ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon is plotting his road to two-sport champion status, and he is looking to start with Jiduo Yibu.
The Thai superstar returns to kickboxing at ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon vs. Allazov on 14 January, where he faces the Chinese phenom in the hopes of bolstering his campaign for a shot at a second 26-pound gold belt.
The flyweight Muay Thai king’s original opponent, Spain’s Daniel Puertas, got called up to battle Thai striking sensation Superlek Kiatmoo9 for the newly vacant flyweight kickboxing strap in the card’s co-main event, forcing him to quickly shift his focus to Jiduo.
Having spent most of his fight camp preparing to face Puertas at the event, which takes place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, this Saturday, Rodtang was somewhat put out at the last-minute change.
But in a true champion mindset, he is confident that he has the ability to overcome his new foe’s skill set.
“I have to admit, I had done my homework with my original opponent, and I have limited time to study a new one. It’s a little bit of a struggle for me, but it is not a big deal,” he said.
“Daniel, my previous opponent, has an orthodox style, but the new one is a southpaw. It will be completely different. I have to change my game plan to walk toward him instead.
“Anyway, I have a lot of history fighting against southpaws, so I have no problem with it.”
The 25-year-old is hoping that a win over Jiduo will earn him a shot at the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title, and he’s ready to take on either man competing for the crown in Saturday’s co-main event.
With a perfect 12-0 record across ONE’s striking discipline, Rodtang is the division's top contender, so another win under kickboxing rules should set him up to compete for a second belt.
“I am more than ready [to fight for the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title if I win] because it is not the first time I have fought in kickboxing. And I’m the #1-ranked contender. So, I think I have the right to challenge for kickboxing gold with either Superlek or Daniel,” he said.
“I am confident and determined. I’ll try my best to reach my goal. I can see the finish line appearing around my next corner.
“I’ll wait and see who claims this belt, and I’m going to claim it for myself next time out.”