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Muay Thai vs MMA: The Differences

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cosmo alexandre

In our first article, Muay Thai for MMA: Introduction, we introduced our Muay Thai for MMA series by looking at some of the Muay Thai techniques used in MMA and examined WHY these techniques don’t look the same as found in pure Muay Thai.

This is PART 2 of 6 of my new Muay Thai for MMA series.

This series will consist of six articles:

Now before we break down how to apply specific Muay Thai techniques to MMA in our upcoming articles, we need to look at HOW Muay Thai (the style of MT found in Thailand and utilized by the Thais) differs from the Muay Thai used during MMA stand up. You have to know some of the major differences in the way each style handles fighting before you can adapt one to the other.

Stance Differences

It should not be surprising that the ‘generic’ MMA stance and Muay Thai stance are completely different. And they must be because the needs and requirements of each sport are different. In MMA there is the ever present threat of a takedown attack while in Muay Thai, the Muay Thai fighter must be ready to defend against a steady stream of kicks and straight knees and elbows without worry about a take-down.

A fighter stance, be it MMA or Muay Thai, will also reflect his or her preferred weapon. For example, an MMA fighter with a background in Muay Thai who throws a lot of kicks will have a different stance than a fighter with a grappling/wrestling background who shoots for a lot of take-downs during a match.

In  a sport like MMA there is definitely a lot of individual variation when it comes to a fighter’s stance. But one thing that’s common to ALL MMA fighters, regardless of what sort of background they come from (wrestling, BJJ, boxing, Muay Thai, etc) is that MMA fighters are already ready to modify their stance at a moment’s notice to defend against take downs. Generally, the MMA fighter’s hands will usually be held a bit lower and more out to the front than you find in boxing, muay thai, or kickboxing (keep in mind the gloves are 4 ounce with finger grips, not the 10 ounce boxing gloves worn in Muay Thai). MMA fighters tend to stand a bit more forward with more weight on the front leg.

stance_mma_vs_muaythai

Let’s look at some specific stance examples.

Muay Thai Stance vs MMA Stance

Traditional Muay Thai has a very forward stance with the hips square and straight forward, chin tucked in with the body posture straight. More weight is placed on the back leg with less on the front leg (so as to check kicks on the fly).

MMA stances tend to be wider, more forward with the body posture tilted slightly down with the hands held loosely in front of the face. This is to sprawl against a takedown, jump out of the way of strikes, or in need be jump in for  an attack. Notice how much longer the MMA stance of Jones is compared to the Muay Thai stance with weight placed on the front leg. This gives Jones more of a solid base to push against a takedown or quickly shoot for his own takedown.

muay_thai_stance_singdam bones jones stance

No matter what your background of martial art is, you’ve got to make some type of adjustment when you move into MMA.

Look at the following comparison I made, showing some of the subtle changes in stances in these fighters as they’ve moved from their original sport into the MMA world.

stance_comparison

For most of the fighters above, the stances get slightly wider, the hands are lowered and more weight is placed on the front foot.

Fight Range Differences

There is a big difference between the range guys stand and trade blows from between the two sports. Watch any Muay Thai match and neither guy will back away but will either sit there exchanging punches, kicks, elbows and knees or press forward. MMA fighters tend to sit back and jump in and out. They attack, then jump away OR shoot for a takedown/clinch.

MMA fighters are like fencers, dancing in and out to attack and avoid damage. They jump and push forward to attack then just as quickly dash away. Rarely do two guys just sit their and trade blows one for one.

fencer

Muay Thai fighters are like two guys fighting each other with sword and shields, standing their ground, blocking attacks, and waiting to find a hole in their opponents armor or a mistake to capitalize on. Thai boxing is ALL about standing in the pocket, soaking up the damage while giving back more than you receive.

sword_and_shield

Watch how in Muay Thai both fighters keep within striking range of each other at all times, blocking strikes on their gloves or shins (or just plain sucking up hits) before delivering return punishment:

footwork_thai_nonpunchign_thais
Look at how in MMA matches the fighters (typically) jump back and forth attacking then retreating or just plain pressure rushing their opponent:

mma_retreat MqJ8H9

 

