If you’ve sparred in mixed martial arts or any form of stand-up martial art, chances are, you’ve touched gloves with a left-handed fighter, better known as southpaws. Throughout history, southpaw fighters have frustrated many orthodox fighters. This is mostly due to the fact that normal, orthodox fighters just simply aren’t used to facing a fighter standing in the exact opposite stance from them.
Some of the greatest and most technical fighters are also southpaws. And today, Evolve Daily takes a look at 10 Of The Best Southpaw Fighters Of All Time:
1) Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao is without a doubt the most popular southpaw fighter in the world right now. A perfect blend of power, speed and an exciting and aggressive fighting style; the iconic eight-division world champion isn’t just one of the greatest southpaws around, he’s also perhaps the greatest fighter to ever live! Just watching a couple of seconds from any of his fights will take your breath away.
2) Marvelous Marvin Hagler
With an impressive record of 62-3-2, Marvelous Marvin Hagler has made a reputation out of beating up some of the biggest names in boxing during the 80s and 90s. Boasting wins over the likes of Roberto Duran and Thomas Hearns, Hagler was also known for his uncanny ability to seamlessly switch between the southpaw and orthodox stance. And make no mistake about it; the Hall of Famer can be equally devastating in either stance.
3) Pernell Whitaker
Affectionately known as “Sweet Pea”, Pernell Whitaker captured the hearts of many during his run in boxing with his lightning quick punches and movement in the ring. In fact, Whitaker was so fast that he made even his most formidable opponents look slow and sloppy in the ring; certainly not an easy task to achieve for any fighter regardless of the stance.
1) Samart Payakaroon
Considered by many to be the greatest Muay Thai fighter of all time, Samart Payakaroon is a multiple-time Muay Thai Lumpinee World Champion and a boxing world champion as well. And though he’s been known to fight out of the orthodox stance, he was more famously a southpaw. And from the southpaw stance, Samart was a nightmare for many of his opponents with his flawless technique, unwavering defense and signature push kick.
2) Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym
Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym is one of the most technical fighters to ever grace the Muay Thai ring. Saenchai carries incredible agility, technique, power and defense into every one of his fights. In fact, he is so good that he gives up almost 20 pounds when he fights foreigners. And with the southpaw stance, his skills and talents are multiplied tenfold.
3) Orono Wor Petchpun
Labeled one of the most complete fighters in Muay Thai history by the Thai media, Orono Wor Petchpun is a true elite of the sport. Known for his wins over current Muay Thai megastars Yodsanklai Fairtex and Buakaw Banchamek, Orono has also beaten legends like Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym and Singdam Kiatmuu9. Orono’s one of a kind fighting style from the southpaw stance never fails to entertain whenever he steps into the ring.
Mixed Martial Arts
1) Anderson Silva
Considered by many as the G.O.A.T (Greatest of all Time) of MMA, Anderson Silva dominated the sport longer than anyone in history – and he did it all in style. Before his loss to current UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman, Silva was demolishing and knocking out opponents with every strike in the book. And while he’s known to switch his stance frequently, he often pulls off his most incredible moves from the southpaw stance.
2) Shinya Aoki
Unlike the rest of the fighters on the list, Shinya Aoki makes the cut for being one of the most exciting submission artists in all of MMA. Aoki uses the southpaw stance superbly; executing his sharp strikes, combinations and elite level takedowns. With the most versatile submission record in the sport, Aoki is a spectacle to behold on the ground as well. And everyone knows that once Aoki’s opponents hit the canvas, the fight is as good as over.
3) Vitor Belfort
Southpaw fighters are usually calculated and strategic in their fighting approach, but Vitor Belfort is certainly an exception. The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion is a freight train of violence from the southpaw stance. He normally chases down his opponents with a barrage of punches until they’re knocked out cold, lying lifelessly on the canvas. You definitely do not want to be standing across the cage from this southpaw fighter.
4) Conor McGregor
Crushing power punches and flashy kicks – it’s hard to deny the fact that Conor McGregor is one of the most exciting fighters to watch today. He possesses an understanding of the movement, range and weapons available to the southpaw stance perhaps better than anyone else in the sport. And though the recently crowned Interim UFC Featherweight World Champion is known for his flamboyant personality; make no mistake about it, McGregor is a truly skilled southpaw fighter.
So tell us, who’s your favorite southpaw fighter? And if reading this has inspired you to start adopting the southpaw stance, remember that being a southpaw doesn’t mean things are going to get easier. You still have to train hard and push your limits in the gym like these great fighters!