When it comes to stand up striking there is no better art than Muay Thai. Muay Thai offers the complete package when it comes to dealing damage to an opponent. Fighters who come from Kickboxing backgrounds have no chance in the ring if you put them against Muay Thai fighters under Muay Thai rules.
To help balance the scales, some of the bigger fight organizations like Glory and Kunlun Fight use Kickboxing rules which prevent the use of elbows and severely limit clinching. As you would expect, by removing two major weapons from Muay Thai fighters, it helps balance the fights between Kickboxers and Muay Thai fighters.
In spite of the limited rule set in these organizations, there are Muay Thai fighters (like Buakaw) that have gone in and dominated the Kickboxing competition under Kickboxing rules. While Buakaw was a dominant player for the past decade, there are a new breed of fighters that are starting to take over the Kickboxing scene.
One particular fighter that you already know of is Sittichai Sitsongpeenong. Sittichai is a fighter who has completely crushed his Kickboxing competition since he started. He has only lost a couple Kickboxing matches in his career and both of those losses were due to completely bias (terrible) judging. Throughout Sittichai’s career there hasn’t been any Kickboxers who have figured out how to beat him.
Recently, Sittichai was put in the ring against another Thai superstar (less famous) Superbon Banchamek. This would be the second time these two fighters fought under Kickboxing rules, with Sittichai winning their previous matchup by knockout in the second round.
Would Superbon be able to revenge his last loss and derail the Kickboxing champion Sittichai? Find out in the video below:
Sittichai Sitsongpeenong vs Superbon Banchamek
Thoughts on the Fight (Spoiler Alert!)
Styles Make Fights
One saying that gets repeated often in the fight game is that styles make fights. And this holds very true in this fight.
If you think about all of dozens of Kickboxers who have tried to beat Sittichai the past few years, it is a little bit ironic that it took a high level Muay Thai fighter to beat him. However, when you look at this matchup from a fighting style vs. style perspective, this is not that shocking at all.
Sittichai is a hard hitting aggressive fighter who relies on power and strong techniques to beat his opponent. While Superbon is a counter fighter who loves to wait for his opponent to strike and then counter off those attacks.
Whenever you put a hard hitting fighter against a counter striker, it makes it difficult for the power strike to get off their usual strikes because they get countered throughout the fight. You will notice that Sittichai was rarely able to land any clean strike against Superbon without being hit right back. This is why it is so frustrating to face a counter fighter in the ring.
Whenever Sittichai faces a Kickboxer in the ring they all have a major disadvantage against him: the don’t block kicks.
While Thai fighters learn to check kicks with their legs, Kickboxers rarely check checks with their legs and often absorb the impact on their arms. This means that Sittichai can literally just smash away at his opponents at will, and they sit there and take the blows on their arms. (Not the smartest thing to do when a guy can hit as hard as a tree).
Another key advantage that Sittichai has over Kickboxing fighters is he is a Southpaw fighter. Since only 10% of normal fighters are Southpaw, this gives Southpaw fighters an advantage because their opponents have to adjust to their fighting style.
In addition to the strong left kicks that Sittichai utilizes, he also has a very effective left forward knee strike he uses. In most of his fights against Kickboxers he can literally just smash away with his left kick, and step forward with his left knee, while throwing in a jab straight, hook every once in a while.
Since Kickboxers can’t block the kicks or the knees, they are often rendered useless trying to walk into kicks with their punches.
Why is Superbon a Difficult Matchup?
Besides the fact that Superbon is a counter fighter, he also comes from the same fighting background as Sittichai.
While Sititchai is used to having his way against Kickboxers with his kicks and knees, facing a fighter like Superbon takes away Sittichai’s advantage he faces against Kickboxers. Unlike Kickboxing opponents who will sit there and just eat the kicks on their arms, Superbon is used to blocking kicks. Since kicks and knees are scored so highly in Thailand, if you aren’t good at blocking these strikes you will never make it far in the sport.
Furthermore, Superbon is also used to facing Southpaw fighters. In Thailand nearly 50% of high level fighters are Southpaw. A lot of trainers will train a kid to be a Southpaw, regardless of whether or not they are a lefty. This means that Superbon is comfortable facing Southpaw fighters and utilizing weapons to beat them.
The biggest issue that Superbon has to deal with against Sittichai is his boxing skills. In their previous fight Sittichai catches Superbon with a counter right hook that knocked him out. It was a beautiful counter that was a result of perfect timing and a bit of sloppiness from Superbon.
Throughout the rematch Superbon was being extra cautious with his guard and making sure that the was keeping a tight guard. He definitely didn’t want to make the mistake of getting caught with another counter that he could have prevented before.
Is Superbon the Best Fighter at 70 kg (155 lbs)?
Superbon may be the best fighter around the 70 kg weight category today. He recently destroyed Andre Kulebin (a top 5 foreigner) in the world championships that saw him easily take the gold medal.
It is not surprising that Banchamek gym acquired this young superstar to represent their gym. He is only 26 years of age and has another 5+ years of fighting left in him. He reminds me a lot like Buakaw, only better. His kicks are lightning fast and his timing is absolutely incredible.
You could easily make the argument for another handful of fighters to fill the top spot in these weight divisions, but Superbon is definitely in the conversation.
This fight showcases how good Superbon is and why he is a fighter you should start following on the Muay Thai circuit. As long as Superbon stays focused and works hard in training, he will continue to showcase why he is a next level Muay Thai talent.