Rodtang Jitmuangnon (aka “The Iron Man”) was born on 24th July 1997, in Pa Phayom, Phatthalung, Thailand, and is renowned for his ‘charmed’ offense wrapped in iron-clad fists of fury. He has a fight record of 267-42, and is the no.1-ranked, pound-for-pound fighter in the world according to English-language newspaper, “The Nation”.
Now 24, he is also the reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion, after defeating Jonathan Haggerty at ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes in Manila in 2019.
His warrior cries during bouts alone are enough to dismantle most of his competition, causing astonishment, apprehension and a general stunning of people; opponent and audience alike.
His smouldering intensity reflects in his eyes which show no fear whatsoever of any opponent, taking him to a prodigious tally now of 267 victories.
His early, tough training regime (which consisted of rising as early as 5am starting with a 9-mile run before going to the gym for hours of bag work and pad work with his trainer) paid off massively for him in 2016 as he Emerged the MAX Muay Thai Champion (125lb class) by defeating Petchprakan Kor. Klanbut by decision.
The very next year “The Iron Man” crushed Chai Sor. Jor. Toypadriew to win the prestigious Omnoi Stadium 130lb Championship.
The famous Jitmuangnon gym is his yard where he refines his Muay Thai skills and fights out of team Jitmuangnon / Yokkao. It was in August 2019 when he added the prestigious ONE Flyweight Muay Thai world title to his collection – for the first time in his career, by defeating British fighter Jonathan Haggerty via KO.
Coming from a very humble background, and training from the tender age of just 7 at a small camp located in his hometown of Phatthalung, he very soon – like most kids growing up in poverty-stricken families – started working to earn money.
He sensed the opportunity that Muay Thai fighting presented as a quicker, more viable means to earn a living for him and his family. After he fought at a temple fair, “The Iron Man” said “I was hooked, I knew right away I wanted to pursue Muay Thai full-time.”
He soon left for Bangkok to train and fight full time, joining the tough, Muay Thai Jitmuangnon training gym based in Nonthaburi.
As well as Rodtang himself, Jitmuangnon Gym has produced many top fighters including Phetsiam, Peemai, and their flock of current top fighters, Panpayak, Yodpanomrung, and Neunglanlek. Suffice to say, their training syllabus comes with a massive focus on endurance, conditioning, and roadwork.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Rodtang by any means, however – he was knocked out in 2013 when he was 16, when he faced Sangtiennoi Sor Sornsing (2 years his senior) with a quick punch. That rattled his confidence to a great extent and he considered quitting. “I had lost quite a few fights in a row,” he admits. “I had no money and no motivation,” and he contemplated heading home.
At that low point in his career it was the gym owner, Huan Jitmuangnon’s support and full faith in Rodtang which subsequently gave him the confidence to give fighting another shot. His passion was reinvigorated and reignited by his father figure-like ‘guru’ Huan Jitmuangnon’s mentorship. The rest, as they say is history, as he went on to become a two-time Omnoi Stadium Champion.
After Huan’s tragic death, he stepped up to stand by his wife and family to run the gym and keep the business afloat at this saddening stage of life.
“I was there at her side every day until she got strong again,” he says, sincerely reciprocating the favour gained via Jitmuangnon. He stayed closer to Huan’s family during that period financial uncertainty. “Now, she manages the fighters, and helped me get this opportunity with ONE Championship,” he adds.
Rodtang’s upcoming bout on October 15, 2021, will see him lock horns with Spanish fighter, Daniel Puertas at ONE: FIRST STRIKE!
Okay, so now you’ve got the back story on The Iron Man, let’s get into the hotlist of Rodtang Jitmuangnon’s Top 5 Muay Thai Finishes! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Petchdam Petchyindee – ONE: NS (July 31, 2020)
Rodtang defended the Flyweight Muay Thai title against former ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Petchdam Petchyindee.
Both fighters took their time before making their moves as they traced details in their minds about one other’s game plan.
At 2:36 into round 1, Rodtang quickly fires upper hooks and jabs to Petchdam’s face as he moves out of harm’s way.
In round 2, at 1:55, Rodtang went for low ab jab and subsequently threw his opponent to the ground. Rodtang defended the following body kicks from Petchdam with diligent guard. Now, a dread stare seemed to come over the eyes of Rodtang as he relentlessly unleashed all manner of strikes on his opponent.
In round 4, Rodtang continued his spree of jabs, hooks and kicks, ratcheting up the intensity to fever pitch rendering his opponent redundant as the coaches at ring side did all they could to encourage their fighters to keep going for the win.
At the end, it was Rodtang who successfully defended his title by winning the match via round 5 decision.
4. Vs. Fahdi Khaled – ONE: HA (Jan. 25, 2019)
Rodtang now faced Fahdi “The Gladiator” Khaled at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
From the start of round 1, The Iron Man aggressively pressed forward on Khaled with a quick left hand punch.
At 14 seconds in, Khaled executed a ferocious back fist as Rodtang got out of the way in time. Khalid used push kicks well to keep himself out of Rodtang’s reach.
