Greatest Muay Thai Fighters of All Time, as voted by Thai Legends

Discussion in 'Muay Thai and Kickboxing' started by AndyMaBobs, Apr 29, 2020.

  1. StopDucking Ronda Rousey hater

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    Even if he was a Muay Thai phenom, Somrak never won a Lumpinee or Rajadamnern Stadium Title, even though he was ranked 1st in Lumpinee and Raja. The “apparent” reason was that he was too good because he used to win every fight, so big gamblers lost interest on him, and the Big Promoters won’t let him fight with the big stadiums champs.
    http://www.muayfarang.com/en/le-leggende-della-muay-thai-somrak-khamsing/

    Do you have won a belt of the stadiums of Bangkok?
    No, I do not have a belt in Muay Thai. I do a lot of fighting in Thai boxing. At the time I was Number 1 in 126 lbs (57 kg 155) in all stadiums. I have beaten all the champions of my category. But the promoters did not want to fight organized with me for a title because they knew I was going to win. I was too strong for their fighters.

    https://www.siamfightmag.com/en/mua...uaythai-en/thai-boxers-en/349-somrak-khamsing
     
  2. ichibang Black Belt

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    This sub forum has been invaded by hundreds of trolls and this is the guy you all replied too. Y'all slipping.

    The list is not that surprising, it is basically golden era fighters bonanza (because it is golden era fighters answering the questions). Muay Thai has no hardcore historians to track every single win-loss like boxrec so it is all about memory of career highlight reels, most memorable fights and name recognition.

    Also Saenchai is at a severe disadvantage because this is a small world and these legends are all friends. And they got to put fighters who are in the same generation/their seniors first. Who do you think they are going out for a drink with when this pandemic is over lol

    Wait until Saenchai is 50+ and you gonna have younger fighters fawning over his highlight reels.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  3. SuperLuigi Red Belt

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    Sounds like he achieved being the best in his weight class at one point, but I have yet to see evidence he was "the best of his generation," especially considering the 90s had so many beasts.
     
  4. Snubnoze707 High Level

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    Somrak was an outstanding fighter, not sure why he was never given a shot at the titles but he was certainly deserving of getting a shot. Not the first time I've heard that reasoning. "best of his generation" is debatable though.
     
  5. StopDucking Ronda Rousey hater

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    Promoters don't like overly dominant champions since they're bad for gambling. Dieselnoi, who was the most dominant champion of the previous generation, was stripped of all his belts and forced into retirement after beating every available contenders multiple times.
    1) He wasn't denied a title fight just one time, he could never fight for a belt his whole career. And don't tell me he wasn't popular enough. He was a star in his country because of his achievements in boxing (and still is).
    2) Greatness is usually defined by how many belts you've won and who you beat, I agree. But when the promoters of the 2 biggest stadiums all think "we can't let this guy fight our champions; he'd beat them all and they'd never get their belts back", wouldn't you say that, in their mind, he was the better fighter?
    3) He fought in the Golden Era of muay thay, fought everyone in his prime, fought until he was 40 year olds and his final record is 291 wins, 13 losses, 1 draw. That's the best record I've ever seen.
    4) In all the videos of his fights (except those recorded when he was already in his thirties), he is clearly the better fighter. Here is Somrak against Boonlai, a multiple-time Lumpinee champion:



    You might wonder: if he is this good then how come he's not high on the list OP posted? First of all, the number of fighters asked is very low. Second of all, we don't know whether fighters are ranked based on ability or accomplishments (in the latter case, Somrak wouldn't even make the top 100 since he's never won a belt). Third of all, as somebody pointed out, asking fighters who they consider the best fighters is the same as asking them who they admired growing up or who they fought and became friends with. Fourth of all, Apidej is not even on the list at all even though he was awarded the title of "Fighter of the Century" by the king of Thailand himself and Samart (who is the widely considered #1 pound-for-pound) does have Apidej in his top 3.

    You'll always be able to nitpick when it comes to old school muay thai because of the lack of footage and documentation. The question is: given the limited information we do have, what's the most logical stance to take?