Movement Differences

There is a clear difference in the movement patterns in MMA (stand up MMA fighters who utilize Muay Thai) and Traditional Muay Thai. In Muay Thai fighters often stand their ground and trade. In MMA, fighters are often bouncing around and leery about standing and trading blows. You don’t tend to see too much lateral movement and there is a subtle stigma when it comes to a Thai boxer  ‘backing up’ to avoid damaging strikes, especially if it looks like they are ‘running away’.

The Fight Rhythm Difference

In Traditional Muay Thai, the fighters don’t bull rush each other. The ‘bull rush’ or ‘swarm’ tactic is all to common in MMA with fighters rushing towards each other swinging. Even witness someone with strong striking skills such as Jose Aldo, Hugo Alva, and Matt Brown approach their opponents.

Just look at how these style differ in the movements:

jose aldo muay_thai_movement

Watching a traditional Muay Thai match can be a bit of a shocker if you are used to MMA as the Nak Muay just often stand there waiting to counter attack.

Foot Movement Difference

Footwork in Muay Thai

Muay Thai, at least the Thai style, has very little defensive movement and little lateral movement. In most scenarios, fighters will stand their ground, statically defending against attacks by checking kicks on shins, blocking elbows and punches by covering their face with a high guard, and grabbing the head of an opponent to prevent strikes as the opponent moves forward. There’s a lot of emphasis in Thailand placed on not only on whether your strikes hit your opponent but also on HOW you throw your strikes. That is, if your technique is beautiful.

This is actually taken into account when Muay Thai matches are scored. This speaks to the artistic merit of Muay Thai as a performance for the crowd just as much as it is an actual fight.

There is also a show element of not giving ground when your opponent comes forward. To back off is to admit fear which is viewed upon as a negative thing in a Muay Thai match.

This is one reason why you’ll find a lot of Thai’s fighting on a straight line and not utilizing footwork to create angles.

Here’s an example of a typical Muay Thai fight where opponents tend to stand in front of each other and trade:

footwork_thai_non

You can, however, find some Nak Muay who are exceptions to this. Saenchai, for example, has excellent footwork and movement if you check some of his videos out on youtube. This is an exception to the general rule though — the vast majority of Thai boxing matches have little in the way of footwork and angles.

Footwork in MMA:

MMA, on the other hand,  is not a sport that rewards stationary fighters. MMA Fighters are all over the place, moving back, forward, and laterally.

While admittedly the technical footwork skills are (usually) lacking in MMA, there is a lot of running in to attack then jumping back out to avoid counter attacks. This is definitely not the same as Muay Thai where you are suppose to stand your ground.

While the level of technical footwork is not as developed as say Boxing, it’s there is definitely more footwork and foot movement than in Muay Thai.

Look at Dominik Cruz here as he uses footwork to jump in just of center towards his opponent’s power hand to set up an overhand right from one angle (in such a way where it’s hard for his opponent to hit him with an overhand right) then exiting another angle. If you watch Cruz’s fights, you’ll see this is something he regularly does. He even has a youtube video explaining his footwork strategy here.

footworkd_cruz

You can see cruz using foot work here to move laterally out of a straight line to hit his opponent. Another nice example of some footwork in MMA.

cruz_circling_for_angles

And Eddie Alvarez using footwork to circle around his opponent and land a strike from an angle.

mma_footwork_circling

Defense Differences between Muay Thai and MMA

Defense in Muay Thai is usually very static — you check kicks with shins and block attacks on your gloves. There is often a stigma against stepping back to avoid attacks (the exception being if you step back from a head kick). There is little emphasis placed on lateral foot movement.

Let’s completely ignore the whole GROUND aspect of MMA and only compare the standup defense between the two sports.

