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Savvas Michael plans to capitalize on Rodtang's mistakes at ONE 161: 'His emotions get in the way'

The Cypriot striker thinks the Thai megastar will make errors based on emotions in their grand prix semifinal.

Savvas "The Baby Face Killer" Michael thinks he's identified a key weakness that could help him defeat Rodtang "The Iron Man" Jitmuangnon in their ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix semifinal.

The No. 4-ranked contender will face the reigning divisional king at "ONE 161: Moraes vs. Johnson II" on Friday, August 26, live in North American primetime.

And while he respects the Thai megastar's immense talent, he also believes emotions can sometimes get the better of him.

Rodtang is certainly known for wearing his heart on his sleeve. With that in mind, Michael hopes to capitalize when his opponent gets too heated at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

"When he gets angry he lets his emotions get in the way," the Cypriot striker said. "Every fighter is vulnerable to that same problem. That's why I always tell you that whoever makes the first mistake loses. As for Rodtang, he loses his temper more than a lot of us. 

"I see that when Rodtang gets angry, that's when he does a lot of mistakes. He has some mental lapses when he tries to keep his composure and feels that he has to regain his A-game."

Still, "The Baby Face Killer" doesn't expect a simple path to victory.

He knows Rodtang has never lost in ONE's flyweight muay Thai division and understands that he'll be facing one of the fiercest strikers on the planet.

So, while Michael is training to capitalize on any openings, he's also preparing a detailed game plan for three rounds of action – and hoping to avoid any errors of his own.

"But Rodtang is a champion because he rarely makes mistakes," he said. "I think it's going to just be one of those fights where you have to be 100 percent prepared and avoid making the first mistake. 

"I do know him personally and he's a good guy. But when we fight, I'm going to go there and do my job. It's a big fight and I'll figure out a way to win once I'm there. But he also knows me and he will bring his well-rounded game. So really, I don't know what to expect that day from him."

Michael stares down Rodtang every day

Michael knows that ONE flyweight muay Thai world champion Rodtang will be favored when they square off in their tournament semifinal at ONE 161, but he doesn't care about outside opinions.

The Cypriot striker is already a WBC and WMC muay Thai world champion who trains alongside many of the sport's top athletes at the renowned Petchyindee Academy in Bangkok.

And after a dominant quarterfinal win over Amir Naseri, he feels well-prepared to battle "The Iron Man."

"I just want Rodtang to know that I believe in myself," Michael said. "I wouldn't have signed the contract if I didn't feel like I can beat him. Signing it means I come to win. 

"I'm not worried. I'm just excited to train and perform come fight day. It's my time to shine now, and I want to prove to the world that I'm one of the best."

With so much at stake, "The Baby Face Killer" doesn't need a lot of extra inspiration for this massive contest.

However, he does have a little trick up his sleeve that helps fuel his fire on a daily basis.

"I have a picture of (Rodtang) at home," Michael revealed. "He's the first person I see (when I get up), just for that extra motivation. There's no Plan B. He's the man in my division now, and I want to beat him. As soon as I wake up, I already feel motivated to train once I see his picture. 

"All I see is Rodtang. And I see a W."

This story first published at ONEFC.com.