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Muay Thai Fighter of the Year – From Past to Present

Photo Credit Rob Cox

Photo Credit: Rob Cox –

In Muay Thai the most prestigious honor a fighter can receive is the Sports Writers Association of Thailand Fighter of the Year award. This is an award that is voted on every year to determine who was the best fighter in Thailand during that year.

To win the Fighter of the year award is the Muay Thai equivalent to winning an Oscar for Best Actor at the academy awards. It is a huge accomplishment and something that every fighter dreams of accomplishing one day. Given the fact that there are tens of thousands of fighters throughout Thailand competing in matches every single day, this truly is an award that recognizes the best of the sport.

Over the years there have been many legends that have come and gone in the sport. The following is a look back at some of the greatest legends of the sport who have won the prestigious fighter of the year award. See if you can recognize any of the faces in the pictures.

A Look Back in History

The following are images that were posted by the user NOI on the axkickboxing forums. View original source here. (full credit to original poster)

Fighter of the year 30s

Fighter of the year 40s

Fighter of the Year 50s

Fighter of the year 60s

Fighter of the year 70s

Fighter of the year 80s

Fighter of the year 90s

Present and Past Winners of the Award

2014 – Muangthai PK Saenchai Muay Thai Gym (Recent fight video here)
2013 –  Panpayak Jitmuangnon (Highlight Video Here)
2012 – Yodwicha Por Boonsit and Sangmanee Sor Tienpo (Highlight Video Here and Here)
2011 – Penek Sitnumnoi (Highlight video Here)
2010 – Kongsak Sitboonmee (Highlight video Here)

2009 – Rungruanglek Lukprabart (Highlight Video Here)
2008 – Saenchai Sor Kingstar (Highlight Video Here)
2007 – Wuttidet Lukprabaht 
2006 – Jomthong Chuwattana and Norasing Lukbanyai (Jomthong highlight Here)
2005 – Nong-O Sit-Or (Highlight Video Here)
2004 – Anuwat Kaewsamrit (Highlight Video Here)
2003 – Anuwat Kaewsamrit 
2002 – Singdam Kiatmoo 9 (Highlight Video Here)
2001 – Thongchai Tor.Silachai
2000 – Fasuchon Sit-Or 

1999 – Saenchai Sor Kingstar (Highlight Video Here)
1998 – Kaolan Kaowichit (Highlight Video Here)
1997 – Anantasak Panyuthapoom
1996 – Namsaknoi Yuthkarnkamthon (Highlight Video Here)
1995 – Kaoponglek Luksuratham (Highlight Video Here)
1994 – Orono Por Muangubon (Highlight Video Here)
1993 – Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai (Highlight Video Here)
1992 – Jaroensap Kiatbanchong
1991 – Saenmuangnoi Lukjaophomehesak (Samson Isarn) (Highlight Video Here)
1990 – Kaensak Sor Ploenchit (Highlight Video Here)

1989 – Kaensak Sor Ploenchit 
1988 – Samart Payakaroon (Highlight Video Here)
1987 – Langsuan Panyuthapoom
1986 – Panomthuanlek 5 Palang 
1985 – Chamuekpetch 5 Palang 
1984 – Kongthoranee Payakarun 
1983 – Samart Payakarun 
1982 – Dieselnoi C. Thanasukarn (Highlight Video Here)
1981 – Samart Payakarun 
1980 – Nongkhai S. Prapassorn 

1979 – Phadetsuek Pitsarnurachan 
1978 – Kongthoranee Payakarun 
1977 – Vicharnoi Porntawee (Old Footage Here)
1976 – Porsai Sittbunlert 
1975 – Pud Pad Noi Vorawud (Highlight Video Here)
1974 – Puth Lawlek 
1973 – Sansak Muangsurin (Classic Fight Here)
1972 – Sirimongkol Luksiripat 
1971 – Seechang Sakornpitak (Classic Fight Here)
1970 – Fasai Taweechai 

It’s important to point out that the current international stars like Yodsanklai Fairtex, Sudsakorn Klinmee, Aikpracha, Kem Sitsongpeenong, Buakaw have never won a Fighter of the Year award, except for Saenchai who has won it twice. Jomthong Chuwatanna is another international star that won the award. 

About Author

In 2011, Stephen decided to move to Thailand in search of 'real' Muay Thai. After training MMA for 5 years, he wanted to focus solely on his standup striking. After gaining a few years of experience in the ring, he decided to start Muay Thai Pros with his brother Ben, to share their experiences from the land of Muay Thai. You can follow Stephen on Instagram or read about his Muay Thai journey HERE.



    Would be interesting to know why Buakaw, Yodsanklai, etc. never won that award. Almost every Muay Thai fighter I talked to doesn’t like them too much but obviously they are doing something right, aren’t they? Would be cool to understand what sets them and the ‘real’ Thai fighters apart.

    • Buakaw and Yodsanklai are the most famous Thai fighters internationally, but they don’t fight against other Thai competition. To win the Fighter of the year award you have to fight the best competition in Thailand. Both of those fighters are not fighting the best fighters inside of Thailand, they are fighting foreign competition. Unfortunately, fame is not a qualification for winning the award.

    • This award is given out by the sportswriters authority in Thailand to select the best Muay Thai fighters in the country. Ramon Dekkers (RIP) was a good fighter, but never came close to becoming the best in Thailand or winning this award.

    old school femur fool on

    look at these utube channles and see some of the very best muay thai . many classic old school championship fights .
    after close inspection you pick who is the best..

    Rinkeby Muay Thai utube

    Steve Armstrong muay thai utube

    AdonSagat muay thai utube

    GKfromMTA muay thai utube

    these are from the golden era .

    see the plow in full action and its many defences .

    leg catch into many reattacks .

    excellent un-time limited clinching .

    many continuation moves .

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