Some of the Major Defensive Tactics in Muay Thai:

Blocking with Shins

right low kick no check

checking_kick

This is usually what happens in MMA fights when a leg kick is thrown:

low_kick_aldo

Leaning Back from Kicks

step back kick

Block with High Guard

high_guard

Clinch when in Range to Stop Strikes

passive clinch defense

Some of the Major Defensive Tactics in MMA against strikes

Defense is very much an important part of MMA with fighters jumping back from attacks, blocking with hands, utilizing head movement to avoid punches, going for take downs when opponents strikes.

Kicks are usually not checked on the shin as they are in Muay Thai — it’s possible that if you check a kick by lifting a leg to block it, your opponent can shoot for a take down and put you off balance. However, this is not a normal defense in MMA.

I mean when there is a public outcry saying high checks with the upper shin/knee are bad, you can conclude blocking with the shins is not all that common.

The Jump Away Tactic

If you’ve watched any MMA fight, you’ve seen this. Fighters tend to jump backwards to avoid damage. This is by far the number one defensive tactic in MMA — avoid any damage if possible. And the way MMA fighters go about that is to jump out of striking range as the opponent starts punching or kicking.

Jump_back_defense

Takedowns

It’s common to see takedowns used as a defense against strikes. This means you have to be very careful when you start throwing strikes against someone with good takedown abilities.

Here are some examples of takedowns being used as a defense against striking:

takedowntakedown_defense take_downdefending_againstpunched_dominickcruz

(Sometimes) Head Movement

You tend to see more head movement in MMA as part of an active defense than you do in typical Muay Thai fights. Mind you, this is entirely fighter dependent — for both martial arts. Fighters like Anderson Silver and Jose Aldo have great head movement in MMA. In Muay Thai, fighters like Saenchai, Samart, and Samrak all had/have great head movement when they fight. Other fighters don’t move their head and eat shots.

aldoheadmovement00_mediumhead movement ufc silva

Angles

Not every fighter utilizes Angles, but MMA fighters tend to circle each other more than in Muay Thai. Certainly, with the better strikers of the sport like Anderson and Jose Aldo, you will see angles utilized when striking. While angles are NOT always utilized in MMA, among the better strikers, they are.

angles

Striking Differences between Muay Thai and MMA

I’m not going to list the different strikes that are used in MMA but not Muay Thai but rather introduce HOW the strikes are utilized differently between the striking that both MMA and Muay Thai utilize. Again, we are ignoring the whole ground aspect.

The main difference you’ll notice between the two arts is the difference in hip rotation when Knees, Elbows, and Kicks are thrown.

A Word About Hip Rotation

There is a fundamental difference in the way strikes are thrown in Traditional Muay Thai and the way they are (often) thrown in MMA. This is particularly the case when it comes to kicks, elbows, and knees. In Muay Thai, strikes are delivered with maximum power. Full rotation of the hips occurs when kicking or throwing elbows in Muay Thai. You are not just ‘throwing and elbow’ with your arm. You are not just putting your leg out there when you kick. The force and power comes from the rotational whip of the hips around the spine with your arms or legs being relaxed until moment of impact. Knee strikes too are not just thrown with the leg, but with the full power of the hip thrust forward diving the knee forward like a spear.

MMA strikers may often replicate the basic Thai kick, Elbow strikes, and Knee strikes, but they are often not thrown with the hip torque as in Muay Thai. You typically will see MMA fighters just throw an elbow out there without whipping the hips around — this probably explains why there are not too many elbow KO’s in MMA.

Why Strikes Have Less Hip Rotation in MMA?

For the images above, it should be pretty clear that Muay Thai emphasizes hip rotation/thrust when throwing kicks, knees, and elbows while MMA does not.

Why? Well this rotational torque of the hips is the secret behind the devastating power behind the Muay Thai strikes. However, it does come at a cost: you gain more power but it takes longer to reset your position. Torquing your hips requires committing your entire body to the motion. The more you whip your hips around to generate power, the longer it takes to bring reset yourself back to your stance.

Hence, torquing your hips (too much) may not be ideal for MMA where you can be vulnerable to a quick takedown attempt after throwing a strike — especially if you are out of position from the extra hip rotation.

