In the history of Muay Thai, there are few more respected athletes around the world than Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex.
“The Hero” started competing when he was just 8 years old, and he went on to build a résumé filled with accomplishments that are nearly unmatched by any other athlete.
He became a star by winning some of the most prestigious belts in Thailand, but he became a legend across the planet by breaking out of the domestic scene to take on the best strikers on Earth – and beat almost all of them.
Ahead of his upcoming bout at ONE: A NEW ERA on 31 March against another legend in Andy Souwer, take a look at the of the World Championships that this icon of the art of eight limbs has won in the past two decades.
Two-Time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion
Becoming Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai Champion is considered one of the highest honors in all of Muay Thai and Yodsanklia managed to do that in two weight divisions – in 2001 and again in 2005.
Here is the really impressive part about that accomplishment – his first World Title in the famous Bangkok venue came at 112 pounds in 2001 when he was still just a teenager. His second World Championship came four years later in 2005 at 147 pounds.
His body and opponents had completely changed, but he still rose to the challenge.
WBC Muay Thai World Champion
In 2005, Yodsanklai ignited what would become one of the most epic rivalries in the history of his sport when he defeated Australian legend John Wayne Parr to become the first ever WBC Super Welterweight World Champion.
It was a five-round battle that took place in Parr’s backyard, but the Thai star found a way to earn the victory and take home the famous belt.
He went on to defend that World Title multiple times in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
WMC Contender Asia Champion & WMC World Champion
Yodsanklai was introduced on a global stage in 2008 during The Contender Asia, a popular reality series competition that gathered the best Muay Thai practitioners in the world in Singapore to battle in a tournament.
To make it to the final, the Pattaya native had to go through three opponents – Bruce Macfie, Sean Wright and his teammate Naruepol Fairtex.
At the finale, Yodsanklai once again squared off with his old friend John Wayne Parr, who actually selected him as the first pick overall for his team during the reality show.
In their rematch, “The Hero” had to go through another five rounds of battle against the Aussie striker, but he still came away on top with the title wrapped around his waist when it was over.
The victory also earned him his second WMC Muay Thai World Championship in the middleweight division, which he defended twice – in between defenses of his WMC super welterweight belt.
Two-Division WPMF World Champion
Back in 2006, “The Hero” conquered yet another prestigious championship when he won the WPMF Super Welterweight World Title.
A year after his triumph in The Lion City, Yodsanklai went up in weight yet again to challenge for the WPMF World Title in the super middleweight division.
The Thai proved his skills could be the equalizer against a much larger opponent as he took out Japan’s Takaaki Nakamura.
Like many of his belts, Yodsanklai would never lose either of these in the ring.
Lion Fight Middleweight World Championship
Yodsanklai traveled to the United States in 2013 to challenge for the Lion Fight Middleweight World Title against America’s Chike Lindsay.
Although he appeared to be dwarfed by his opponent, “The Boxing Computer” used the near-perfect technique that earned him that moniker to pick him apart over a five-round battle.
When he returned to defend his strap in 2014, he scored a stunning second-round knockout against Salah Khalifa. Once again, no one was able to take Yodsanklai’s prize in the ring.
Those bouts are part of the unbelievable win streak that Yodsanklai is still building on. Since 2012, he has 30 consecutive victories including a pair of ONE Super Series bouts – a thrilling unanimous decision against Chris Ngimbi and an awesome first-round knockout of Luis Regis.
To get to 31 in a row, and claim his 202nd win overall, Yodsanklai will have to go through Souwer on 31 March at the historic ONE: A NEW ERA card from Tokyo, Japan.