Mark Sangiao maybe watching over his stable Team Lakay, but that doesn’t mean he won’t spare some time to closely monitor the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix. He sees Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Jonathan Haggerty advancing.
“I’ll readily say Rodtang or Haggerty but again, I can be totally wrong. To be honest and fair, I have not seen the others in actual war so I really can’t say.”, stated the Team Lakay head honcho.
The Muay Thai tournament is nearing its climax with the two semifinal matches, and two alternate bouts, set for the end of this month.
Superlek Kiatmoo9 and Walter Goncalves will feature in one of the tournament semifinals at ONE 160: Ok vs. Lee II on August 26 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The other semifinal match will feature reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang and Savvas Michael at ONE Fight Night 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II the next day.
Ironically, Rodtang’s last match was against Demetrious Johnson in a mixed rules bout where Johnson subdued Jitmuangnon in the co-main event of ONE Championship: X on March 26, 2022.
The special-rules bout featured rounds using alternating Muay Thai and MMA rules.
Johnson barely survived the opening Muay Thai round but dominated the next MMA round by avoiding a strike and then executing a takedown that led to a rear naked choke.
The bout ended with Rodtang passing out 2:13 into the round.
Sangiao, who hones some of the best strikers in mixed martial arts, couldn’t help but get excited for the Grand Prix since he expects the best Muay Thai artists to lay it all out in the tournament.
He also noted that unlike their native martial art wushu, Muay Thai fully utilizes elbows and knees and that alone makes the Grand Prix such an exciting tournament to watch.
“It’s the Grand Prix so it means the cream of the crop and when we say this, it only means sensational! Can’t wait how this will go. Wushu does not have that elbow and knee, unlike Muay Thai. Muay Thai displays the complete art of striking and this fact alone makes the GP Tournament extra appealing.”
Sangiao knows that the semifinals will fully display Muay Thai’s artistry, but the alternate bouts are also sure to excite fight fans around the world.
Although Haggerty is listed in an alternate bout, Sangiao still believes that the former ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion can still win the whole thing if he finds a way back in.
Haggerty will take on Amir Naseri in an alternate bout at ONE Fight Night 1, while the other alternate bout between Panpayak Jitmuangnon and Sherzod Kabutov is set for ONE 160.
Haggerty was originally part of the eight-man tournament but he was forced to pull out due to medical concerns. Nevertheless, Sangiao picks him as one of his favorites in the tournament.
The other man Sangiao sees as the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion is Rodtang, the fighter who already holds the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title.
Sangiao had a chance to work in a Muay Thai match in ONE when the stable’s veteran superstar, Eduard Folayang, participated in the discipline and turned in a great result by sending Australian legend John Wayne Parr into retirement stunned with a unanimous decision victory also during ONE:X.
By Armando M. Bolislis