There is also the risk that your opponent will wait for you to commit to your strike then make a take-down attempt with you unable to defend.

ELBOWS

Muay Thai has far more of an arsenal of elegant elbow strikes than you typically see in MMA. We’ve seen a surge of elbow usage in the UFC, especially from the clinch. We will cover these specific strikes that convert to MMA in future articles. The elbow strike in MMA is HIGHLY underused in UFC, both in the implementation of the techniques, the timing (when to use them), and the types of elbows. We will cover Muay Thai elbow strikes for MMA in a future article.

Look at the hip torque Thai’s have when they throw elbows:

Watch a similar style of elbow thrown by Jose Aldo against an opponent coming forward. Note the elbow Aldo throws utilizes more arm than rotational hip torque of the thai’s elbow (Pakorn).

jose_aldo_straight_horizontal_elbow_forwad

Let’s look at another example of UFC fighters using the right elbow. Here is Bones Jones throwing an elbow:

jon_jons_rear_elbow_against_cage1

While I’m not going to argue it didn’t hurt, Jones is not utilizing the full rotational whip of the hips that a Thai uses when throwing the same elbow.

Here is how the Thai’s throw that same elbow. Look at the force of that rotation and the power generated (the Thai did not land it cleanly though as in the first example of the Thai elbow above):

elbow_rotation

Thai Elbow strikes is one area of Muay Thai that’s HIGHLY underutilized in MMA due to lack of knowledge. I’ll break down Muay Thai Elbows for MMA in a future article for this series.

KNEES

Muay Thai: The knee is heavily utilized in Muay Thai matches with a number of different types of knees thrown from the leading leg or rear leg. You can throw a forward knee from a stance or incorporate knee strikes from the clinch.

Look at the hip thrust when Thais throw Knees:

thai throwing left knee in clinch

You can bet that hurts when it hits!

MMA: Knees are commonly used in MMA, but only the upward variety and only from the clinch position by the person who gets the double underhand position (called the Thai plum). Rarely, if at all, do you see any other type of knee strike used in MMA besides the flying knee strike.

KICKS

Muay Thai: Muay Thai is a sport that scores heavily on kicks. As such, Muay Thai emphasizes striking your opponent with kicks. Common kicks are the body kick and the leg kick. Teeps (push kicks from front or rear legs with the foot in the verticle position ) are also heavily utilized as are side teeps (teeps where you step to the side and push out with your body in a horizontal side stance). Head kicks are also thrown. You typically don’t see much variation beyond the Thai round kick.

MMA: MMA incorporates a number of different kicks, from the Thai style round kicks to and assortment of Karate kicks (spin kicks, side kicks, etc). The Thai style teep is not utilized in MMA as it’s simply too easy to grab the leg for a take down. Kicking in MMA is understandably much more risky than it is in Muay Thai with the chance of your opponent going in for a takedown if your kick is caught or your miss. Leg kicks are the least risky and the most often thrown kick.

Look at the Hip Rotation when Thai’s throw body kicks

example_of_hard_kicks

The above kicker is Apidej Sit Hirun, who is a legend of Muay Thai and known to have the hardest kicks in the sport. He even caused a fighter to retire after a match because he kicked the guy so hard.

Here’s an example of an MMA fighter who is known for his body kicks throw one. Notice the hips don’t turn over when kicking.

bodykick

 

 

 

 

 

 

MMA fighters don’t throw their hips because they don’t know how to kick with proper Muay Thai technique. In this case, it’s more of an issue of not knowing the proper technique (which by the way, takes a long time and a lot of practice to throw kicks the Thai style) rather than choosing not to twist the hips. If you come to Thailand to train Muay Thai and your background is MMA, you can bet the Thai’s will be spending a lot of time re-teaching you how to kick.

PUNCHES

You see a LOT more boxing in MMA than you do in Muay Thai, especially when looking at the Thai style of Muay Thai you find in Thailand. This is because punches are not scored as high as kicks or knees; because of this, Thai’s don’t utilize hands as much (with a few fighters being notable exceptions).

