ONE 167: Rodtang returns to silence Denis Puric’s repeated call-outs - Info Panameña

ONE 167: Rodtang returns to silence Denis Puric’s repeated call-outs

Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon, ONE of ONE Championship’s most dominant fighters returns to the ring next week – and has promised to make opponent Denis Puric ‘know what hell on earth is like’.

Now the 39-year-old has had his wish granted on the back of some impressive performances that have propelled him to the number two spot in the flyweight Muay Thai rankings. Rodtang is the current king of that division, and while their bout at the Impact Arena, Bangkok, will be held under kickboxing rules, there is no doubt this is an opportunity Puric will relish.

This will be our first sighting of Rodtang in seven months. He’s not been in the ring since suffering an injury. Now the crowd favourite is back – and is the first to acknowledge his opponent is ‘ready’.

“Puric built himself up to call me out,” said Rodtang. “It’s his right to do that. He wants to fight with the best. I just waited for ONE’s matchmakers to approve it because I’m ready to fight anyone. 

“He is very good. He beat Tagir Khalilov and Jacob Smith, so I think he deserves to face me. In his fight with Yodlekpet, I could see this guy is a veteran fighter, and he is more than ready to fight me.”

It is incredible to think Rodtang is still just 26-years-old when his reputation and record reflect that of a much more experienced fighter.

Despite Puric trying to get under his skin, suggesting he would ‘make a fool’ out of his Thai opponent if they stand toe-to-toe, Rodtang has remained calm and gracious ahead of the bout.

“I have known Denis Puric for a long time,” he said. “Since he first joined ONE, he has been calling for me from the beginning. Thank you for always thinking of me. 

“I respect him for his determination because it’s really difficult to run through many opponents to reach me. You have to fight to put yourself into the rankings to challenge me. He tried his best and managed to face me. I have to respect his fighting spirit.”

Despite all the pre-fight niceties, Rodtang’s prediction for the contest was chilling.

““Let’s see how it goes in the ring. I’m glad you think that I’m no match for you. Thank you for calling me out. See you on June 7, when you will know what hell on earth is.”

Middle East fight fans can watch ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II live on BeIN SPORTS  as well as on Saturday June 7 from 3am AST.

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