Rajadamnern Stadium has established itself as the premier arena for the sport of Muay Thai over the course of the past decade, having shared that distinction with Lumpinee Stadium until recently. The stadium management took a step toward getting international recognition as well, with the Rajadamnern World Series, which not only featured the top domestic talent, but a number of foreign competitors as well.
The upcoming RWS season will begin on May 6 and will feature a number of returning fighters and newcomers for an overall more even lineup compared to last season. Muay Thai fans worldwide will be able to watch the events on the Workpoint and RWS YouTube channels and Facebook Live every week at 8PM local time - 1PM GMT, 09:00AM EST.
Lightweight (60 KG) will be the lightest male weight class this season. The main story of the Lightweight division is whether last year's RWS winner Lamnamoonlek will once again justify his role as the favorite or if one of the other title hopefuls will be able to pull it off instead.
Will it be Samingdet, one of the best elbow specialist in Muay Thai right now? Or will the knee focused pressure style of Thongnoi carry the day? ONE veteran Petchdam certainly has the most experience with the RWS ruleset, considering all his experience in international competition. Renta and Adam Noi have been called good prospects for a while now, could this be their breakout year? Quite a few storylines will unfold in the lightweight division and it should make for interesting viewing.
The favorite for the Super Lightweight (65 KG) tournament title will undoubtedly be former ONE Championship Bantamweight Kickboxing and Lumpinee Stadium Super Welterweight champion Capitan PetchyindeeAcademy, who holds victories over the two next most likely tournament winners - fellow Lumpinee Stadium champion Nuenglanlek Jitmuangnon and clinch specialist Chujaroen Dabransarakarm. Taking into account how close Chujaroen came to overcoming Capitan however, he could be a strong contender for the title if he's able to adapt to the RWS rules well enough. PhetUtong Or.Kwanmuang, the fourth and final Thai representative, was the 2016 'Fighter of the Year', but has faded quite a bit. Much like the rest of the pack at Super Lightweight, he isn't likely to end up in the finals.
The Welterweight (67.5 KG) division has the most evenly matched roster of the three weight classes, which includes: last year's runner-up Sibmuen Sitchefboontham, former Lumpinee Stadium champion Rittewada Petchyindee Academy, amateur standout Sergey Kulyaba, reigning Rajadamnern Stadium Welterweight champion Sajad Sattari, as well as experienced veterans Yodkhunpon MoothongAcademy and Petchthongchai.
While kickboxer Yukimitsu Takahashi and the 41-year old Fabrice Dellanon weren't inspired additions, this is definitely the division to watch this season, with Rittewada, Sattari, and Sibmuen being the slight favorites to capture the tournament title.
Super Welterweight (70 KG) doesn't have the strongest lineup of non-Thai competitors this year, but it does have arguably the best foreign Muay Thai practitioner in the sport right now: the undefeated Rajadamnern Stadium Super Welterweight champion and last year's World Series winner Daniel Rodriguez.
Which is not to say he'll have an easy time capturing another RWS title or keeping his zero. The 2022 RWS Welterweight winner Shadow Singmawynn has moved up in weight and will likely be, together with the former ONE Muay Thai kingpin Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy, a strong contender for the title. One can't look past Yodwicha Por Boonsit either, as he only missed out on the silverware in the inaugural season after ending up on the wrong side of a split decision in the final bout with the Swiss fighter. The rest of the lineup will in all likelihood struggle to get much momentum going if the aforementioned four are able to keep their good form up.