By THE NATION
The 30-year-old veteran fighter is scheduled to face cross-country rival Saemapetch Fairtex in the headline bout at ONE: NO SURRENDER II, a closed-door, audience free event set for broadcast on Friday, 14 August in Bangkok, Thailand.
Rodlek and Saemapetch have faced each other previously at Thailand’s prestigious Channel 7 Boxing Stadium, with Rodlek taking home a decision victory back in 2014. But that was many years ago, and the two have both changed immensely since then, particularly Saemapetch who has emerged as a top global talent in the Muay Thai realm.
Rodlek himself has remained unbeaten in his ONE Super Series stint thus far, claiming victories over Liam Harrison, Andrew Miller, and Chris Shaw. On the other hand, Saemapetch only has one loss in the ONE Championship ring, and that came against reigning ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao late last year.
Analyzing his opponent ahead of their highly-anticipated second meeting, Rodlek details what makes Saemapetch a dangerous foe for him this time around.
“He (Saemapetch) is one of [the most] skilled boxers I have ever known. His punches are powerful, and he has powerful weapons and cannot be underestimated,” said Rodlek.
“His deadliest weapon will be his left kicks and left punches. [I’ll need to] keep my guard up, and study his strategies, styles, and patterns.”
The stakes are high for both Rodlek and Saemapetch, as ONE Championship recently revealed that their clash will be a semifinal match-up in the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament, with the eventual winner earning the right to meet the division’s reigning titleholder.
Rodlek knows exactly what’s on the line in this bout, and that a victory would inch him closer to his ultimate goal of becoming a ONE World Champion. As such, the 30-year-old is planning to put the pressure on Saemapetch, which will no doubt make for a very exciting contest for the fans.
“I might have more weapons, and my gut is better. That will be my advantage. If I want to win, I need to approach him first, keep the pressure on him, and not let my guard down,” said Rodlek.
“If I win this fight, there will be a higher chance to get [a title shot], and if I lose, I will need to start from the beginning. So, I will not let my guard down.”
ONE: NO SURRENDER II is ONE Championship’s second event in Bangkok since resuming its flagship event schedule. Apart from the exciting main event, the show also features appearances from some of the best local Thai martial arts talent, including Pongsiri Mitsatit, Sorgraw Petchyindee Academy, and Pongsiri PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym, among others.