To say that the past 24 hours for ONE Championship were thought-provoking is an understatement.
ONE flyweight world champion Demetrious Johnson put into words just how powerful Rodtang Jitmuangnon is. The Muay Thai superstar, meanwhile, called out Takeru Segawa for a fight that has the potential to be the greatest striking match of the decade.
Then there was the massive announcement ONE Championship made involving arguably its best pound-for-pound fighter right now. Reinier de Ridder, who holds two world championships in the organization, will defend his ONE light heavyweight world title for the first time since winning the gold in 2021.
With that wild ride in mind, here are the top three ONE Championship stories from the past 24 hours.
It’s often said that ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon hits like a truck. While outside observers won’t ever experience that, Demetrious Johnson did.
Johnson and Rodtang faced off in a mixed-rules bout at ONE X this past March. Rounds one and three were set for Muay Thai rules, while frames two and four were to be fought under mixed martial arts rules.
During his appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, Johnson admitted that he got rocked when Rodtang tagged him in the first round of their encounter. He also revealed that he’s never felt that kind of power in almost a decace.
Johnson said:“I think the last time I got rocked in any of my fights was probably John Dodson and he [Rodtang] gave me that same feeling again.”
Catch the full podcast episode below:
Things are heating up between Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Japanese superstar Takeru Segawa, and it seems that a fight between the two firebrands could probably take place soon.
Takeru, the only three-division world champion at K-1, recently relinquished his belts after leaving his gym, KREST, and the K-1 Kickboxing organization. Now a free agent, Takeru has the liberty to put the future into his own hands.
Rodtang, the ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion, didn’t hesitate to call out the Japanese phenom. He told Takeru to face him in a match at ONE Championship.
He wrote on Instagram:“I’m personally calling out [Takeru Segawa] for a fight in ONE. If you do not answer my challenge, the fans will know why."
This isn’t the first time that the two striking superstars demanded a fight against each other. Takeru, back in 2021, asked K-1 to call Rodtang and set up a fight.“I want to fight him. Please K-1 call Rodtang.”
This didn’t go unnoticed, with Rodtang quickly responding. He told Takeru that they should meet in ONE Championship:“I would love to fight Takeru. Some people tagged me in posts where he had called me out. He is a very strong fighter under kickboxing rules, strong hands and he loves to fight. it would be hard to make this fight happen I think but I would love to fight him on a ONE Championship card so we can see who is the best.”
Reinier de Ridder has been clamoring to face Anatoly Malykhin. He'll get that wish at ONE on Prime Video 5 on December 2.
The fight in Manila will be a defense of de Ridder’s ONE light heavyweight world title, with Malykhin dropping down a weight class in a bid to become a two-division world champion.
The South China Morning Post first broke the story of the colossal matchup between de Ridder and Malykhin. It looks set to be a fitting headliner for ONE Championship’s fifth Amazon Prime Video card.
Both Malykhin and de Ridder have been itching for a fight after their respective opponents pulled out due to medical concerns.
Malykhin, the ONE interim heavyweight world champion, was supposed to take on ONE heavyweight world champion Arjan Bhullar in a unification bout at ONE 161. The Indian-Canadian star, however, withdrew from the bout to undergo surgery due to an injury he suffered in training.
Reinier de Ridder, meanwhile, was originally scheduled to defend the ONE Championship middleweight world title against Shamil Abdulaev at the recently concluded ONE on Prime Video 3. The Russian fighter, however, wasn’t medically cleared for the fight.
Edited by Harvey Leonard