There’s a reason why MMA fans consider Muay Thai to be the king of striking arts. Its tremendous power, maximum efficiency, and raw simplicity are a testament to its effectiveness in the MMA cage. In fact, some of the greatest MMA fighters, such as 6x Muay Thai World Champion and UFC Women’s Strawweight World Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza, 2x Lumpinee World Champion and former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke have some of the best stand up in MMA to date.
Today, Evolve Daily takes a look at some of the most awesome fights that prove that “The Art Of 8 Limbs” is indeed the most effective striking art for MMA:
1) Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin (Clinch)
Anderson’s effective use of the Muay Thai clinch or plum to destroy his opponents with knee strikes is certainly unparalleled inside the cage. Perhaps the best example of this would be his first fight against Rich Franklin.
In this fight, Franklin came in as one of the best in his division in the UFC. Silva was building his reputation as a great striker, using concepts of Muay Thai to devastate his opponents. Although both fighters were trading strikes, everything went downhill for Franklin once Silva locked in the clinch.
2) Donald Cerrone vs Matt Brown (Switch lead kick to the head)
UFC Lightweight contender Donald Cerrone has always been known for his Muay Thai skills. In fact, before joining professional MMA, Cerrone was a professional Muay Thai fighter with an undefeated record of 28-0 with 18 first-round knockouts.
His fight against Matt Brown showed his true prowess in the art of Muay Thai. Throughout the fight, Cerrone kept landing kicks at different levels, confusing Brown. At the beginning of the 3rd round, Cerrone was able to finish the fight with a beautiful switch lead kick to the head.
3) Jon Jones vs Stephen Bonnar (Spinning elbow)
Who could forget Jon Jones’ spinning elbow at UFC 94? Any Muay Thai practitioner knows that throwing a spinning elbow requires immense technical skill and timing. Although this was only Jon Jones’ 2nd fight in the UFC, he certainly proved that he was more than capable of holding his own against a UFC veteran.
After throwing a push kick, Jones lands the spinning elbow, causing Bonnar to fall straight on the mat.
4) Jose Aldo vs Cub Swanson (flying switch knee)
Perhaps nothing is more highlight reel worthy than Jose Aldo’s 8 second knockout of Cub Swanson at WEC 41. It is the fastest knockout in MMA history, and a true testament to Aldo’s Muay That skills.
As soon as both fighters touched gloves, Aldo leapt into the air leading with his knee, switching it in mid-air to knock Swanson out. This was a perfectly timed switch knee, landing just when Swanson was ducking down to avoid the knee.
5) Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke vs Rene Catalan (knee)
Pure, traditional Muay Thai was in display in multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke’s fight against Rene Catalan. The minute Catalan decided to clinch with a three-time Lumpinee Muay Thai World Champion, it all went downhill for him.
As soon as Dejdamrong secured the clinch, he controlled the fight from there, landing crushing knees to Catalan’s ribcage. This fight was so brutal, it earned the Yahoo Sports’ MMA Insider Year End award for Knockout Of The Year.
6) Amir Khan vs Waqar Umar (elbow)
Training with multiple-time Muay Thai World Champions at Evolve MMA has certainly paid off for ONE Superstar Amir Khan. He has become known to be deadly on his feet, racking up impressive stoppage wins since his debut in the ONE Championship cage.
This fight against Waqar Umar is certainly a testament to Khan’s Muay Thai. In just his second fight in ONE, he was able to knock out Waqar Umar with a series of devastating elbows.
7) Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Jessica Penne ( TKO punches and knee)
It was a classic grappler vs. striker fight – the main event at UFC 69 had two of the most talented women in MMA: multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion and undefeated UFC Women’s Strawweight World Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyck and former Invicta FC Champion Jessica Penne.
In this fight, Jedrzejczyck showed beautiful striking, throwing varied combinations and utilizing footwork and angles to evade Penne’s offense. However, it was her brutal elbow landing straight on Penne’s nose that was the high point of the fight.
8) Anderson Silva vs Tony Fryklund (reverse uppercut elbow)
Perhaps one of the most spectacular displays of Muay Thai can be seen in Anderson Silva’s fight against Tony Fryklund in Cage Rage 16. Before he became one of the best middleweights in the UFC, Silva was coming off one disqualification loss in the Rumble On the Rock 175 lb tournament and his fight against Fryklund was meant to be his comeback.
And what a comeback it was. After securing Fryklund in the clinch, he was able to land a hard knee, sending Fryklund to the canvas. As soon as Fryklund got up, Silva landed his beautiful reverse up elbow, a move that he claims he learned from watching Ong Bak.
9) Jose Aldo vs Urijah Faber (leg kick)
There’s no doubt that Jose Aldo has some of the best Muay Thai skills in the cage today. His fight against Urijah Faber in WEC 48 is a great example of just that, which helped solidify his name as a worthy contender.
In this fight, Jose Aldo successfully dethroned Urijah Faber in front of his home crowd, putting on a striking clinic on Faber. Although Aldo was unable to finish the fight, his leg kicks were certainly painful for anyone to watch.
10) Leandro Ataides vs. Mohamed Ali (knee)
ONE Superstar Leandro Ataides was certainly ready to make a comeback after coming out of a three-fight losing streak. And what a comeback it was for Ataides.
Although Ataides’ opponent was able to score a double-leg takedown in the first round, this did not deter him. He quickly got back on his feet and landed a double-leg takedown. The second round also proved to be a rough start for Ataides, as he took several punches to the head. After getting back up, he was able to throw a few left hooks of his own. Ataides continued to land more punches and it seemed as if it were all over for Ali. At 4:54 of the second round, Ataides launched a perfectly set-up flying knee strike to Ali’s head, winning the fight.
There’s no doubt that awesome fights like these never fail to bring out the Muay Thai fans in us. So tell us, which fight did you enjoy the most?