ONE Championship plans to give “The Art of Eight Limbs” a bigger spotlight in 2023.
As well as hosting 52 weekly Muay Thai events this year at the Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, the promotion announced on Wednesday at the ONE Fight Night 6 pre-fight press conference their plans for a 16-man openweight Muay Thai Grand Prix starting in March. The winner will get US$1 million.
The announcement has excited the combat sports community as it relishes the opportunity to see the greatest Muay Thai athletes collide in 4-ounce gloves. That said, here are three fighters we want to see in tournament.
ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon has become a fan favourite throughout his time in the promotion. “The Iron Man” has displayed true grit inside the Circle, never backing down from a challenge.
This was on display in his innovative mixed rules super-fight with ONE Flyweight World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Given the Thai native’s love for competition, it only makes sense for him to enter the open weight tournament.
Rodtang is unblemished in Muay Thai competition in ONE, and this Saturday, 14 January, at ONE Fight Night 6, he begins his venture toward the vacant ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title when he battles Jiduo Yibu in his first kickboxing match in almost two years.
Should he become a two-sport champion in ONE, the standout striker could have an exceptionally busy year on his hands.
The promotion’s Breakout Star of 2022, Tawanchai’s rise through the ranks has been joyous to observe.
The 23-year-old reached a new career height last September, defeating Petchmorakot Petchyindee for the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Championship after a stunning five-round display.
The stoic nature of the featherweight scrapper has attracted fans to his fighting style, and his talents have been undeniable in his journey to the throne. Tawanchai versus ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Champion Superbon Singha Mawynn, anyone?
A former ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion himself, Haggerty was among the first names mentioned by ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong when announcing the tournament.
“The General’s” 2023 could see him do it all. He recently moved up to the bantamweight Muay Thai division, where plenty of exciting challenges await. He also teased a potential mixed martial arts debut in the year ahead.
There are many possible scintillating contests for Haggerty, one being Liam Harrison should the latter be fit for Muay Thai competition after recent injuries. The match would be a great competition between two of the U.K.’s best.