At a young age, people surrounding Jonathan “The General” Haggerty believed he was destined for greatness. He took up Muay Thai when he was just seven years old and after years of hard work and training, he began to compete and outperform even the more experienced fighters.
As an amateur, he dominated the local Muay Thai scene, becoming a multiple-time English and British Champion in the process before claiming a European regional title.
As a professional, Haggerty continued to display his striking prowess, knocking out almost every opponent and clinching the Roar Combat League World Title along the way.
In 2019, Haggerty joined ONE Super Series and shocked Thai legend Sam-A Gaiyanghadao to snatch the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title in just his second appearance with ONE Championship.
A few months later, he surrendered his golden strap to Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon after failing to outscore him in a bout that has Fight of the Year potential.
At ONE: A NEW TOMORROW on 10 January, Haggerty and Rodtang will meet once more at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, and run back one of the most intense rivalries ever seen in the ring.
“I used to meet people, and they would tell me I could make it,” Haggerty said. “I used to take it in and think to myself, ‘If they say this, it must be true.’”
Haggerty holds a record of 15-2, attributing his success to his physical fitness and intelligence inside the ring.
“I have got the youth, I have got the hunger and you could say the skill,” Haggerty said.
“It is all about fitness as well. I have got the age and gas tank. My fight IQ is amazing.”
But things could have gone so much different for Haggerty. As a youngster growing up on the streets of London, Haggerty was exposed to a lot of the harsh realities of life. Instead, he chose a different path — one steeped in martial arts.
“I had a few friends that I tried to get to come training with me,” he said.
“They were training for two years and getting quite good, but then they kept going off the path. Two of them are in prison now, the other ones I do not really see.
“I have just a few good friends now. I have seen the path others have gone down and I think to myself that it is not worth it. That is not what I want to do. What I am doing now is what I want to do. Martial arts has given me patience and confidence, so if anything happens on the streets, I can just walk away because I know that I am capable of.”
It has been quite a journey for Haggerty, but he knows that he is only just beginning.
Though he lost a few friends along the way, “The General” is focused on what is right and important, which at the moment, is reclaiming the world title he lost five months ago.