Rodtang will defend his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title against Superlek Kiatmoo9 at ONE Friday Fights 34 on September 22, before Sundell puts her ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title on the line against Allycia Hellen Rodrigues at ONE Fight Night 14 on September 29.
Although they represent different teams, the strikers know each other well after sharing the mats when “The Iron Man” visited Fairtex Training Center last year.
Recalling his sessions with the teen phenom in Pattaya, Rodtang said:
“Back then, she was preparing for her World Title match. They didn’t have enough trainers for her, so I gave her a hand.
“I sparred with her and encouraged her to hit me harder because she was afraid that she would hurt me. But I wanted her to unleash her full potential so I could see how good she is.”
Rodtang was very impressed by the “The Hurricane,” who was just 17 at the time and soon became the youngest World Champion in ONE history. In fact, he thinks Sundell could become the greatest women’s Muay Thai athlete of all time if she continues on her trajectory.
The flyweight Muay Thai king sees a lot of physical and mental attributes that stand out from the Swedish prodigy, and if she develops her skill set in the right ways, he expects her to stay on top for a long time.
“Smilla is a girl with great determination. She always does her best in training. And if she has a great trainer who teaches her techniques, she will be unbeatable.
“She’s got guts. She is fearless and not shy to walk toward her opponents and trade. All of her weapons are formidable. Plus, she has long limbs. She always gets the range advantage in any fight.
“She is still young. She lacks experience. She still has room for development. But if she is taught in the right way, she will have a bright future ahead. Maybe she can become the GOAT.”
“The Iron Man” also offered some advice to the strawweight Muay Thai queen ahead of her next battle against atomweight Muay Thai queen Rodrigues.
The 26-year-old said:
“Just do your best. Don’t hesitate to throw your weapons. Study your opponent well. Break a leg!”
Sundell Says Rodtang’s Advice Helped Her Become A World Champion
Although Smilla Sundell is currently the top women’s strawweight Muay Thai fighter on the planet, she can still gain a lot from working with more experienced competitors.
“The Hurricane” has competed in 40 career fights – not a massive amount compared to others in the sport – so when Rodtang Jitmuangnon rolled into town, she eagerly tapped into his knowledge.
With more than 300 professional bouts to his credit and a long tenure at the pinnacle of the sport, “The Iron Man” shared some battle-tested techniques with Sundell ahead of her inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title showdown with Jackie Buntan in April 2022.
“When he was here, I was able to train with him for a bit before my fight with Jackie. It was a big help, actually. He taught me some good stuff that I used in the fight. And also sparring with him was very fun. Very hard though.”
A week before Sundell is back in action to defend her belt, Rodtang will face Superlek Kiatmoo9 in a World Champion vs. World Champion contest at ONE Friday Fights 34.
Knowing firsthand what “The Iron Man” is capable of, the Fairtex star thinks he will have the edge when he puts his flyweight Muay Thai crown on the line against the reigning ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion.
“That fight’s gonna be very good. I think it will be really exciting. It will be really cool to watch.
“I feel like Rodtang has the advantage in the small gloves. He’s got a lot of power in his hands, which is going to be a problem for Superlek.”