. ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Ilias Ennahachi and former ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Jonathan Haggerty took to Instagram for their respective call-outs.
“Congratulations on the win champ. ONE Championship, let’s get this show on the road,” Haggerty said.
Stay tuned for the next event, ONE: RELOADED, going down on 22 April at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.