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How is Muay Thai Not the Biggest Combat Sport in the World?

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Prediction: It Will Be

Superlek courtesy of ONE Championship

Following ONE Fight Night 14, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong held nothing back when discussing the state of striking in martial arts. His comments commanded attention.

Sityodtong flatly stated that striking in the UFC was sloppy and mediocre. However, he clarified that is because most of the roster comes from a grappling base. Sityodtong believes that ONE’s roster of striking stars is the differentiation that helps make it the most exciting martial arts promotion in the world.

When breaking down the roster, it is difficult to disagree with the assertion.

ONE offers kickboxing and Muay Thai, along with MMA. The elite strikers that line those divisions are unquestionably the best in the world.

The ONE featherweight kickboxing division is the most incredible lineup of athletes in martial arts, regardless of sport. Chingiz Allazov, Giorgio Petrosyan, and Superbon Singha Mawynn are all legitimate pound-for-pound greats in the sport, and all compete within that division. Add in Tawanchai PK Saenchai, Marat Grigorian, Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong, and many others, and you have the most special division, perhaps in the history of the sport.

That is just one division of one sport.

There are still too many talents to name, such as ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia, ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Jonathan Haggerty, and Nong-O Hama.

Recently, the flyweight Muay Thai matchup between Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Superlek Kiatmoo9 captured the attention of the martial arts world, including Joe Rogan himself.

After witnessing one of the biggest Muay Thai matches in history, Rogan commended the athletes and wrote that Muay Thai has the biggest untapped potential in the Western world. That statement alone speaks to the excitement ONE’s Muay Thai has generated.

At ONE’s most recent U.S. primetime event, ONE Fight Night 15, Italian-Canadian phenom Jonathan Di Bella continued his perfect streak with a unanimous decision win over Danial Williams, showcasing the global talent roster under their banner.

And the distinction between striking ability does not end with the pure striking arts. The MMA side of ONE’s roster cannot be ignored.

Fairtex courtesy of ONE Championship

Chief among them is Stamp Fairtex, a former ONE Atomweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion, who recently became the first-ever three-sport World Champion after winning the ONE Atomweight MMA World Title.

There are spectacular athletes around the world, but Sityodtong’s assertion that ONE’s roster has the most depth of World Championship-caliber strikers is not debatable. More importantly, those names deliver the most exciting action each time they step onto ONE’s global platform.

ONE celebrates martial arts as a whole, and its roster reflects the dedication to the striking arts that get the chance to be celebrated on one

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