However, there is a definitely a different style of punching between MMA and Muay Thai. MMA fighters tend to run forward striking (hooks or straight punches or combinations of punches, kicks then knees) then engaging in the clinch or jumping backward or to the side to avoid counter attacks.

Muay Thai fighters, on the other hand, both stand in the pocket and will trade blows (see the Fight Range Differences section we looked at already for more info) — be them punches, kicks, and knees. There is even a different style of punching SOME traditional Muay Thai gyms teach, with the straight punches thrown with a slight tilt in the elbows as they throw.

Look at how MMA fighters engage in punching:

cruz_chasingthiago_silva

5NQdRo

Notice how MMA fighters tend to run forward chasing with punches? Or they have a tendency to run in and out.

Now watch how Muay Thai fighters exchange punches:

thai's punchingpunchign_thais

Thai boxers have a tendency to cover up against attacks then explode with a counter attack once the flurry ends. They don’t usually jump out of the way to avoid being hit (the exception being with some of the more elusive fighters like Seanchai).

Keep in mind that you wear 4 ounce finger gloves in MMA while in Muay Thai you wear 8 – 10 ounce boxing gloves. There are some legit reasons why you don’t want to get hit with a 4 ounce glove — this makes it very favorable to punch in MMA as the punches have more chance of damaging your opponent.

Mind you, as a counter argument, there is a style of Muay Thai where the fighters wrap ropes around their hands and go at it. Bashing each other with rope wrapped around your hands is far worse than 4 ounce MMA gloves and the Thai’s will still sit there and trade:

Watch Yodsanklai stand in the pocket and engage, even while wearing rope gloves (see full fight here):

pvuACr

(There’s actually an entire style of fighting known as Burmese Boxing which is pretty much an more unrefined version of Muay Thai but without gloves and headbutts allowed! Talk about pain!)

It’s a well known fact Thai’s are tough as nails so many of them can and will trade punch for punch, kick for kick.

Witness this (there is another minute of straight punishment not shown and the Thai still does not go down but comes back to win):

4pesuL (1)

Clinch Differences: The Thai clinch vs the MMA ‘clinch’

The clinch occurs when one fighter fights for positional body control at close space so as to throw strikes (or in context of MMA shoot for take-down or force a submission).

The way you clinch in MMA is NOT the same as the Muay Thai clinch. The Thai version of the clinch in MMA is often called the ‘Thai Clinch’ or ‘Thai Plum’ when someone gets two hands behind an opponents neck.

In reality this is only this is ONE part of a Thai clinch, it’s only one position of many in the Thai Clinch.

The MMA way of clinching:

clinch in mma

The Thai way of clinching:

thai_clinching_2

Notice above how the Thai’s both are fighting for position — getting both hands inside the other’s arms from which you can grab the neck (called the Thai Plum in MMA) to throw knees to the body/face or utilize a number of different elbow strikes.

MMA fighters only know how to utilize what they call the ‘Thai plum’ or ‘Thai clinch’ which in fact is simply ONE position of many the Thai’s utilize in their clinch game. MMA fighters will typically go for the two hands behind the neck position (Thai plum) then start leveling knees.

Witness Anderson pull this off on a woefully prepared Rich Franklin:

anderson_clinching

However, unlike poor Rich Franklin, you will almost never see Thai’s get a solid ‘Thai plum’ position on their (Thai) opponents simply because it’s too easy to defend against that position if you know what you are doing. Rich Franklin, did not know how to defend against this position and paid a heavy price.

There is a LOT more to the Thai clinch than the Thai Plum and it’s a vastly underutilized area of Muay Thai that can give you a lot of tricks to utilize in MMA when in the clinch.

I’ll break down the Muay Thai clinch for MMA in a future article for this series.

The Final Word

‘Pure’ Muay Thai is a completely different sport than MMA.

