ONE Championship is arranging a "hybrid bout" between MMA superstar Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon for its 10th anniversary event, ONE X, on December 5.
The rules of the four-round bout will alternate between Muay Thai and mixed martial arts, starting in Rodtang’s domain in the first round, where he’ll no doubt try to finish Johnson.
Should Johnson survive Rodtang’s elite striking, the bout will fall into his world in the second round, where the Thai will have to weather the American’s MMA attacks. It will shift back to Muay Thai if it hits round three and ends with MMA in round four.
“It’s going to be the biggest and most unique show in the history of the company. I think it’s going to be something crazy fun all over the world,” ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong said in Ariel Helwani’s “The MMA Hour”.
The clash between two different disciplines and how it will take a ONE athlete out of his element each round will make the bout interesting to fight fans.
“Rodtang -- his record is 267 wins and 42 losses in Muay Thai -- he’s literally the hottest KO striker on the planet when it comes to striking arts right now. He’s 10-0 in ONE and he’s the world champion, and he has three minutes to knock out DJ,” Sityodtong said.
“But then if [DJ] survives, in the next round, Rodtang has to survive three minutes of DJ’s explosive wrestling and submissions. I don’t think DJ is going to strike with him. DJ has that pressure. [He has] to sub him in three minutes. The same thing for Rodtang in the first round. [He has] to knock him out in three minutes.
"We want to do something fun that would commemorate martial arts in a way that celebrates all of mixed martial arts and history, not just our ten year history.”
The card will also feature other interesting fights.
It will be Brazil versus Brazil when Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes defends his ONE bantamweight world title against No. 1-ranked John “Hands Of Stone” Lineker.
ONE featherweight world champion Thanh Le is also back in action as he takes on No. 3-ranked BJJ world champion Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon in a classic clash between striker and grappler.