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ONE's Janet Todd anticipates tough battle with Allycia Hellen Rodrigues: 'I'm expecting the best version of her'

The American faces the Brazilian at ONE on Prime Video 5 to unify atomweight gold.
janet-todd

Interim titleholder Janet Todd knows that divisional queen Allycia Hellen Rodrigues will be at her peak when they square off in a ONE women's atomweight muay Thai world title unification bout on Friday, December 2.

Although Rodrigues has been out of action for two years after having her first child, the ONE interim atomweight muay Thai world champ thinks the Brazilian striker will be sharp, fit, and hungrier than ever when they meet on the main card of "ONE on Prime Video 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin."

The Phuket Fight Club athlete defeated Stamp Fairtex to win the gold at "ONE: A New Breed" back in August 2020, but "JT" knows her upcoming rival will leave no stone unturned when she returns to competition at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

Todd says:

"I don't think (she'll struggle with having time away). With the amount of experience she has and the fact that she fought in ONE Championship before for a world title, she'll remember what that feels like. And I'm sure with the baby, it's giving (her) other inspirations to be better, so I'm expecting the best version of her."

Stamp was a dominant force in the women's striking ranks before fully committing to mixed martial arts, so Rodrigues' victory over the Thai megastar came as a surprise to some. 

However, Todd won't be shocked by anything because she's researched her foe and knows she brings high-level skills to the ONE circle – though the American feels she has the tools to deal with them.

"JT" says:

"Her strengths, definitely when she starts off, she can see forward movement, and she's very good with her counter left kick. Then as the round moves on, she's able to still come forward and try to push the pace, and then clinch up. 

"My gameplan is to nullify those strengths and be able to get myself in position to be able to use my weapons. I feel confident that if I get into a clinch situation, I know I can get my shots in and get out, or do the anti-clinch thing. Or, if she's really coming forward, use my teeps and my kicks to keep my distance. I'm preparing for everything."

Todd thrilled to represent U.S. muay Thai on Prime Video

Already the ONE women's atomweight kickboxing world champion, Todd will be the major proponent for North American striking arts when she competes on the ONE on Prime Video 5 main card live in U.S. primetime on Friday, December 2.

The Boxing Works athlete will wave the American flag high come fight night, and with so many of her compatriots watching, she'll be motivated to claim the ONE women's atomweight muay Thai world title.

Todd says:

"I feel very fortunate and very thankful that I get to be the American representative, and also for muay Thai. It's a sport that I love, and I hope that people are watching it. I hope I get to be part of that movement to expand the viewership out here for ONE Championship."

ONE is expected to host live events in North America next year, which means there will be some massive opportunities for the continent's native athletes. 

If Todd adds the undisputed muay Thai gold to her list of accolades, she would solidify two things – her position as a key ambassador for the organization's U.S. expansion and her spot as the most dominant female striker in "The Home of Martial Arts."

A finish would accelerate that status, but for "JT," the performance will always be number one.

She says:

"Everybody wants a knockout, but you can't really search for it during the fight. It just has to naturally come. It's (about) showing that fluidity and movement and technique, and also showing that I have power with my shots and accuracy."

This story first published at ONEFC.com.