While it’s clear from some of the recent examples (Jon Jones in UFC 172) that incorporating some of the more unfamiliar and under-utilized Muay Thai strikes (the variety of under-used elbows from the clinch and from regular stance), knee strikes, and Thai clinch work CAN be devastating when used correctly in MMA fights.

The next article we will look at one of the most devastating and underutilized strikes out there and how, when, and what type can be applied effectively in MMA fights.

Stay tuned for our next article in the series: Muay Thai for MMA: Effective Elbow Strikes

About Author

Ben has been living, training, and fighting in Thailand for the past 3 years. He has fought in a number of different combat arts such as MMA, BJJ, Muay Thai, and Western Boxing. Ben follows the latest fitness and nutrition research and is especially interested in how it can apply to combat sports to improve a fighter's performance in the ring. You can read Ben's full bio page here.

13 Comments

  1. killer3000ad@hotmail.com'
    killer3000ad on

    Good article mostly, but you seem to be a bit confused on one part of MMA. The clinch game in MMA is very developed and not just about getting the plum for knees. Many MMA fighters come from a wrestling background which has a different clinch game than muay thai. The objective is not to get knees in but to throw your opponent.

    A good highlight of the variety of ways that an MMA guy with a throwing background can throw an opponent from the clinch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOV3qVIEFng

    • Good video. I absolutely agree with you.

      The goal of the MMA clinch is not the same as the Thai clinch and you absolutely need to modify the Thai clinch for MMA (if you clinch complete thai style, you can, as you indicate, get thrown or tripped). You can’t just use a pure thai style clinch in MM — you’ll get taken down or swept (those sweeps and throws, for example, are *mostly* considered fouls in Thailand).

      However, there’s a lot more to the ‘Thai’ clinch that can translate to MMA than just the simple Thai Plum followed by wild knees which is about the extend most MMA guys utilize the Thai clinch techniques for — there are some effective Thai-style sweeps that translate to MMA from the clinch, usage of specific elbows (from the thai plumb and under over positions), hand and arm positions (especially when up against the cage where the risk of a counter sweep/throw is reduced) that allow for elbowing, body positioning etc.

      I’ll discuss this in detail though for the Thai Clinch for MMA article in the future.

      Cheers

  2. smg@gmail.com'
    spank master gash on

    well said ben.

    there is much , much to be learned in both greco and thai clinch.

    all those mma guys are lacking in most any serious clinch game .

    its painfully obvious the vast majority of fighters are merely leg grabbers.yes..
    calling take downs throws is an injustice to real clinch fighters.

  3. samfisher1994@yahoo.com'

    Are you going to finish this Muay Thai for MMA series? I think this articles will be a valueable resources for fighters and would be shame if this series won’t be finished.

    • Yes. I been lax with writing articles for a few months, but will be returning to form shortly. I will be finishing off the series, likely my next major article.

  4. robertlam18@gmail.com'

    Hi I am learning mma, bjj, Muay Thai and some boxing. It is confusing as hell when some of the boxing tricks can’t applied to Muay Thai etc. However MMA is more advanced and is recommended to participate in Muay Thai or Boxing fight prior fighting MMA. So you really have to learn everything in Muay Thai and Boxing then have to forget them for MMA which is a pain.

    Can you talk about your approach to learning Muay Thai and adjusting them to MMA etc ?

    Thanks

    • Hey, I’ll be adding more to this series shortly. I took a break for a few months, but will be back to form.

      There is a BIG adjustment when you go to Muay Thai from MMA, which is what I did. Personally, I think it’s better to start with Muay Thai then go into MMA as you won’t end up with a lot of bad habits in your pure standup. But either way, you will have to make adjustments.

      But no, you don’t have to ‘forget’ what you learn when you move into MMA. You just have to modify Muay Thai or Boxing for MMA, taking out the stuff you can’t really use, but keeping the stuff you can.

  5. Grimgorisnotmyname@gmail.com'

    Some of the details in this piece seem sloppily put together, like the inclusion of Machida’s stance, which is identical. Other things, like the point on elbows, are just intentionally misleading.

