Muay Thai is one of the most exciting combat sports in the world, and that wouldn’t be possible without the courageous fighters who enter the ring.
If you’re looking to understand more about the Thai boxing scene, it’s good know who some of the best Muay Thai fighters are – from both past and present.
So, I’ve create a list of some of the best Muay Thai fighters ever to have graced the ring.
Some of these fighters have crossed over into kickboxing or even MMA, but I wanted to give a good mix of styles and nationalities, so that you get a broader view of the sport.
So, here goes… My top 10 Muay Thai fighters.
Ramon “The Diamond” Dekkers
Ramon Dekkers is widely considered to be the best ever foreign Muay Thai fighter (from outside of Thailand), and has the rewards and recognition from the Thai people to back this claim up. His aggressive toe-to-toe style and willingness to take on any opponent on their home turf, made him extremely exciting to watch, with many of his fights making their way onto top fight lists.
Hailing from Holland originally, Dekkers trained in various martial arts before settling into kickboxing and fighting all over the world, picking up numerous belts and accolades. He also received a royal award from the Thai royal family for his services to Muay Thai. Dekkers sadly passed away in 2013.
- Period – 80s – 2001
- Titles held – Dutch Featherweight champion 1987 – EMTA European Featherweight Champion 1988 – IMTA World Lightweight Champion 1989 – WMTA World Welterweight Champion 1995 – see more
- Fight record – Fights 223 – Wins 196 (95 by knockout) – Losses 35 – Draws 2
- Nationality – Dutch
Buakaw is widely known as Muay Thai’s poster boy across the globe, and the superstar who has raised the profile of Muay Thai in recent years. Whilst there are Thai fighters who have won more Muay Thai titles than him in Thailand, nobody has gained as much global exposure for Muay Thai as Buakaw; winning titles with K1, S-Cup and more.
- Period – Current
- Titles held – K-1 World MAX Champion 2004, 2006 – 2002 Omnoi Stadium Lightweight Champion – 2011 WMC Muaythai Junior Middleweight World Champion – 2010 Shoot Boxing S-Cup World champion – See more
- Fight record – Fights 271 – Wins 235 (by knockout 71) Losses 24 – Draws 12
- Nationality – Thai
Samart is considered by most Muay Thai fans to be the greatest Thai boxer of all time – AKA the Muhammed Ali of Muay Thai. With multiple Lumpinee stadium championships won and 3 awards for best Thailand fighter of the year through the 80s, there is still yet to be a fighter who challenges Samart’s legacy.
On top of his lightning reflexes and unrivalled technical ability, Samart was also an unusually big puncher for a Thai boxer. He even had a brief stint in western style boxing, which saw him pick up a WBC junior featherweight title.
He has also dabbled in music and cinema, releasing albums and starring in some major films.
- Period – 70s 80s (The golden age of Muay Thai)
- Titles held – Champion of Lumpinee Stadium – 1980, 1980, 1981, 1981 – Sports Writers of Thailand fighter of the year – 1981, 1983, 1988 – WBC junior featherweight title – 1986
- Fight record – Fights 150 – Wins 130 (By knockout 30) – Losses 18 – Draws 2
- Nationality – Thai
Yodsanklai Fairtex trains out the renowned Fairtex gym in Pattaya Thailand, and is the champion of The Contender Asia: A reality style TV competition which pitched 12 world class Muay Thai fighters against each other in a series of tasks and fights. He is best known for his devastating left round-house kick which is feared amongst even the toughest of Muay Thai fighters.
- Period – 2000’s – retired 2017 with possible comeback
- Titles held – 2005 Lumpinee Stadium Welterweight (147 lbs) champion – 2005-2009 WBC Muay Thai World Super Welterweight (154 lbs) champion – 2008 WMC Contender Asia champion – 2012 WMC World Middleweight (160 lbs) champion – see more
- Fight record – Fights 274 – Wins 199 – (by knockout 77) Losses 71 – Draws 4
- Nationality – Thai
John Wayne “The Gunslinger” Parr
John Wayne Parr is an Australian Kick boxer who has fought and beat some of the biggest names in Muay Thai – he has also had success in K1, S1 and even western boxing. Parr earned his nickname from his hand gun motions performed during his Wai Kru before fights.
- Period – 1992 – 2012 / 2014 – present
- Titles held – 2007 WMC Thai boxing Middleweight World Champion – 2010 WKN Thai boxing World Super welterweight(72.6 kg) Champion – 2011 WKBF K-1 Middleweight World Champion- see more
- Fight record – Fights 132 – Wins 99 – (by knockout 46) Losses 33
- Nationality – Australian
Saenchai is arguably the best pure Muay Thai fighter around today, having won the Lumpinee Championship title at four different weights, and he is known for taking on much heavier fighters in a bid to find worthy opponents from across the world. He has only lost twice when weights have been equal.
- Period – 1988 – present
- Titles held – Lumpinee Stadium multiple weights 1997, 1998, 2005, 2010, 2006 – 2012 Muay Thai Warriors Welterweight (65 kg) champion – 2017 Phoenix Fighting Championship – see more
- Fight record – Total 331 – Wins 285 (by knockout 35) Losses 41 – Draws 5
- Nationality – Thai
Mike”Iron Mike” Zambidis
Mike Zambidis isn’t strictly a Muay Thai fighter, he’s more of an all-round kickboxer – but he’s such an exciting fighter that I had to put him in this list. He’s won titles in K1, WOKA, WKU and more, plus he throws a lot of devastating superman punches and flying knees.
- Period – 2000 – 2015
- Titles held – 2002 K-1 World Max Oceania Champion – 2004 A-1 World Combat Cup Champion -76 k – 2011 W5 World Grand Prix KO World Champion -71 k – 2015 World W.K.U. Champion – see more
- Fight record – Total 181 – Wins 157 (by knockout 87) – Losses 24
- Nationality – Greek
Liam “The Hitman” Harrison
Liam Harrison is arguably the best British Thai boxer to have competed in Thailand. Originally from Leeds in England, Harrison has won UK, European and world titles.
- Period – 2000 to current
- Titles held – 2005 S.I.M.T.A. Muaythai lightweight European champion -61.5 kg – 2011 WBC Muaythai (147 lbs) International champion – 2014 WBC Muaythai (147 lbs) world champion – See more
- Fight record – Total 108 – Wins 84 (by knockout 42) Losses 22 – Draws 2
- Nationality – British
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is Polish MMA fighter who competes in the UFC currently – but her background is Muay Thai. She has won several Thai boxing and kick boxing titles as well as holding a UFC belt.
- Period – 2012 – present
- Titles held – IFMA World Championship Gold 2009 – 2013 – WBKF Pro Title (2013) – UFC Womens Strawweight Championship
- Fight record – (Muay Thai) Total 40 – Wins 37 – Losses 3
- Nationality – Polish
Danny Bill is a French Cameroonian Muay Thai fighter with a great record and numerous titles.
- Period – 1986 – 2012
- Titles held – 1989 French Junior Muay Thai Champion – 1990 French Senior Muay Thai Champion – 1993 – 1999 : 7 time World Muay Thai Champion
- Fight record – Total 126 – Wins 115 (by knockout 40) Losses 11
- Nationality – French Cameroonian
Are these the best Muay Thai fighters from across the world?
This is by no means a definitive list of the best Muay Thai fighters ever (because that would be far too long!)
But hopefully, if you’re new to Muay Thai, this has given you a good insight into some of the best known Muay Thai legends of past and present.
If you know of a fighter who you think should be added, drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org