The difference between MMA striking and Muay Thai striking is a vast canyon. What MMA fighters are masters of the art of eight limbs? For this top ten, using just your kicks is not enough.
Remember that time Anderson Silva locked Rich Franklin in the Thai Plum? Ace, had no idea how to escape Spider’s web of Muay Thai and it beautiful violence.
Suffocating another human with your elbows and knees is mandatory here. So, here are the 10 Best Muay Thai Fighters in MMA today.
In no particular order:
Cowboy up, and Donald Cerrone will knock them down. Cowboy Cerrone is good at a lot of things, but he’s borderline great at Muay Thai. When he’s not killing you with his cardio or insane durability, Cerrone is a dynamic striker.
Cerrone has been known to eat foes up with knees and elbows.
Look, yeah Jorge Masvidal got Darren Till real bad. That doesn’t mean prior to being humbled by Gamebred, Till is a problem on the feet. Existing somewhere between welterweight and middleweight, Till is a damn good striker.
Till has sneaky power and can cause opponents fits with his underrated Muay Thai arsenal.
Another converted kickboxer who has gotten humbled as of late. Don’t sleep on Joanna Jędrzejczyk’s striking skills. No matter the weight class, Joanna Ex-Champion has the skills and pace to strike with anyone.
Hailing from a decorated striking background, during many of her wins it was Jędrzejczyk’s striking versatility that got her the “W”.
A surprise pick who already has two losses in his MMA career? Yes, if a MMA fight goes to the ground Bellator fighter Gaston Bolanos is likely going to get submitted. But if the fight stays on the feet? Bolanos is doing some kind of wild striking.
On the feet or in the clinch Gaston Bolanos is one of the most dangerous Muay Thai strikers in MMA.
The featherweight GOAT has be included on this list. Jose Aldo’s runway of fights even before his UFC career is astounding. Aldo was the type of a fighter who could beat you anywhere.
Aldo’s use of leg kicks is legendary. Don’t forget about Aldo’s ability to hit timely elbows and devastating knees.
Just a pure human highlight reel. Can’t say this about everyone, but if Edson Barboza chose to go pro as a Muay Thai fighter he’d succeed at it. Barboza instinct for striking are unrivaled.
Not only is Barboza a talented Muay Thai striker, sometime he looks like he’s only going half speed. On the feet, Edson Barboza can play with his food before he wolfs it down.
The numbers don’t lie with Cris Cyborg. Throughout her lengthy career, Cyborg was ahead of her time in terms of striking. For MMA, Cyborg’s Muay Thai credentials speak for themselves.
Even on an off night, Cyborg’s power plus technique combination allowed her to overwhelm the opposition. Cyborg is a first ballot Hall of Famer and her deadly striking skills is a huge reason why.
Is it still possible to call Paul Felder underrated? Time and again, Felder has proven how dangerous he is on the feet. Just an all around good boxer, Felder’s ability to mix up his strikes is what takes him to the next level.
At anytime, there are over a half dozen ways Felder can knockout his foe on the feet.
Of course the Brazilian Spider GOAT had to be somewhere in this top ten. Anderson Silva is another fighter who was ahead of his time. Put Silva in a Muay Thai, kickboxing, or boxing arena, and he will cause some problems.
Spider Silva picked as MMA as his profession and spent a lifetime outclassing opponents.
It is what is. What great about the career of Max Holloway is he grew up right in front of our eyes. Holloway came into the UFC has as tough as hell brawler. Over the years Holloway has refined his boxing game.
At his peak Holloway incorporated elements from Muay Thai, all while sharpening his all around striking skills. Watching Holloway piece up opponents with pace, elbows, and knees was truly a Blessed sight.
Want more? Check out The Top Ten Kid Yamamoto Moments Before You Knew Who Kid Yamamoto Was here. Also, scan the Super! Hyper! Turbo! The Top Ten MMA Fighters Who Are Actually Street Fighter Characters here.