    Power generation isn’t a mystical formula. Throwing in 2 gifs and exclaiming that they don’t know how is either foolish or deceitful. Where are those other gifs of Thai fighters getting clean elbow shots which don’t result in KO? There are more of those than MMA elbows which don’t result in KO.

    Some of these differences I just don’t understand why they’re there. Mainly the constant point of MMA engagements and muay thai engagements being different. Yeah, they are different…only when they’re not.
    MMA fighters sometimes stand and bang in MMA, they’re just not looked at as very technical fighters. Covering up is the simplest form of defense, least effective one too.

    The engagement style of muay thai seems to be a product of institutional inbreeding, not a product of critical thought. Just look at Samart, Somrak, and Saenchai. Three of the best fighters who competed in the sport, how often do they just stand there? 2 of them are accomplished boxers.

    There is always the argument that those guys are phenoms and that is why they can do what they do. That is a bullshit argument. Those guys are obviously above your average muay thai fighter, but we aren’t talking about these guys. With the Thai fighters whether it’s the elite or the bottom of the barrel standing and banging seems to be the default strategy.

    I can continue pointing out some of the bullshit, but that’s tedious. The final point I’ll make is that using gifs of Dominick Cruz as if they are the norm for anything in MMA is downright retarded.

  6. oybj@gmail.com'
    ON YOUR BACK JACK on

    all this information has its place , but!

    what about all the muay thai – thailand style clinch throws .

    all them silly limited leg grabbers are not schooled in stand up throws and even confuse the issue and start talking take downs.

    thai clinch throws are unique to muay thai though very similar to greco roman .

    mma fighters for the most part are unschooled in stand up wrestling – greco .

    the arguing goes on and on and still no one is learning the skills of stand up greco or advanced thai clinch throws ..

    now if people want to see serious applications of clinch look this style
    -Let Whay (Lethwei)
    (Burmese: pronounced: [leʔ w̥ḛ]) is an unarmed Burmese martial art. It is similar to related styles of Indochinese kickboxing, …
    utube has plenty of crazed fights

    • MMA fighters are actually very, very well-schooled in Greco Roman wrestling — some of the top fighters have backgrounds in Greco Roman.

      Yes, some fighters may not be well versed in some of the Thailand clinch techniques — and I feel some of these techniques and throws can be very effective in MMA. However, keep in mind the rules of MMA do mean that some of the standard thai clinch stuff will have to be modified to work for MMA.

      Ben

  7. ilovelionsandtigers@outlook.com'

    Hi

    Interesting article. I’m currently taking Muay Thai and I’m enjoying it. There is an MMA gym around but it’s too expensive I’m just a student. But who do you think would win: the average mma fighter or muay thai fighter? which is more effective in a non-ring right? I know muay thai is crazy and you can do a lot of damage, but once on the ground what are you supposed to do? I’m not at all for street fighting, and will avoid it unless it is necassery, but say someone with good grappling takes me on the ground, what do I do?

    Thanks.

  8. bob@dob.com'

    We could simplify this — boxing ring has less space therefore less movement.
    Mma hexagon is spacious therefore karate specialist or a taekwondo master can utilize this space better.
    If you get into a clinch with mma fighter, he is going to take you down. The moment he feels you are bettering him in the exchange, he will put you down. There is no philosophy in this. These guys fight for money. It is very well paid and the sport changes towards its needs. Muay thai on the other hand is an art form and it has history behind it so it is more than just a fighting system.
    The only way to use muay thai correctly in mma is to change it up a bit. Regular form and system cannot be used . Trading fights are rare in mma. Probably the only sport that ever did that like muay thai is the kyokushin karate.

  9. ltchrome1@gmail.com'

    I knew this series was too good to be true!! So far it was amazing and low and behold 4/6ths of it is not done! (throws temper tantrum) Please for the love of god ben finish it. lol I will buy some of your stuff if you do! lol from the comments it seems you have been promising to finish it for 2 years now. 🙁

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