The ONE Super Series Muay Thai roster is filled with many of the world’s most incredible strikers in “the art of eight limbs.”
Amazingly, some of them manage to do everything with a near-perfect amount of finesse, while others are specialists with certain techniques.
Here, we look at the most effective elements from some of ONE Championship’s leading nak muay to form the perfect Muay Thai fighter.
A Top-Down Approach
The best Muay Thai fighters are all physically gifted, but their mental agility truly sets them apart.
That’s certainly the case for ONE Strawweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao — a muay femeu stylist with immense technical knowledge.
The legendary Sam-A can outsmart world-class opponents, has an answer to everything that comes his way, and is able to switch up his game plan to accommodate a tricky adversary. With that in mind, his fighting brain makes our list.
Lerdsila Phuket Top Team has the best eyes in the game. Lovingly referred to as “the eel on a skateboard” for his impeccable defensive skills, the Thai veteran can spy his opponents’ shots early, make them miss, and then make them pay.
Rounding things off above the shoulders is Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon’s iron chin. It’s more than a match for any fist, as rivals find it almost impossible to hurt the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion.
Fists And Elbows
ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O’s blistering right hand has felled plenty of past rivals. The former Lumpinee Stadium and Rajadamnern Stadium Muay Thai World Champion’s massive KO over Saemapetch Fairtex was proof of its power on the global stage.
As his moniker suggests, Kulabdam’s left punch is his most feared weapon. He showcased it to ONE fans when he dispatched “The Million Dollar Baby” Sangmanee Klong SuanPluResort with the devastating strike at ONE: NO SURRENDER III last August.
Muangthai’s piercing left upward elbow is the most concussive in the game, while Haggerty’s downward right elbow is another tool that he puts to better use than any other athlete in ONE Super Series.
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Kicks And Knees
Though Thai boxing is famous for its array of techniques, arguably the most prominent is the powerful roundhouse kick. In the national sport of Thailand, a powerful kick — even a blocked one — is scored heavily if it clearly moves or impacts an opponent.
“The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9 is the perfect example of this. His right kick does damage wherever it lands, sapping his rivals’ energy to the body and immobilizing their arms and legs as it repeatedly thuds into them.
There were plenty of candidates for the left kick, but Tawanchai PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym gets the nod. It may not be as much of a blunt-force weapon as Superlek’s, but it is still powerful. However, it’s also lightning-fast and versatile, as Tawanchai showed with his epic knockout of Sean “Clubber” Clancy at ONE: DANGAL back in May.
Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy is the foremost muay khao — or knee fighter — in The Home Of Martial Arts.
The ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion’s long frame makes it easier for him to step in with punishing knees to the body. Those knees can end any match in an instant or break down opponents enough for him to unleash other weapons.
With so many other tools to think about, Muay Thai is not famed for its footwork, so it’s no coincidence that the movement element comes from a Westerner.
Although she is the reigning ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion, American star Janet “JT” Todd is more at home in “the art of eight limbs.” She is the atomweight Muay Thai division’s top contender, and footwork has carried her to great success in both sports.
With a keen eye for distance and angles, Todd finds ways to attack while keeping out of danger and getting back to safety.