Chatri Sityodtong Talks Rodtang vs. Superlek
The showdown between Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Superlek Kiatmoo9 did not come without a bit of controversy. The flyweight bout went down on Friday, September 22, at ONE Friday Fights 34. Superlek edged out Rodtang on the scorecards, but fans were left wanting some more between the two stars.
Initially, the contest was slated to be a title tilt for the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship. However, Superlek missed weight, making it a non-title superfight. Even still, ONE Championship attempted to keep it a five-round fight, but Rodtang’s camp wanted only three due to his opponent missing weight.
“The irony is, when Superlek missed weight, we talked to both camps, and we wanted to keep it a five-round fight, and actually Rodtang’s camp said, ‘No, we don’t want a five-round fight because he’s so big, five pounds is a lot to give, we’d rather a three-round fight’. So I think they made a strategic error,” ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong told the South China Morning Post.
It was a close battle, with Rodtang opening a cut on Superlek’s head in the first round. In the next frame, Superlek scored a knockdown that became the talk of the bout. After a close third round, Superlek got the nod on the scorecards.
“The fight was so close. In some people’s eyes, it was a draw. If it was a draw, it would have gone to Rodtang because of the cut on Superlek’s head, because you go by the criteria we use, because of damage,” Sityodtong said.
The knockdown was the deciding part of the bout. However, for many, it was more of Rodtang being off-balance and should not have counted. In the end, the referee’s call is all that matters. However, the controversy does give the story a pathway to an eventual rematch.
A rematch is already sparking ideas in Sityodtong’s head. In the wake of ONE Friday Fights 34, he revealed that he would love to see a rematch between the two for the flyweight title at ONE 165 in Qatar. In order to make sure Superlek hits the scale on weight, he said he would be suggesting a nutritionist to the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion.
No matter what comes next, Rodtang vs. Superlek delivered on its promise to be one of the most entertaining and high-level bouts of the year. The result and surrounding controversy only adds more spice to a rematch. Should it come later this year, the hype will even top this unforgettable first encounter.