Muay Thai is one of the most effective martial arts and has gained a lot of traction over the years. Often referred to as the ‘Art of Eight Limbs’, Muay Thai uses eight points of contact utilizing the elbows, knees, kicks, and punches to inflict damage.
The martial art has been a popular sport in Thailand ever since the 17th century but gained popularity within the martial arts community during the 20th century.
There have been some notorious western Muay Thai fighters, some of which made it to the list of the 15 best Muay Thai fighters of all time. Most of the fighters on this list are from Thailand, where Muay Thai fighters often started their career at a young age.
This list will discuss the 15 best Muay Thai fighters the world has ever seen, based on their performances, prizes, and achievements in the Muay Thai ring.
Let’s dive in!
Sombat Banchamek, better known as Buakaw Por Pramuk, is considered as one of the, if not the greatest Muay Thai fighter that has ever lived. Buakaw is his show name, which translates into ‘white lotus’ and he was fighting out of the Por Pramuk gym.
Buakaw has fought and won in many Muay Thai and Kickboxing organizations in-and-outside of Thailand achieving an overall kickboxing record of 239-24-12.
During his fighting career, Buakaw was a Lumpinee Stadium Toyota Marathon champion, two-time Omnoi Stadium champion, and multiple K-1 MAX World Grand Prix winner.
When discussing the best Muay Thai fighters of all time, it would be criminal to exclude Yodsanklai Fairtex. Like many Thai legends, Yodsanklai starting fighting at the age of 8 and earned 20 baht for his first fight.
Yodsanklai has won over 200 bouts, in the process he became a three-time Lumpinee Stadium World Champion, two-time Lion Fight World champion, two-time WMC World Champion and a WBC world champion.
His nickname is the ‘Boxing Computer’ and until recently Yodsanklai was still active in the ONE championship fighting organization, fighting the best competitors in the world under the spotlights regularly.
Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn trained at the Por Pramuk gym together with his teammate Buakaw, until the relationship with the gym came to an unfortunate end.
What many people do not know is that Yudthagarngamtorn trained at the Kiatsingnoi camp before training at Por Pramuk. He lived a simple life there, sleeping in a room with 30 other fighters and only one toilet to share.
Due to his training regime and the determination of Yudthagarngamtorn, he was highly respected by young fighters in Thailand. Yudthagarngamtorn earned the nickname ‘The Emperor’ due to his impressive undefeated reign as a Lumpinee Stadium champion for 6 years straight.
Petchboonchu FA Group
Petchboonchu FA Group is one of the most decorated Muay Thai fighters in the world. During his career, he won 14 of the most high-level Muay Thai titles before retiring at the age of 27.
Petchboonchu was able to be so dominant and win so many titles due to his unique style that was difficult to counter by his opponents. As he was taller than most of the other Muay Thai fighters at the time, he had an advantage in the clinch and kneeing his opponent.
As a tall knee-fighter, often referred to as a Muay Khao fighter, he was able to drive in powerful knees from the clinch position to overpower opponents. He is still teaching his techniques and is set to make a return to fighting soon in ONE Championship.
Chamuakpetch Harpalang is another legendary knee-fighter, who was famous for his powerful long-range knees and masterful clinch work.
Besides being a great knee-fighter, he was considered to be one of the best all-rounders and could hold his own in every situation that presented itself in the boxing ring. The ‘Computer Knee Striker’ has fought across 7 different weight classes and won numerous titles.
He won the Lumpinee Stadium title 4 times and the Rajadamnern title 5 times earning him a definite spot on this list.
Whilst some would say that Muay Thai primarily uses legs and knees as weapons, Samart Payakaroon certainly disagrees with this statement.
He is arguably the best boxer to have graced Muay Thai, earning himself the name of the greatest of all time in boxing, namely ‘The Muhammed Ali of Muay Thai’.
Unlike other fighters that made this list, Samart Payakaroon was not particularly successful in his early career. He lacked physical attributes, and it was said that he had small lungs. What he lacked in physical strength, he made up with his mental attributes.
He went on to win the Lumpinee Stadium championship title 4 times making him an all-time great.
Samart also won the WBC world boxing championship title, which makes him one of the most interesting fighters on this list.
Ramon Deckers, AKA ‘The Diamond’, was a Dutch Kickboxer who decided to test his talents in Thailand against some of the best Kickboxers on the planet.
He is one of two fighters on this list that are non-Thai. He was able to win dozens of Muay Thai fights despite his troubles with the scoring system and losing some important fights. Ramon Deckers was always up to fight. It didn’t matter if he had injuries or no training camp.
