All eyes will be on Rodtang Jitmuangnon as he locks horns in the first round of the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix with the United Kingdom’s Jacob Smith.
The reigning ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion and the ONE Super Series newcomer are set to tussle in the quarterfinal round of the tournament at ONE 157, which broadcasts live on Friday, 20 May from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
It will be interesting to see how Rodtang performs with his belt not on the line and with less pressure to win. Chances are, he’s going to have a lot of fun in there, and fans will be in for a treat.
Let’s take a look at what Sportskeeda MMA’s ONE Championship team thinks about this particular Grand Prix quarterfinal.
Ben Imperial: Rodtang Jitmuangnon via majority decision
If you’re watching Muay Thai exclusively on ONE Championship, it will be difficult to imagine someone actually piercing the armor of ‘The Iron Man’ Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
The Thai superstar has shown time and again just how hard he hits and how durable he is. Heck, he chose to pass out rather than tap out to Demetrious Johnson in their superfight at ONE X. On the flipside though, there’s Jacob Smith who has nothing to lose and everything to gain in this match. The promotional newcomer is a relentless fighter who keeps pushing forward.
I believe that both men will surprise each other and will need all three rounds to determine the winner in a very tight contest.
Vince Richards: Rodtang Jitmuangnon via 2nd round KO/TKO
Any fight involving Rodtang is sure to bring excitement. A match between Rodtang and a hungry Jacob Smith could push the offensive scale to an 11.
The ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion will surely be tested when he faces Smith in the quarterfinals of the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix. I say tested, but not beaten. Yes, Smith has power but Rodtang has cemented himself as ONE Championship’s immovable object. ‘The Iron Man’ truly lives up to his name and I don’t see this match favoring Smith one bit.
Rodtang’s invincible jaw will ultimately frustrate Smith, allowing the Thai superstar to capitalize and land his own crippling blows.
James de Rozario: Rodtang Jitmuangnon via split decision
Every aspect of Rodtang’s game will be tested when he goes toe-to-toe with Smith. The Englishman is a fierce striker capable of knocking out his enemies. The promotional newcomer has nothing to lose either. So he will come in attempting to dig his way to an opening against the Thai. That could eventually prove to be his downfall, though.
Rodtang’s iron chin and brick-like defense have a tendency to get even better as he absorbs more damage. And when ‘The Iron Man’ is in the mood, there is simply no way to stop him.
Atilano Diaz: Rodtang Jitmuangnon via second-round stoppage
Like his mentor Liam Harrison, Jacob Smith is a come-forward fighter. He only knows to fight one way, and that’s going after his opponents in the ring. In this contest, he won’t have to go far, because Rodtang will be a willing participant in any firefight.
When Rodtang doesn’t have to go looking for his opponennnts, when they’re standing right in front of him, that’s when he thrives. I don’t see this fight going the distance, nor lasting more than two rounds. Smith will attempt to trade with ‘The Iron Man’, and because of that, it’s going to be a short night for the Englishman.
He’s tough enough to make it past the first round, but that’s all he will be able to achieve against the Muay Thai king.
Result: Rodtang 4-0 Smith