After what was possibly the most significant battle in the annals of Muay Thai, Superlek Kiatmoo9 emerged victorious via unanimous decision over Rodtang Jitmuangnon. This result put a lot of fight fans in a state of disbelief.
Even ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong was taken aback by the results of the historic ONE Friday Fights 34, which took place at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok over the weekend.
Sityodtong discussed the decisive aspect that swung the tide in favor of Superlek in his post-event interview with The South China Morning Post MMA. Sityodtong’s interview was conducted after the event.
After all, “The Kicking Machine” earned a now-controversial knockdown in the second round when he surrounded the ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion near the ring ropes and felled him with a well-placed right elbow. This knockout has since become the subject of much debate.
On the other hand, there were spectators and commentators who believed it to be a slip and questioned the referee’s decision to count a standing eight. For his part, Sityodtong is of the opinion that Rodtang handled the shot properly and was in no way affected by it:
“Yes, I concur.” That’s what I mean when I say it was a half elbow, half off-balance. And certainly Rodtang was not damaged in any way. On the other hand, you are aware that situations like this might arise out of nowhere, and the referee felt it was a knockdown. It’s not that I would say, ‘No, it’s not a knockdown,’ so please don’t take that to mean that. It was a resounding victory. If that’s the case, there’s no way around it, right?
Take a look at the knockdown sequence that Superlek has and judge for yourself:
As can be seen in the replay, Superlek landed a knee to the body and then shoved Rodtang backwards to give himself some space for the follow-up shot he was about to take. “Iron Man” became disoriented near the ropes and lost his footing, but he quickly got back up on his feet and continued.
Even Rodtang was left bewildered by the count, and he made his displeasure with the referee quite clear to everyone around him. Before the knockout, Rodtang was inflicting tremendous damage on Superlek and had even opened a terrible cut above the latter’s forehead in the first round of the fight.
On the other hand, the current king of the flyweight division in ONE kickboxing connected on a large number of kicks and counterattacks during the match. In addition to this, he did an excellent job of managing the distance by maintaining control of Rodtang’s hands while simultaneously neutralizing his power shots.
After everything was said and done, that decisive knockdown most certainly sealed the deal in the eyes of the judges.
Watch the replay of this incredible card, which is now accessible on the official ONE Championship account on YouTube.