ONE Friday Fights 34 delivered the promised knockouts and wars at yesterday's show at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. The card was headlined by the highly anticipated super fight between Rodtang and Superlek, with one kickboxing bout on the card between Prajanchai and Akram Hamidi.
RODTANG VS. SUPERLEK
The hype for the all-Thai Muay Thai fight of the year took a hit after Superlek missed weight by 5 lbs. Rodtang stepped up to save the card and the fight went ahead as a non-title 3-round 140 lbs catchweight bout. Rodtang arrived as a global superstar following his title defense over Edgar Tabares in the US, while Superlek captured the ONE kickboxing tile. Highly ranked Japanese kickboxing superstar Takeru was ringside eyeing his potential opponent for his promotional debut.
The fight turned into a bloodbath and proved to exceed fans' expectations. Both fighters took the center and traded with Superlek landing his signature heavy leg kicks. Rodtang then cut Superlek with elbows, opening a wide gash on the challenger's forehead, and blood soon covered Superlek's face. Showing clear urgency, Superlek tried to use his step-in elbows, but Rodtang pivoted and countered. Superlek then switched gameplan and used knees to hurt Rodtang on the ropes, and then dropped Rodtang with an elbow in the second round, turning the tide of the fight. Rodtang then chased Superlek until the fight ended, but failed to score effectively, as Superlek continued to tie him up with knees in the clinch.
The two friends embraced and Superlek won a close unanimous decision. He apologized for missing weight and accepted that something needs to be changed about his weight management. It is not known if Superlek will remain in the division. He could rematch Rodtang with the help of a new team of nutritionists or he could move up to take on the Bantamweight division. As unfortunate as the result for Rodtang is, he remains the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion.
Takeru, clearly impressed by his potential future rivals, had the following to say:
"They fought their hearts out. This ONE event was full of fighters leaving everything they have out there – to live or to die. It filled me with energy. This is the type of fight I want. It felt like animals fighting for their lives, rather than a sport. It was fascinating. I want to fight here as soon as possible."
PRAJANCHAI VS. AKRAM HAMIDI
Prajanchai made his kickboxing debut against Akram Hamidi, who is a former ISKA World Champion and also ranked No. 8 in the Beyond Kickboxing 55 KG division. Coming into the fight, Prajanchai already captured the interim ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship with a stoppage win over Sam-A, while Akram Hamidi was riding a 4-fight knockout winning streak, having beaten Jomhod in a Muay Thai bout for his ONE debut.
The fight was action-packed with the Thai circling and the Algerian chasing. Both fighters traded punch combinations and low kicks throughout the first two rounds, as Prajanchai adjusted to the kickboxing ruleset. At the end of the second round, Prajanchai caught Hamidi with a left hook while they were trading punches, dropping him right before the round ended. The veteran kickboxer struggled to land effectively until the final round ended, while Prajanchai was showing off his footwork and countering at will.
In the end, Prajanchai made an impressive kickboxing debut, winning a unanimous decision. The win could set Prajanchai up for a title fight against the winner of Jonathan Di Bella and Danial Williams.
ONE FRIDAY FIGHTS 34 RESULTS
Superlek def. Rodtang – Unanimous Decision
Seksan def. Amir Naseri – Unanimous Decision
Muangthai def. Yodlekpet – Unanimous Decision
Kulabdam def. Tyson Harrison – TKO at 3:00 of R1
Prajanchai def. Akram Hamidi – Unanimous Decision
Miguel Trindade def. Sibmuen – KO at 2:14 of R1
Suakim Sor Jor Thongprajin def. Saman Ashouri – KO at 2:15 of R1
Songchainoi Kiatsongrit def. Jomhod – KO at 0:54 of R2
Wei Ziqin def. Petchartchai – Unanimous Decision
Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg def. Chen Rui – Split Decision
Lito Adiwang def. Adrian Mattheis – TKO at 0:23 of R1