Throughout the history of Muay Thai, very few fighters have been able to make fighting look as easy as Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn did. Nicknamed “The Emperor”, Namsaknoi is a multiple-time Lumpinee Muay Thai World Champion who owns one of the longest reigns of any Lumpinee titleholder in history. With over 280 fights with only 15 losses, he holds the highest winning percentage in Muay Thai to date. He is also a WMC Muay Thai World Champion and two-time recipient of the prestigious Fighter of the Year award.
Today, Evolve Daily takes a look at Namsaknoi “The Emperor” Yudthagarngamtorn’s 6 Best Fights:
1) vs. Saenchai Sor. Kingstar
When you have two legends like Namsaknoi and Saenchai in a ring, you’re bound to see one of the greatest and most technical matches you’ll ever see in Muay Thai. Both fighters are masters in the art of Muay Thai, matching each other with tricky combinations and counterattacks on their feet.
However, after realizing that they were evenly matched in their striking abilities, Namsaknoi began forcing Saenchai into the clinch. From there, Namsaknoi was able to outwork the shorter Saenchai, sweeping and throwing him off balance several times throughout the fight. The fact that Namsaknoi was able to defeat such a great fighter like Saenchai the way he did certainly makes this one of the best performances of his illustrious career.
2) vs. Thongchai Tor Silachai
Even as a young teenager, Namsaknoi was already considered by many to be one of the most promising Muay Thai prodigies in history. Here, at just 18 years old, he takes on a much more experienced fighter in five-time Lumpinee Muay Thai World Champion Thongchai Tor Silachai.
On paper, beating a 26-year old champion with almost 80 fights under his belt would seem like a near impossible feat even for a promising 18-year-old fighter. But Namsaknoi did it to perfection. He remained composed and determined, defending well against Thongchai’s ferocious attacks and outscoring him with incredible technique. After this performance, Namsaknoi earned the respect of fans and many in the Muay Thai community for his resilience.
3) vs. Pajonsuk SuperPro Samui
A former Lumpinee Stadium title holder and multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion, Pajonsuk SuperPro Samui is considered by many to be one of the greatest Thai fighters from the heavier weight classes. But even he was no match for the technical prowess of Namsaknoi.
Namsaknoi proved to be too slick and evasive for the hard-hitting Pajonsuk. “The Emperor” stayed relaxed and light on his feet, slipping strikes and avoiding most of Pajonsuk’s sweep attempts while outpointing him with strikes of his own. Namsaknoi dominated and proved that he was just too skilled for Pajonsuk that day, walking away with an impressive unanimous decision win.
4) vs. Baipet Looksaiburi
Baipet Looksaiburi was one of the most ferocious punchers in Muay Thai back in the 90s. Feared by many due to his relentless fighting style, Baipet never failed to get the crowd on their feet. Here, he attempts to overwhelm Namsaknoi with his trademark style. However, Baipet learned never to get reckless with a fighter like Namsaknoi the hard way. Namsaknoi knocked him out cold with an explosive left kick after breaking from the clinch.
5) vs. Diego Calzolari
Thai fighters have a reputation of taking on much larger foreign opponents due to their advantage in experience and skill; this fight is a perfect example of that. The much larger Diego Calzolari is a multiple-time Muay Thai Champion, but the difference in skill was so great that the fight looked like a regular sparring match for Namsaknoi. Eventually, after toying with Calzolari for most of the fourth round, Namsaknoi landed a perfectly timed knee to end the fight.
6) vs. Satoshi Kobayashi
Satoshi Kobayashi was one of the most popular fighters in Japan back in the early 2000s. The Japanese kickboxing star has fought many Thai legends including Samkor Kiatmontep and Buakaw Por. Pramuk. Here, Namsaknoi puts on a technical masterpiece against Kobayashi. Proving to be too tricky and slippery for his Japanese opponent, Namsaknoi eventually knocked Kobayashi out with a beautiful jab to elbow strike.
Namsaknoi is arguably the best Muay Thai practitioner of his era. No other fighter in history has been able to achieve what he has. Today, he shares his knowledge alongside other legends as part of Asia’s most decorated instructor team at Evolve MMA.