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Rodtang Opens Up About His Bromance with Mikey Musumeci

Rodtang Opens Up About His Bromance with Mikey Musumeci

ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon and ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey “Darth Rigatoni” Musumeci have developed one of the most cherished friendships in ONE Championship.

Both fighters are set to compete at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II on Prime Video in U.S. primetime on June 7, further solidifying their growing bromance. Rodtang, who will face Denis “The Bosnian Menace” Puric in a flyweight kickboxing bout, reminisces about how their friendship began at ONE Fight Night 6 in January 2023.

Just like their upcoming matches, the flyweight stars first met at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, where Musumeci offered to help Rodtang before weigh-ins. Reflecting on that moment, Rodtang shared:

“I was fighting Jiduo Yibu, and I needed to make weight before the fight. Mikey walked over and offered his help. I decided not to do it, so I apologized to him for not taking his offer. That was the first time we got to know each other.

“Then he came to help me again when we fought on the same card [ONE Fight Night 10] in the USA. I told him that I firmly believed that I couldn’t make it in time. But Mikey insisted I could. I made weight successfully. And it was one pound less than the required limit. I almost gave him the belt!”

Despite the language barrier, with Musumeci speaking English and Rodtang speaking Thai, their spirits connected instantly, making communication less critical than the bond they felt. Rodtang explained:

“Of course, Mikey and I respect each other. It doesn’t have to be fancy words. Just looking into each other’s eyes, we know each other.

“I have my personal interpreter. I understand some words he says, but I’m unable to communicate back because I’m not that good at English. But I understand what he’s saying.

“He gives me a lot of heart. When people give their hearts to each other, there aren’t many words needed.”

Since becoming friends in 2023, Rodtang and Musumeci have spent time together in Thailand and the USA. Rodtang felt a special kinship with the American and invited “Darth Rigatoni” to his home. “The Iron Man” said:

“Me (26) and Mikey (27) aren’t far apart in age. He honors us. And we honor him very much. We became friends.

“He is a nice guy, a simple person, and humble. He is ready to help everyone. You feel comfortable with him.

“When he comes to Thailand, I take care of everything for him as a host. He came to my house, and I will take him wherever he wants to go.”

Looking to the future, both champions plan to continue training together. Musumeci is eyeing a move to MMA, where he’ll need to sharpen his striking skills, while Rodtang may return to MMA after his special rules fight against Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in 2022. Rodtang revealed:

“If Mikey is going to fight in MMA, I told him he can come to practice Muay Thai with me. I’ll teach him myself. In the future, Mikey said he would teach me MMA in exchange.

“After my fight with DJ, I didn’t practice any more MMA. I just focused on Muay Thai and kickboxing. But if there’s an opportunity, I’ll wait for Mikey to come. I’ll build a gym and bring Mikey to teach me.”

This friendship looks set to grow even stronger as both champions continue to support each other in their martial arts journeys.

Credit: OneFc

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