ONE Fight Night 6: Rodtang Jitmuangnon Blows Past Jiduo Yibu in Kickboxing Bout

Rodtang Jitmuangnon, ONE Fight Night 6
Rodtang, ONE Fight Night 6 weigh-in Credit: ONE Championship

The first ONE Championship event of the year saw one of the biggest Muay Thai stars in the world, Rodtang Jitmuangnon, come back to his homeland of Thailand and take his talents to kickboxing for a bout with Jiduo Yibu.

Rodtang came into this fight off of the back of a fourth successive title defense of his flyweight Muay Thai belt, but kickboxing presents challenges that are unique from his usual sport — though Rodtang has never been a fighter who focuses on elbows or the clinch all that much so his skills seemed like they would translate well.

Rodtang opened up with his trademark pressure and landed a big left hook immediately. After a few good strikes landed from Rodtang, Yibu landed a few counters of his own to slow down the pressure, but only for a moment. Rodtang swarmed Yibu against the fence and almost knocked him down after getting hit with a groin strike that paused the action momentarily. Yibu was constantly on the retreat, so even when he landed on the iron-chinned Rodtang he never hurt him. With thirty seconds left in the first round Rodtang drew a counter out of his opponent and countered it with a lead right hook, landing a knockdown. Yibu got back up before the count reached ten, but the rest of the round was just Rodtang swarming him and beating up his body.

Yibu looked to be on shaky legs to start the second round and Rodtang immediately opened up a big cut on his hairline which dripped blood all over his face at first, and then his chest too. Rodtang began to feel his oats and do some of his trademark showboating when he got hit early in the round. Rodtang landed some massive shots down the stretch but Yibu survived, despite his face being entirely a red mask when the round ended.

The final round was more of the same. Jiduo’s face had been cleaned up in the corner but Rodtang pulverized it some more with combinations of all sorts. Yibu gave a good account of himself but the Thai champion was just too much for him in all aspects. Late in the round Rodtang did seem to take his foot off the gas petal as he went onto the backfoot and was content to focus on just countering his foe until the final bell sounded.

The judges scorecards held no surprises as all three scored it for Rodtang Jitmuangnon as he seemingly won all three rounds and scored the knockdown in the first, though ONE FC does not usually announce the exact scores of the fights. After the bout, Rodtang announced his intention to challenge for the kickboxing title which would be contested later in the night with fellow Thai Superlek taking on Daniel Puertas. This opens up Rodtang to a potential multi-sport series if Superlek becomes champion, as Superlek was also the winner of the Muay Thai grand prix in the division in which Rodtang is champion, flyweight.

Official Result: Rodtang Jitmuangnon def. Jiduo Yibu by Unanimous Decision