The Best Muay Thai Fighters in History
Kongklai combines fluidity and precision strikes for exceptional Muay Thai performances, consistently outwitting opponents while serving precise strikes against them. He is a two-time Lumpinee Stadium champion with numerous other awards to his credit.
Buakaw Banchamek, a modern Muay Thai legend known for his powerful strikes and aggressive style, has achieved international renown and gained an avid following of supporters worldwide.
1. Saenchai Sor. Kingstar
Saenchai stands out among fighters of any sport for having dominated his field for more than a decade. Twice named Thailand’s Fighter of the Year (1999 and 2008), he made over 88 matches over this span. Beating some of Muay Thai’s greatest fighters before, during, and after him was no small achievement, considering how competitive Muay Thai can be. One technique that dazzled audiences was using cartwheels (such as those practiced by schoolgirls at recess) into deadly kicks to the face; defenses were among his skills, as were guards, kick catching, and sweeps.
Saenchai began training when he was eight years old after witnessing his friend’s older brother receive a prize for winning a Muay Thai match. Within just one week of training, he started fighting and won his first bout, earning himself 30 baht as prize money. Later that same year, when he reached 14 years old, he transferred to Kamsing gym, where they gave him a 300,000 baht transfer fee as a transfer payment.
He won four Lumpinee Stadium titles and defeated many top fighters, such as Orono Wor Petchpun and Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn.
Since 2014, Saenchai has competed in special showcase events around the globe. These battles often pit him against much larger opponents, yet he triumphs thanks to his steadfast technique and clever strategy. Saenchai has become a living legend around the globe and earned the right to be called one of the most excellent Muay Thai fighters ever.
2. Thongchai Tor Silachai
Thongchai Tor Silachai is one of the greatest fighters ever. His style combines power and technique into an unstoppable style that leaves opponents dumbfounded in his fights; he is famous for precise kicks and relentless fighting styles – always fast-paced and enjoyable to watch! His uncle Singdam was a legendary Muay Thai fighter! His fights are always exciting to witness!
Thongchai won several renowned titles and championships during his illustrious career while also creating his gym, Petchyindee Academy. The academy quickly earned fame due to its technical excellence and strategic training methods that produced many top fighters.
Ferrari Fairtex is an esteemed Muay Thai fighter with an outstanding record of 120 wins, 27 losses, and 16 draws in Muay Thai competition. A powerful striker who capitalizes on their height and reach advantage, his aggressive fighting style earned him the moniker “Iron Leg.”
Sangtiennoi Sor Rungroj, better known as The Deadly Kisser in Muay Thai circles, was an esteemed Muay Thai fighter renowned for his outstanding knee strikes and clinch work, winning several titles across multiple weight divisions. Additionally, after knocking his opponents out or winning matches, he frequently kissed their foreheads upon victory, earning him his moniker.
Samart Payakaroon amassed numerous championships during his incredible career, twice holding Lumpinee Stadium’s title at Lumpinee Stadium. Widely considered the greatest Muay Thai fighter ever, Samart was well known for his combination of speed, power and precision unrivaled in Muay Thai history. Additionally, Samart was widely revered as being dedicated to training and reaching his goals within the ring, often being likened to Muhammad Ali or Sugar Ray Robinson for their incredible skills and success within their sport.
3. Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn
Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn was one of many legendary Muay Thai fighters from Thai history who came from humble origins. His family worked as shopkeepers on boats sailing up and down Pasak River; indeed, it was on one of these boats that his mother gave birth!
Dieselnoi began fighting at a young age and quickly made an impression. Fighting but pushing himself too hard led him to suffer a tear in his spleen that caused him to miss his next fight. Regardless of this setback, Dieselnoi continued training under Sunan Sorndee, who taught him how to use his right leg for power when kickboxing; later moved on to Sor Banjongsak camp run by Khru Banjongsak, where he took up training under Khru Banjongsak, who gave him his fighter name Dieselnoi.
After that, he continued his progression and competed at Rajadamnern Stadium at 126 and 135 pounds, respectively. His height made him an outstanding opponent, but his knees brought him the most notoriety; they became known as the “Knees of Doom.”
Dieselnoi would come up against Kaopong Sitprapom in the late 70’s; Kaopong was an experienced and heavy-handed fighter, but Dieselnoi dominated their bout, using his devastating knees to dominate this matchup. Later, he would face Raktae Khongsuk, who proved no match for Dieselnoi’s catastrophic knees.
At this point in his career, Dieselnoi was running out of opponents as he had completed dominating the 135 lb division at Rajadamnern Stadium. When facing Sagat Petchyindee – who held three weight class titles under Radja and was known for being an excellent boxer himself – Dieselnoi dominated this fight too and won it via points.
4. Pud Pad Noy Worawoot
Pud Pad Noy Worawoot began his professional Muay Thai career at 14 and quickly earned fan favor with his devastating left leg technique that could easily knock out opponents. He won several Lumpinee Stadium championships across different weight classes, earning himself recognition as one of his era’s greatest Muay Thai fighters.
Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn was an intimidating presence in the ring; at 6’2″, his height enabled him to dominate opponents with powerful knee strikes and two Lumpinee Stadium Fighter of the Year Awards during his prime.
Ramon Deckers may not be Thai himself, yet his aggressive fighting style made an enormous impression in Muay Thai – winning numerous bouts and becoming the first foreigner ever to claim an official championship in Thailand.
Saenchai PK is an unparalleled legend of Muay Thai with an exceptional combination of creativity, athleticism, and technical ability. A multiple Lumpinee Stadium Champion, Saenchai holds great regard from fight fans worldwide.
Sangmanee Sor. Tienpo is an established Muay Thai star renowned for his high ring IQ and incredible agility in competition. A Rajadamnern Stadium flyweight champion, Tienpo has earned much praise from fellow competitors.
Buakaw Banchamek is an outstanding example of how one fighter’s style can impact their competition. Representing Britain, this fighter utilizes a combination of punches and elbows in his fights – and uses this style effectively within the ring – racking up many knockout victories along his career path. Buakaw deserves his place on this list.
5. Sagat Petchyindee
Sagat may be best known to most from his role as one of the protagonists in the Street Fighter video game series, but in martial arts circles, he is revered as an international living legend. Three-time Lumpinee champion and three-time Rajadammern champion, as well as Muay Thai and Kickboxing world champion, Sagat has won 317 fights with 266 wins against 40 losses (plus 11 draws); over half his victories came via knockout.
Sagat was an eyepatch-wearing, heavy-handed striker from Thailand’s golden age of Muay Thai who competed during its prime. A master of elbow and knee strikes and possessing great power behind his fists, Sagat faced off against some of the top fighters like Samart Payakaroon and Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn during this era.
He also competed as a boxer, recording 12 wins with eight knockout/TKO victories and only two defeats; these included one against Wilfredo Gomez, which ended tragically as its stadium collapsed, killing ten and injuring 300 spectators.
Sagat was known for his striking skills as an adept grappler and ground-and-pound practitioner. A great teacher, Sagat has taught many of today’s Muay Thai stars as they come up the ranks.
One of his most well-known teachings was the Tiger Style uppercut. This move involves throwing an uppercut without turning your fist, instead lifting your elbow so it is behind your fist to create more momentum and enable fighters to come in on an angle. It is highly effective and is something most Muay Thai fighters can incorporate into their attacks for tremendous success.