One of the biggest rivalries in stand up striking is Kickboxing vs. Muay Thai. Given the fact that most Kickboxers fighters don’t train with elbows, clinching, or throws, it is only a fair fight if Thai fighters fight under the Kickboxing rules. This means that in every “Kickboxing vs Muay Thai fight,” it is essentially a Kickboxer vs Muay Thai Fighter who isn’t allowed using half of his weapons.
Recently, more Thai fighters have been fighting in Kickboxing promotions, in pursuit of a bigger pay day. For Muay Thai fighters who don’t have good boxing skills, this can often result in Knockout losses.
This fight between Yodsanklai vs Marat Grigorian showcases the classic matchup of Kickboxing vs Muay Thai in a Kickboxing setting. Check out the full fight below:
Yodsanklai Fairtex vs Marat Grigorian @Kunlun Fight:
Differences in Blocking Kicks
A very noticeable difference between between Kickboxing and Muay Thai is the way fighters block body kicks. Instead of using their legs to absorb the impact of the kick, Kickboxers use their arms to absorb the damage of the kick. While this does a good job of protecting the side of the body from any impact, the arm and elbow take a lot of damage from the kicks.
Repetitive kicks to the arm over time will weaken a fighters punching ability as the fight wears on. Over time a fighter will have less knockout power in the later rounds of the fight.
Yodsanklai exploits this difference against Marat Grigorian, beating his opponent with relative ease. There was no time in the fight where he was in danger from Marat, a fighter who packs a strong punch. (Marat recently Knocked out Aikpracha)
The Basics Win Fights
Since Yodsanklai Fairtex is a southpaw fighter, his left kick is his weapon of choice. He demonstrates that you don’t have to be fancy to win fights, you just have to be effective at what you do. Instead of throwing a variety of flashy kicks, the whole fight he smashes his left kick against his opponent who is unable to block it.
Throughout the entire fight, Yodsanklai uses 3 basic moves that win him the fight: Right Jab, Left Straight, Left Body Kick
No flashing spinning back fists, flying knees, head kicks or anything else. His opponent was not blocking his body kicks, so why would he change something that was working? Even though Yodsanklai has a lot more tools at his disposal, he knew that his opponent had a lot of knockout power in his hands.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
Marat’s strategy the entire fight was to come forward with aggressive punches and try and get a knockout win. While this strategy is effective against Thai fighters who lack boxing skills, it is not a winning strategy against Yodsanklai.
Yodsanklai once again showcases why he is the best Thai fighter that is currently fighting foreigners at the higher weight classes. His mix of timing, power and speed make him a tough matchup for anyone, regardless of their fighting style.
If you enjoyed reading this breakdown you should check out my two new books called Muay Thai Strategy and Muay Thai Counters. These books were written to help you build a complete Muay Thai game and teach you how to Counter your next opponent.