ONE Championship: Rodtang and Stamp Fairtex agree Lumpinee events will ‘open doors’ for fighters in Thailand
- Fighters in Thailand ‘lack a lot of support’ according to flyweight Muay Thai champ Rodtang, but ONE’s Lumpinee events will give them ‘a chance’
- MMA contender Stamp sees Bangkok events as a path to ‘the main event of ONE Championship’ for local fighters
Rodtang, ONE’s long time flyweight Muay Thai champion and a huge star in his native Thailand, sees the situation as a massive opportunity in a country where fighters often struggle to get by.
“I’m very happy that ONE Lumpinee is hosting events in Thailand,” the 25-year-old, who has been fighting since he was 10, told the Post. “Thai boxers lack a lot of support. It’s not like the Olympics, where [athletes get] a lot of support from the government. Thai boxers just have to go out there and fight to get support.”
“They want opportunities to go to bigger stages,” he added. “These events will provide them with a chance to step up and improve their skills, and also prepare them for the world stage.”
Rodtang’s countrywoman Stamp Fairtex is in agreement.
The 25-year-old, who grew up on a fruit farm in Thailand’s Rayong Province, had her first fight by the time she was seven, and is now ONE’s No. 1-ranked atomweight contender. She is also the promotion’s former atomweight Muay Thai and kickboxing champion, and easily one of its biggest stars.
She would like to see other young Thai fighters achieve similar success in ONE through the promotion’s events in Lumpinee.
“It’s a great opportunity,” she said. “It opens all the doors and opportunities for younger fighters in Thailand to showcase their skills, and if they keep improving their skills and keep winning they could go to the main event of ONE Championship.”
There is no question that ONE’s partnership with Lumpinee presents a big opportunity for up-and-coming fighters in Thailand.
Yet Rodtang is hopeful the promotion’s bright lights and big payday will be enough to inspire a generation of fighters who have yet to even strap on the gloves.
“I love Muay Thai, and I really want Muay Thai to be improved and preserved,” he said. “I want young people to keep doing Muay Thai.”
Rodtang and Stamp are both slated to return to action at ONE on Prime Video 6, slated for January 14 in Bangkok’s larger Impact Arena.
It will be the promotion’s first event in Thailand since late 2020, and the unofficial kick-off for it’s biggest year in the country to date.
Rodtang, who is set to meet China’s Jiduo Yibu in a non-title flyweight kickboxing bout, is understandably excited to fight on home turf again.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “It’s been many years since I fought in Thailand. There’s a lot of pressure too. I really feel like I need to win the fight.”
“I’m very happy that I’m fighting in Thailand. It’s such a great comeback. People from Fairtex can come, my family, my friends. There’s a bit pressure, but I’m also excited to have all my friends and family there.”