Throughout history, many have asked the question: What is the most effective striking martial art in the world? And one particular martial art never fails to come up as the answer; we’re speaking of Muay Thai, of course. Over the years, there have been many match-ups like the ones on this list that have proven just how effective the ancient martial art from Thailand is.
So without further ado, Evolve Daily presents 5 Muay Thai Vs. Taekwondo Fights:
1) Changpuek Kiatsongrit (Muay Thai) vs. Rick Roufus (TKD and Kickboxing)
This battle was one of the most epic ones in the annals of martial arts history. It was the 1st time that 2 World Champions from different disciplines competed against one another. World-renowned fight expert Lawrence Kenshin describes it as “the fight that changed the world”. Taekwondo and Karate stylist Rick Roufus was an undefeated World Champion in kickboxing and Changpuek Kiatsongkrit was at the height of his Muay Thai career as a multiple-time Lumpinee Stadium World Champion.
Changpuek Kiatsongrit is truly a legend in the world of Muay Thai. Not many fighters have brought the level of attention to Muay Thai like Changpuek has. The seven-time world champion showcased the effectiveness of Muay Thai to the rest of the world in the 80s and 90s by taking on other fighters of other martial arts styles who were often stronger and larger.
Rick Roufus is a multiple-time World Champion in kickboxing who utilized his famous flashy Taekwondo and Karate kicks to take out many opponents. During his era, he was known as America’s toughest and most skilled striker with national titles and black belts in Taekwondo and Karate. However, this fight with Changpuek changed his entire style in the aftermath of this style vs style fight. For the remainder of his career, Roufus ended up abandoning his Taekwondo and Karate skills in favor of Muay Thai. In his words, Muay Thai opened his eyes and mind to the realities of stand-up fighting. Roufus would later spend many years in Thailand to become an expert in Muay Thai.
2) Changpuek Kiatsongrit (Muay Thai) vs. Shin Ushkoshi (TKD)
Changpuek Kiatsongrit was well known for his devastating leg kicks and powerful knees.
Back in 1993, Changpuek took part in the K-1 Illusion Karate World Cup held in Japan. His first opponent in the full contact karate rules tournament was Shin Ushkoshi, a Taekwondo black belt fighter. This fight is an accurate representation of the kicking speed and variety of Taekwondo against the power, defense, and simplicity of Muay Thai. While Ushkoshi was able to generate a greater output of kicks, the sheer strength of Changpuek’s kicks proved too much. Ushkoshi was overwhelmed and swept off his feet many times throughout the fight by the powerful Muay Thai low kicks and counter kicks thrown by Changpuek.
3) Takayuki Murosaki (Muay Thai) vs. Isamu Hayami (TKD)
In this fight, Japanese Muay Thai fighter Takayuki Murosaki takes on highly respected Taekwondo black belt fighter, Isamu Hayami under K-1 kickboxing rules. In the first minute of the fight, Isamu’s Taekwondo style movement and kicks seemed almost impossible to solve, attacking from all angles and with great speed. However, once Takayuki managed to close the distance, the momentum of the fight changed.
Despite eating a large amount of kicks on the way in, Takayuki pressed forward relentlessly, swarming Isamu with punches. Eventually, the punching power and ability of the Muay Thai fighter was the difference maker, and Isamu was knocked out cold with a beautifully timed left hook from Takayuki.
4) Kaoklai Kaennorsing (Muay Thai) vs. Park Yong Soo (TKD)
Dubbed “The Giant Killer”, Kaoklai Kaennorsing is a Muay Thai World Champion famous for being the lightest and youngest fighter ever to win a K-1 Openweight tournament. He has brought a great amount of pride to Muay Thai by taking on (sometimes even knocking out) much larger opponents under the K-1 banner. In 2007, he took on Korean Heavyweight fighter and National Korean Taekwondo Champion Yong Soo Park at a K-1 event held in Seoul, South Korea.
Park experienced great success with overpowering Kaoklai with his kicks early on in the fight. However, in the clinch, Kaoklai was able to dominate Park with knees and sweeps even though he was greatly outmatched in size and strength. Kaoklai also picked apart Park with low kicks in an attempt to cut off the speed and movement in his legs, which proved effective as the fight drew deeper into the later rounds. In the end, Kaoklai would win the fight via decision after four exhausting rounds.
5) Sakmongkol (Muay Thai) vs. Hassan Kasraoui (TKD)
This fight is a perfect example of world-class fighters from Muay Thai and Taekwondo taking each other on under kickboxing rules. Hassan Kasraoui is one of the most successful Taekwondo kickboxers in history while Sakmongkol is a legend and one of the most famous Muay Thai fighters in the world.
Very few have been able to incorporate Taekwondo kicks into kickboxing quite like Kasraoui. The style, power and precision in his high-level kicks were unmatched in the 90s. However, against the likes of an experienced fighter like Sakmongkol, those kicks did not seem easy to land. Sakmongkol stayed cautious of Kasraoui’s deadly kicks throughout the fight, timing and countering with his own kicks whenever he could. Eventually, Sakmongkol managed to knock Kasraoui down with a high kick before finishing him off with a crushing right hand.