Reigning ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao doesn’t want to think his next opponent has any weaknesses, so as not to underestimate him. That being said, the 34-year-old Muay Thai legend fully expects to make his bantamweight belt for the fourth time when he steps back into the ONE Circle in a few days.
Nong-O will face countryman and ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament Champion Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym in the co-main event of ONE: COLLISION COURSE, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore this Friday, 18 December.
Nong-O has done his due diligence and studied Rodlek’s particular style in preparation for this matchup. What he discovered in his research was a legitimate threat to his throne, one that he aims to neutralize with a spectacular finish.
“It’s going to be a fun fight, for sure. As always, I will try to knock him out if I have the chance. Keeping this belt is my top priority,” said Nong-O.
“It will be wrong to think he has any weaknesses, as obviously, he is strong in all areas of the game. I’ll discover any openings in the fight itself. That’s where I will see what I can take advantage of. But at the moment, I don’t see any weaknesses in him yet.”
Nong-O has spent the greater part of the last 12 months staying mostly indoors in Singapore’s Circuit Breaker. The veteran fighter navigated all the training and social distancing restrictions, while still trying to maintain his fitness.
One thing Nong-O can definitely say is that he is glad to be able to come back and do what he loves. Taking on Rodlek won’t be easy, according to the defending champion, and he’s identified his counterpart’s every strength ahead of their blockbuster showdown.
“Of course, I’m excited for this match. But all my fans know I try my best in every fight. This is my job and I have to do my best. I’ve been in this game a long time, and I know how it goes. Work hard and fight hard. That’s the key to victory,” said Nong-O.
“He is a very strong fighter. He has some great weapons, and he’s also not afraid to walk his opponents down. I think that bravery is admirable, and it will be an honor to face him in the Circle.”
ONE: COLLISION COURSE is ONE Championship’s final live event of the year. The stacked card features a main event showdown between ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia of the Ukraine and challenger Andrei “Mister KO” Stoica of Romania.
Rodlek ended up winning the bantamweight Muay Thai tournament after replacing an injured Saemapetch in the final round against Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek-Uthai. But despite not technically earning his spot in the traditional manner, Nong-O doesn’t believe that it makes any difference. He watched that fight between Rodlek and Saemapetch and said it was very close.
He is not taking Rodlek lightly by any means.
“I think based on his performance, Rodlek deserves this title shot. He won the tournament, all things considered. I believe that fight against Saemapetch was close and could have gone either way, so it doesn’t matter much how it unfolded. He’s a great Muay Thai athlete,” said Nong-O.