Muay Thai in Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martial arts has become a sport of huge popularity with its exposure on pay per view and its access to all corners of the world. Organizations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championships and K-1 have brought MMA a world wide following and not only that have inspired young athletes to venture into the sport. These days it is not uncommon to see MMA leagues and clubs at schools all over the world.

Mixed martial arts is so named because it is a fighting discipline that uses all sorts of martial arts and fighting styles. One of those fighting styles that is popular among mixed martial artists is Muay Thai. Muay thai is a fighting style that comes from Thailand and is one that involves using the whole body as a weapon. Bascially what Muay Thai means is ‘the fighting style of eight limbs’. The eight weapons that are incorporated in muay thai are the two hands, two elbows, two knees, and two feet. Muay Thai is an acient fighting style that was used by the acient Thai armies.

Watching a Muay Thai fighter in action is something of awe as far as MMA goes. The fighting style can be broken into four Muay Thai techniques: punching, elbowing, kneeing, and kicking. Some of the punching moves that are used are the same in boxing except that Muay Thai punching uses a spinning backhand. Some of the elbow moves are the slash, the thrust, and the chop. There is also jumping movements with the elbow. The fighter will jump in the air and come down with the elbow. Alot of the same kicking moves that are utilized with other martial arts are used in Muay Thai. The knees are used effectively as well.

The only disadvantage of using Muay Thai techniques in MMA is that while it focuses on attacking, countermoves are not really stressed. Other styles such as jiu-jitsu teach countermoves as well as attacking manuvers. Muay thai also focuses on quick strike and quick ending to fights. One error in judgement can lead a fighter to be exposed and thus be attacked himself. While muay thai does teach defensive manuevers, it is not as effective as some other disciplines.

The most popular Muay Thai fighter in the world would arugably be Cung Li. Li was a former K-1 World Champion who has also fought and won in the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Some of the other top Muay Thai style fighters in MMA are Ramon Dekker, Wanderlei Silva, Anderson Silva, and Orlando Weit.

Muay Thai techniques though are used by nearly all fighters in MMA and there are successful Muay Thai fighters in all weight divisions and in all MMA fighting associations all over the world.

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