Rodtang Jitmuangnon took on Demetrious Johnson in a historic special rules super-fight at ONE X last month. Their alternating rules bout served as the co-main event of the evening and followed nearly 10 hours of fighting across three separate cards.
The ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion was unsuccessful in his pursuit of ultimate bragging rights over the MMA legend, but the loss hasn’t affected his enthusiasm to step into the ONE Circle for more super-fight action in the future.
“I would absolutely [take another super-fight]. But I’ll let ONE find an appropriate opponent for me,” Rodtang said.
The battle between “Mighty Mouse” and the Thai star was a first for the promotion and was unique for its rule set. Rodtang, dubbed “The Iron Man” for his unbreakable chin, agreed to meet with Johnson in a four-round battle.
The first and third rounds were set to be contested under Muay Thai rules, where “The Iron Man” has reigned as a long-time world champion, while the second and fourth would be under MMA rules, where Johnson is royalty.
While Rodtang put extreme pressure on “Mighty Mouse” in the first three minutes, he failed to find the finish, meaning that he then faced a round of MMA with the 12-time world champion.
With just under 90 seconds left in the second frame, Johnson sunk in a rear-naked choke, which Rodtang refused to tap to. Nevertheless, referee Olivier Coste intervened and handed the victory to the MMA GOAT.
Despite this result, “The Iron Man” was good-natured about the fight format, recognizing it as a benchmark for what is possible for combat sports in the future.
“I am really happy and honored to compete in this fight. It's a win-win for both of us. I wanted to switch to MMA while Demetrious wanted to fight in Muay Thai, so the super-fight finally happened. It was an important fight for me. And it was a new challenge for me as well. This unique fight is history-making and will be in my memory forever,” he said.
Stay tuned for more news about ONE’s next event, ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic, which goes down on 22 April, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.