June 11, 2017, was a sad day for all Muay Thai enthusiasts. After two decades of fighting, the great Yodsanklai Fairtex finally announced his retirement. Known as “The Boxing Computer” because of his perfect fighting technique, Yodsanklai is also known for his devastating left round kick that he has used to brutalize many opponents.
Before he dominated the international scene, Yodsanklai was already a multiple-time Lumpinee World Champion in three different weight classes. He was also a WBC Muay Thai World Champion and a Thailand National Champion. After moving up in weight and into the international arena, Yodsanklai became the first champion of The Contender Asia and won the WMC World Middleweight title twice among many other accolades.
In his Facebook post, Yodsanklai announced that he felt he was getting older and that his body was not well. After taking a break after a knee operation, the champion felt as if his body wasn’t the same, urging him to finally hang up his gloves. There’s no doubt that Yodsanklai’s contribution to Muay Thai and the exposure that he brought to the sport will forever be remembered.
Today, Evolve Daily pays tribute to the great fighter and takes a look at some of his greatest fights.
Here are 5 of Yodsanklai Fairtex’s Greatest Fights:
1) Yodsanklai vs John Wayne Parr, The Contender Asia Finale
Of all of his opponents, multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion John Wayne Parr considers Yodsanklai to be one of the toughest fighters he has ever faced in the ring. With barely a few seconds left in the first round, the great John Wayne Parr found himself on the ground after being knocked down by Yodsanklai’s famous left kick to the body. In the second round, Yodsanklai was able to knock down Parr again, proving his dominance in the ring. Although Parr showed tremendous heart and launched a few solid attacks of his own, this fight proved that Yodsanklai was definitely in a different league.
2) Yodsanklai vs Kem Sitsongpeenong
There was a lot on the line in this fight for Yodsanklai Fairtex. Not only was he facing a former teammate, he also had to cut a drastic amount of weight for the fight. It would become one of the most important fights in the final years of Yodsanklai’s career. To lose the weight, Yodsanklai had to get into the best shape of his life. In fact, after this fight, he never put the weight back on. Although he had been winning many fights after his stadium career, this fight was the ultimate redemption for Yodsanklai. His brutal elbow KO proved that Yodsanklai was truly one of the greats.
3) Yodsanklai vs Artem Levin
In 2008, former Glory Middleweight World Champion Artem Levin and Yodsanklai Fairtex met in the K-1 ring under kickboxing rules. At this point, both were two of the biggest Muay Thai superstars around. Thus, this fight was highly anticipated by many Muay Thai fans around the world. In the first round, it seemed as if Levin would exceed everyone’s expectations against the legendary Yodsanklai. Unfortunately for Levin, in the second round, Yodsanklai was able to prove his legendary status once again by ending the fight with a knockout.
4) Yodsanklai vs Chike Lindsay
A former WBC Muay Thai World Champion and IMTO World Super Welterweight World Champion Chike Lindsay appeared to be the bigger contender in this fight. The odds were stacked against the much smaller Yodsanklai, especially with the length of Lindsay’s reach. Lindsay was also coming off a win against the great Somrak Khamsing earlier that year. Although the fight started out well for Lindsay, it was all over once Yodsanklai found his rhythm. He switched tactics and worked on staying in closer range, landing knees and elbows that would eventually lead to Lindsay’s demise.
5) Yodsanklai vs Farid Villaume 2
The first time Yodsanklai and Villaume met in the ring, the fight ended in a draw, which disappointed many Muay Thai fans. It was clear that Yodsanklai dominated that fight, and there’s no doubt that their next meeting would end in revenge for Yodsanklai. And that was exactly what happened. In the third round, Yodsanklai was able to trap Villaume in a corner, allowing him to land strikes devastating enough for the referee to stop the fight.
There’s no doubt that Yodsanklai’s knockout finishes and beautiful left roundhouse kicks will be missed. His perseverance and unbreakable spirit are truly a testament to his success in the ring, exemplifying what the art of Muay Thai truly means.