Originally Posted by redeyeguy
Muay Thai, kickboxing (K-1 and It's Showtime), Karate (mainly Kyokushin), pugilism (Marquess of Queensberry Rules boxing), and shootboxing are the most competitive striking arts, thus the world's highest level strikers are found within these sports. However, Sanda/Sanshou does seem to be catching up very well. And so I must wonder and therefore ask, who are the top Sanda/Sanshou fighters on earth? Who are worthy of K-1?
The only names I can think of are:
- Xan Yu
- Sun Tao (held his own against Buakaw; heard he's a cop)
- Zhang Kai Yin (knocked out Lamsongkram with an epic spinning backfist)
- Wang Wei (really crafty 70kg fighter that beat Saenchai under mixed rules)
- Wei Shou Lei (I don't even know if he's top level, but he did alright vs Andy Souwer)
I'm not well informed, however, so please educate me further! I'm very interested in this subject - it's quite entertaining to speculate and discuss who the best are in each art/sport.
Xu Yan is more known for Muay Thai than Sanda, he moved to Muay Thai because his wrestling was very poor so he often lost in Sanda, he is one of the top Muay Thai fighters in China.
Sun Tao is a nobody, he hasn't been fighting for 10 years.
Right now the top fighters for 75 kg is Zhang Kaiyin, for 80 kg is Autogen Bateer, for 85 kg is Huang Lei. But these fighters do not always win consistently, and other fighters are not far behind. For years Hussein Ojhagi of Iran and Salihov Muslim of Russia has dominated the heavier devisions at 85 and 90 kg annual competitions, Chinese fighters such as Bian Maofu, Huang Lei and Yu Jing(90kg) occasionally challenge them.
However, for fighting foreign opponents, Zhang Kaiyin and Bateer has shown the most feats.
Zhang Kaiyin knocked out Lamsankram and defeated John Wayne Parr, Bateer fought a draw with an injured Yodsanklai and defeated Kaoklai. Both are clearly at elite K 1 striking level.
Bateer might even move to UFC in the future, he has trained in Jujitsu for a few years now and is probably a blue belt. With his sick striking abilities and young age(he is only 27), he might well progress in the welter weight, and who knows, he might even challenge GSP.