When it comes to clinching, there is no better fighter in the world than Yodwicha Por Boonsit (KhemMuayThai). At only 19 years of age, Yodwicha has accomplished more in his life than most fighters do in a lifetime. He has been awarded the fighter of the year and has won numerous titles in Lumpinee beating fighters like Saenchai and Petchboonchu along the way.
To say that Yodwicha is good in the clinch is an understatement. He is not just good in the clinch, he is a beast in the clinch.
Recently, Yodwicha was matched up against the very skilled Littewada Sittikun at the new Lumpinee stadium. This would put Yodwicha’s clinching to the test against one of the most technical fighters in the world.
If you are not familiar with the name Littewada Sittikun, make sure you read my article that explains why Littewada is a next level fighter that you should watch.
Littewada has the best right teep in Muay Thai and has a vicious left kick to boot. If you like watching fighters who display a high level of skill and technique, then Littewada should be someone near the top of your list.
When I first heard that Littewada was matched up against Yodwicha, my first thoughts were that Yodwicha’s pressure would be too much for Littewada too handle. Since Littewada lost early in the year against a very strong clincher, I assumed that Yodwicha would be able to overwhelm Littewada.
Surprisingly, I was wrong.
Instead of being swarmed and overwhelmed in the clinch, Littewada showcased why he is one of the best fighters in the world. Littewada was able to compete with one of the strongest clinchers in the world and make him look human.
Watch the full fight below:
Special thanks to Muay Ties for uploading the video.
Countering A Clinch Fighter – Beating Yodwicha
In my book Muay Thai Counters, I explain that one of the counters to Skill Fighters (Muay Femeu) is to push forward into the clinch with aggression. Since skill fighters are often used to relying on technique to win fights, their weakness can often be found if you push the pace and don’t allow them space to operate.
This is the only way you can beat a highly skilled fighter like Saenchai, who is simply untouchable from a distance. Instead of giving Saenchai room to pick you apart, you need to push forward and take away his space in the fight. 5 rounds of consistent pressure can end up taking a toll on even the best fighters.
Given the fact that Yodwicha is a natural counter to Littewada’s evasive/skill style of fighting, it was surprising to see Littewada cruise to the victory in this fight.
To see how Littewada was able to pull off this upset, it is important to look at some of the keys that he used to beat one of the best clinchers in the world. (Littewada is the fighter in BLUE and Yodwicha is the fighter in RED.)
1. Utilizing Footwork and Movement
One of the keys to Littewada’s success against Yodwicha was his great footwork. Whenever you face an aggressive clinch fighter, you can expect them to push forward against you.
The best way to deal with someone who is pushing forward is not to back down in a straight line, but to circle away from your opponent. This is something that boxers do very well. Circling away from your opponent ill force them to change their angle of attack and readjust themselves.
This clip showcases Yodwicha pushing forward against Littewada with aggression. Using good footwork, Littewada is able to circle out away from Yod and get away from the ropes.
This clip showcases Littewada scoring on his opponent as he moves forward and then circling out away from the ropes. By pushing Yodwicha against the ropes, he gains a more advantageous position inside of the clinch.
2. Taking Advantage of Openings
Besides utilizing good footwork to avoid being trapped into the corner, it is important to score points as an aggressive opponent is pushing forward. Landing clean body kicks and knees will score precious points that can counter points that are lost inside of the clinch.
This clip showcases Littewada making his opponent pay as he pushes forward. He sets up his kick with a well timed feint to ensure that his strike lands.
This clip showcases Littewada controlling the distance with his teep and punishing his opponent with a strong body shot. Once his opponent tries to wrap him up in the clinch, he off balances him and lands a nice kick.
By striking his opponent as he pushes forward, Littewada is able to dictate the pace of the fight and get ahead on the judges score cards.
3. Establishing A Good Position in the Clinch
When you face a good clincher you can expect them to charge forward and grab you inside of the clinch. Clinchers will often wait for their opponents to strike and then jump on in them in the clich.
In order to prevent Yodwicha from getting a strong clinch position, Littewada utilizes the face palm technique to push Yodwicha’s head away from him. By pushing away the face of your opponent, it makes it very difficult to establish a good position inside of the clinch.
The following clip showcases Littewada utilizing the face palm to push Yodwicha away when he enters the clinch. This is a very good maneuver against clinchers who are always pushing forward.
This is another clip that showcases Littewada using the face palm to control his opponent as he is entering the clinch. This is an extremely effective technique against fighters who are constantly pushing forward.
4. Clinching the Clincher
Whenever you are facing a good clincher, you will inevitably end up inside the clinch. When Littewada took this fight, he knew exactly what his opponent would do in the fight. Yodwicha is the type of fighter that constantly pushes forward without giving his opponents time to think.
This can overwhelm fighters if they are not prepared for it. Fortunately for Littewada, he trained hard in the clinch and was ready for a clinch battle. Whenever the fight ended up in the clinch, Littewada was able to score knee for knee with Yodwicha. This meant that he was not losing any points even when they were clinching..
This clip showcases Littewada scoring points against his Clinching opponent Yodwicha. Throughout the fight Littewada did a great job of clinching back and throwing knee strikes and elbows.
5. Tying Up The Clincher
One of the goals of a good clincher is to keep the fight in the clinch and continually wear their opponents down with knees and elbows. Since they have endless cardio tanks that can go 100% for the full fight, their goal is to wear down their opponents.
Whenever you are facing a clincher it is important for you to reduce the amount of time you spend in the clinch. This will take away the opportunity that they have to land significant strikes against you.
One of the reasons why Littewada was able to win this fight was because of his ability to tie up Yowicha in the clinch. By locking his opponent down, he was able to get separation from the ref and allow the fight to reset.
This clip showcases Littewada scoring a beautiful knee against his charging opponent as he circles out. Once Yodwicha tries to engage in the clinch, he quickly uses the body lock to get the ref to stop the fight.
This clip showcases Littewada utilizing the long guard with a knee block to tie up Yodwicha as he is entering the clinch. Utilizing good arm control, Littewada is able to use this guard to completely neutralize Yodwicha’s clinching abilities.
This fight showcased a wide array of skills that Littewada used to beat Yodwicha. Once it was established that Yodwicha was clearly losing the fight at the end of the 4th round, in the fifth round he was only going for the knockout.
One of the biggest differences between high level fighters and average ones, is high level fighters are able to adapt their game plans according to their opponent. Throughout this fight, Littewada reveals aspects of his game that you will never see exposed when he fights normal opponents.
To beat a world class clincher like Yodwicha, Littewada needed to utilize his skill, timing, and footwork to put himself in a position to outscore his opponent. Only someone with Littewada’s skill can overcome someone who is as talented as Yodwicha in the clinch.
Do you want to learn more? If you enjoyed reading this breakdown you should check out my book Muay Thai Counters. This book has breakdowns on how to counter every Muay Thai fighting style that you will encounter in the ring.