Some of Our Favorite Fighters
Muay Thai is our passion; it’s pretty much all we think about. That means watching lots, and lots, and lots of fights. Just like in Boxing or MMA, Muay Thai practitioners have styles—attributes that they lean towards or techniques that they are particularly good at. Here are some of our favorite fighters—from different eras, gyms, and stylistic preferences.
Many of you all are newer to Muay Thai. You would never expect to be a good basketball player—or understand the sport—without ever watching an NBA game, right? Likewise, you have to watch high level fights to understand Muay Thai—to learn how to move, react, and fight.
To us, Fabio is the best foreigner in the game right now. He has been fighting for over a decade, and has beaten some of the very best, including Saenchai—arguably the greatest Muay Thai fighter of our era.
Nothing Fabio does is particularly spectacular or special. However, everything he does is high level. He is always balanced, always conditioned, always tight with his defense. Fabio rarely throws more than one or two strikes in succession, rather he relies on his timing and feints to land his strikes.
Here Fabio cleanly beats Liam Harrison, another top-notch non-Thai fighter known for his brutal leg kicks.
Muay Thai differs from kickboxing in two major facets. 1. Fighters can throw elbows. This means that punch combinations are often shorter, and fighters have tighter guards to protect themselves from elbow strikes. 2. Fighters are allowed to ‘clinch’. The clinch is the position where fighters are grappling standing up. Here they work for better positions, throw knees and elbows, and off-balance their opponent to trip them to the floor in what is called a ‘sweep’ or ‘dump’.
Petchboonchu is a master of the clinch. Known for his relentless forward aggression and wearing his opponents out, Petchboonchu won many of Thailand’s most prestigious titles—almost always dominating the majority of the fight in the clinch. Some do not find his style particularly entertaining, but for us it’s watching poetry in motion.
Nicknamed “The Cruncher”, Coban Lookchaomaesaitong was a very dominate fighter during the Golden Era (80’s-90’s) of Muay Thai. He had an iron chin, always marched forward, and threw bombs with his hands. Particularly, his counter lead hook was a thing of beauty. Coban now owns a Muay Thai school in New York City and regularly referees fights, including a couple of Coach Joe’s fights.
Here is a fantastic fight between him and Danny Bill.
Youssef Boughanem fights like a terminator. He relentlessly marches forward, overwhelming his opponents with strong shots and an unwavering will. He is truly robotic in the way that he fights. Born in Belgium, but of Moroccan descent, Youssef lives primarily in Thailand and has won titles at both of the most prestigious Muay Thai Stadiums: Lumpinee and Rajadamnern.
Here Youssef scores a wild comeback against a strong fighter in Yodpayak Sitsongpeenong.
These are a few of our favorite fighters. We could keep going and going, but we will save some more for later!
If you are one of our newer students, watch more Muay Thai! It will help you pick up the sport quicker and understand technique within the greater picture.
If you stumbled across this post and have never been to our gym, then come check us out. We are in the heart of South Philadelphia, just a block off of Passyunk Ave and a block from the Snyder subway stop. We offer class for beginners, as well as Kids Classes, Women’s Kickboxing Classes, as well as classes for our more advanced students and fighters.