Deckers had an aggressive fighting style and won 8 world championship titles in Muay Thai and Kickboxing during his career. Ramon Deckers was also the first foreign fighter to win the ‘Fighter of the Year’ title in Thailand.
Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn
Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn was a fighter his whole life. He started getting into fights at school a lot when he was young. Dieselnoi started training at a Muay Thai gym after being inspired by watching fights on tv with his father.
Dieselnoi was a Muay Khao fighter and had the nickname ‘The Sky Piercing Knee Kicker’. He became really famous during his legendary run as a lightweight champion in Lumpinee Stadium.
He cleared the division and defeated all newcomers. Dieselnoi retired after a four-year run, as there was simply no one left to fight.
Somrak Khamsing played an important role in putting Muay Thai skills on the map. He became a star in the Muay Thai scene at a young age. Somrak Khamsing is considered one of the best Muay Thai fighters of his generation.
Unfortunately, Muay Thai promotions did not give him a shot at the title. The reason was that the gambling odds would be too skewed towards him winning. Ultimately, he decided to make a switch to boxing.
This move launched him into superstardom, as he was the first Thai to win an Olympic gold medal. Besides fighting, Somrak Khamsing also had a passion for acting and starred in movies and TV series in Thailand.
Sagat Petchyindee had an impressive fighting career, competing in Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Boxing.
After winning 4 titles, Sagat Petchyindee found himself on an 11-fight losing streak. He was convinced he was cursed by black magic, which is a relatively normal belief in Thailand. Sagat sought advice on what to do from the monks. They convinced him to keep going and he then went on to win 7 more titles before retiring.
After retirement, he became addicted to drugs and ended up in prison multiple times.
Fortunately, he got himself together and is now training new fighters in the art of eight limbs. He is also famous for being in the Street Fighter videogame, in which he is of course a difficult-to-beat boss.
John Wayne Parr
John Wayne Parr is the second western fighter that made it onto this list of Muay Thai legends. After starting his Kickboxing career in Australia, Parr moved to Thailand to fight the best fighters on the planet.
John Wayne Parr fought some of the legends on this list, of which he won and lost some. Whether it was victory or defeat, he was always a showman. He earned the nickname ‘The Gunslinger’, as he pretended to ‘shoot’ his opponents during his Wai Kru Ram Muay.
Parr was very popular in Thailand and Australia and won multiple Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Boxing titles during his career. He earned himself over 10 championship titles in total. He ended up in the final of the K-1 tournament and fought multiple times at Lumpinee Stadium.
Tongchai Tor Silachai
Thongchai Tor Silachai achieved a lot during his Muay Thai career. He won five Lumpinee Stadium titles, a Ratchadamnern title, and was named as the best boxer twice by two different organizations.
After his fighting career, Tongchai experienced financial hardship and sought profits in some illegal businesses, including drugs.
Pud Pad Noy Worawoot
Pud Pad Noy Worawoot was nicknamed ‘The Golden Leg’, as his weapon of choice was his left-kick. Compared to his opponents he was relatively small but could use his leg kicks to chip away at their strength and speed.
Pud Pad Noy Worawoot was a multi-weight Lumpinee Stadium champion and also won the Fighter of the Year title.
Apidej Sit Hirun
Apidej Sit Hirun was one of the best kickers the Muay Thai scene has ever seen. His kicks were feared throughout the whole country and he holds one of the best records of all time.
He has a record of 340 wins, 10 losses, and 1 draw. This is incredible, considering most fighters don’t even have had 340 fights, let alone 340 wins. His kicks were so powerful that he broke both arms of his opponent once.
After his retirement, he was able to train 30 world champion fighters. For his influence in the Muay Thai scene in Thailand, the King of Thailand awarded him the ‘Fighter of the Century’ title.
Kaopong Sittichuchai was a dangerous Muay Thai fighter, as he had mastered both skill and power. He was not only dangerous as a Muay Thai fighter, but he was also the first Thai fighter to win a medal for Boxing in the Olympics.
Who Is The Best Muay Thai FighterS Of All Time?
The Muay Thai fighters on this list have had amazing careers and have won some of the most prestigious titles in the Muay Thai fight game.
It’s hard to say which fighter is the greatest of all time, but all of these fighters have been extraordinary during their career.
Some fighters on this list have fought each other in some of the most incredible fights in history. If there is ever a conversation about the legends of Muay Thai, you can count on these fighters to be in it!
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