At ONE Championship, Rodtang Jitmuangnon has experienced a lot of success, including his mixed-rules match against the all-time great of mixed martial arts, Demetrious Johnson, at ONE X, the promotion’s 10-year anniversary event, which took place a year ago.
No competitor, especially one competing in a different sport like kickboxing or Muay Thai, had ever gone on to face off against the 14-time MMA world champion before.
Rodtang had the opportunity to knock out the legend in the very first round because the regulations alternated between those of Muay Thai and mixed martial arts (MMA), with the odd rounds being fought under the MMA rules.
The Thai striker’s rhythm was thrown off by ‘Mighty Mouse’s’ ability to stand and bang in addition to his pace. And when the reigning flyweight champion decided to take matters into his own hands in the second round, he finished the fight with a rear-naked choke at 2 minutes and 13 seconds into the round.
It should come as no surprise that the Muay Thai expert found the experience of being forced to tap out as a result of a choke to be unsettling.
Although he did experience being on the receiving end of several submission moves in order to better prepare himself for that fight, he had no idea that Johnson’s grip on the choke inside the ONE Championship circle would make him feel like he was already dead by the time the fight began.
During an interview on the CUTZRADIO podcast, Rodtang reflected on the game and said:
“I had the sensation of being a corpse. I was unable to take a breath. And then there was complete silence. When I came to, I realized that I was still holding his arm, and it was the first thing that came to my mind.
You can watch the entire video here:
Despite the fact that he went on to lose his first fight in a promotion, ‘The Iron Man’ can still look back on that fight as a golden opportunity to share the stage with one of the most renowned names in the world of martial arts.