Muay Thai kickboxing is one of the most brutal martial arts on the planet. Muay Thai originated in Thailand, where it was adapted from an earlier form of self defense called Muay Boran.

A demonstration of Muay Boran, also known as ancient boxing in Thailand.

In an effort to preserve the sport of Muay Thai as the main form of combat, mixed martial arts competition was not legal for a very long time in Thailand. Only very recently has MMA become a sanctioned sport, as ONE Championship just hosted the biggest MMA event to ever take place in the country this past weekend.

Because MMA was not previously an option for Thai fighters to compete in, we have yet to scratch the surface of what real Muay Thai would look like in an MMA fight. The combination of the raw aggression in Muay Thai and the lethal knees, kicks and elbows would be even more exciting contested in a cage with 4 ounce MMA gloves.

Samart Payakaroon, widely regarded as the greatest Muay Thai fighter of all time.

Most professional Thai boxers possess an arsenal of lethal strikes, but there are others, who may not be completely proficient at fighting.

Take, for instance the competitors in the following video. There is an obvious size difference, but that doesn’t stop the smaller man from repeatedly hammering his bigger foe and knocking him down. The video is full of completely random surprises for the entire 4 minutes, watch the ending to see the biggest surprise of the fight.


It’s far short of technical brilliance but serves as pure entertainment gold. Some Muay Thai boxers fight weekly, and make less than $30 per fight. As MMA continues to spread throughout Southeast Asia, we should expect to see an increase of Muay Thai specialists in competition. In an MMA fight, competitors can make upwards of $400 at a small show, making the transition to MMA a no brainer for some Thai boxers who are struggling to make ends meet.

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