At 0:35, Rodtang struck a ruthless head kick as Khaled stumbled to the floor. The fight continued with lightning quick punches and kicks, the ferocity being shown by both fighters being fully appreciated by the audience.
At 1:37 into round 1, Rodtang exacted a right hand punch and grabbed Fahdi’s neck jolting him explosively to the ground.
In round 2, the match snowballed with further intensity as Rodtang’s dominant force kept him a step ahead of his opponent. Rodtang won the match via round 3 decision.
3. Vs. Hakim Hamech – ONE: ANE (March 31, 2019)
Rodtang faced the challenge of former WBC Muay Thai Featherweight Champion, Hakim Hamech fighting out of Lyon, France. The match was held at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo, Japan.
From the off, Rodtang applied maximum pressure as he pounded hard-hitting low calf kicks on his opponent.
At a minute in, Rodtang delivers left-right punches, followed up with an upper cut elbow. The Frenchman backed off before firing two left hand jabs on Rodtang’s head whilst continuously changing stances. The clash continued in the round as the fighters looked to contain and assault at their respective turns.
In round 2, Hakim and Rodtang trade jabs and kicks as they confront one another with expressions of intense hostility. At 0:30, a high knee from Rodtang was caught as both fighters now grapple to the ground. The referee soon separates them, and instructs them to get back to stand up.
Round 2 ended with an impeccable display of Muay Thai skills with both warriors tearing each other apart with iron knees and lightning-quick punch strikes.
In round 3, at 0:30, the elbows and punches now flew at astonishing pace with both fighters trading extreme blows. By the end of the round, Rodtang bowed to Hakim as a gesture of respect with a hug. Rodtang was declared the winner by round 3 decision.
2. Vs. Jonathan Haggerty 2 – ONE: ANT (Jan. 10, 2020)
The ONE, Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship was on the line in this main event match seeing the champion Rodtang locking up with British challenger, Jonathan Haggerty.
In round 1 at 0:58, Rodtang fired a left-right jab on Haggerty’s ribs as he collapsed to the mat in pain. The referee makes a close inspection after which he signals the green light as the match gets underway again.
Rodtang looked indomitable as he rushed wildly towards Haggerty with a combination of merciless head kicks, hooks and elbows.
At the start of round 2, Haggerty throws a couple of low kicks to Rodtang’s calf, but overall Rodtang maintained better body balance and stood his ground.
At 0:30 in, Rodtang fired two quick punches as Haggerty hangs on for survival. A head kick from Haggerty gets caught as he fumbles to the ground. Rodtang then continues to punish Haggerty with severe blows in the form of kicks and punches.
In round 3, Rodtang lunges forward, pressuring Jonathan with yet more ferocious punches and kicks. At 1:24 Rodtang goes full tilt on Haggerty, dispersing iron-clad jabs and hooks all over his face and body, leaving him bleeding profusely with a ripped-open, and bloodied ear.
This match was starting to turn into a nightmare for Haggerty, as ‘The Iron Man’ blasted him further with huge power jabs to the point of no return for the Englishman. The referee intervened at 2:39 of round 3 to call the fight. Rodtang won the match via TKO.
1. Vs. Danial Williams – ONE on TNT 1 (April 7, 2021)
Rodtang was scheduled to face British fighter, Jacob Smith for this Muay Thai bout, however, Smith withdrew paving the way ahead for the Australian, Danial “Mini T” Williams. And who’d have thought he’d emerge as one of the toughest ever rivals in Rodtang’s career?
In round 1, both fighters, possessing a similar fighting style, hit the ring with a bang. Playing it safely at the beginning, “Mini T” took to striking Rodtang first. With two, power-packed left-right punches, Danial cracks the chin of the Thai megastar, as Rodtang relies on low, leg kicks.
At 1:07 into the round, a picturesque right-jab by Williams stuns Rodtang as he fell in the ring, only to rebound and stand up the very next second.
In round 2, Rodtang raised his spirit and aggression to level extreme. At 0:50, Rodtang blasts Williams with a swinging left hook, a right arm jab and another ruthless left hook leaving Mini T in disarray as he collapses to the ground for an eight count.
The match resumes as Rodtang continues his assault with overhead elbows, and cross elbows through the Aussie’s guard, resulting in a deep gash above Mini T’s eye. A brash kick to his core forced Williams to take a big slide and collapse down on the canvas.
A bleeding Williams refused to wilt before The Iron Man, as the nerve-racking battle moved into the final round, which itself would prove to be a masterclass in resilience.
Rodtang exacted wild jabs that worsened Williams’ facial injury to the extent that referee, Olivier Coste, called the in-ring doctor for a quick inspection.
As the fighters went back to the fray, Rodtang unleashed more insane elbows to his opponent’s face and head, yet Williams managed courageously to stand his ground as he fought the waning moments of the match with his heart on his sleeve until game over…
The warriors, expressing a huge amount of emotion and respect bowed down to one another with folded hands and hugged.
After three rounds of blistering, action-packed fighting, The Iron Man emerged victorious via round 3 decision.
So, 10 consecutive victories for the Iron Thai who looks to be among the most dangerous strikers in the world, Rodtang’s mighty record now stands at a staggering 267 wins!