    So how would YOU rate Somrak? A good fighter that might have been a great fighter but we'll never know for sure? If that's what you think, then fine but the promoters and gamblers at the time didn't agree with you and his record speaks otherwise.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  6. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Throwing my apanyent

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    I am not qualified to answer that question based on evidence as I don't know MT well enough.
    Subjectively however, when I watch Somrak on screen, the way he moves, his fight IQ, his understanding of distance, angles and rythm, as well as his reflexes and coordination, I see a top-5 GOAT of all times, definitely.
     
  7. Mickf Orange Belt

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    How come Somrak never boxed as a pro after he won the gold medal? Surely there would of been some decent opportunities for him.
     
  8. Snubnoze707 High Level

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    Another cool thing about Somrak while we are piling on, he also deserves some credit for how awesome Saenchai is. All that matrix shit he got from Somrak.

    It's just a shame the JCVD fight was never realized....
     
  9. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Throwing my apanyent

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    i thought that Saenchai got the matrix shit from Lerdsila at Jocky gym?
     
  10. Mickf Orange Belt

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    He got it from the jocky gym not really from lerdsilla.
     
  11. UWanaPlayDaGame Purple Belt

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    Great fight. Very impressive for both guys. Boonlai is a goat candidate himself IMO.

    Do you have more info about these general claims that are always made about Somrak? "Promoters never let him fight for a title because he was so good", etc.? I appreciate you posted the two links before and if that's all you got then that's fine - with the amount of muay thai info we have that may be as good as it gets. But do you know of anything else? Because it sounds like you are just repeating a couple lines that are thrown out there in the internet and we don't know for sure.
     
  12. StopDucking Ronda Rousey hater

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    There are other sources but they all say the same thing. At this point, I'm leaning more towards the story being true rather than the existence of some global conspiracy orchestrated by invisible superpowers trying to rewrite history.

    This is from the official website of Singpatong Sitnumnoi gym in Thailand:

    When Somrak reached 18 years old, he had more than 200 bouts under his name. But despite his remarkable ability, Lumpini championship win evaded him. Even at the smaller Rajadamnern Stadium, Somrak never became a champion. Somrak was considered a prohibitive favorite which caused the big gamblers to lose interest in him. The promoters did not want to risk their prospects against him. Somrak suddenly found himself out of job and he could not support himself.
    http://www.singpatong-sitnumnoi.com/art-of-muay-thai/

    I also wanna add that the second link I posted is an interview of Somrak himself, who is certainly the most reliable source on this matter. If somebody was to investigate Somrak's career, who would be the first person they'd talk to? Somrak himself, right? Well, Somrak has spoken and this is what he said. I don't think it's fair to qualify his words as mere "couple of lines thrown out there on the internet".

    It's also important to note that each link contains information that the others don't provide, which shows they are not just plagiarizing one another.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  13. SandisLL Brown Belt

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    Well, In europe definitely opportunities to earn with boxing he had more than with MT or KB due to different local markets.
    -
    I quess in Thailand in these times MT events were more popular than boxing events, so also possibilities to earn with fighting they had more with MT than with boxing.
    Different markets, I quess.
     
  14. Snubnoze707 High Level

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    Probably a stretch on my part to give Somrak full credit, but he certainly learned a lot of his tricks when he moved to Somrak's gym I'm sure.
     
  15. SuperLuigi Red Belt

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    I would be interested to hear Somrak discuss the different guys he fought in more detail, hopefully Sylvie will interview him at some point. It seems to me many deserving champions are never given title shots for seemingly non-meritocratic reasons so I am very open to the idea he dominated everyone but in the stadium scene it usually turns out to be more complicated than that.
     
  16. Snubnoze707 High Level

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    Lets be honest, the way titles work in the stadiums is a bit fugazi. They've also given title shots to people not deserving.

    Had to google "meritocratic" btw.
     
  17. Kanka Black Belt

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    Why didn't they match him against bigger guys?
     
  18. thunder and fury Yellow Belt

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    Somrak was never given a title shot because no one wanna bet against him or at least no to the point were a matchup will make sense .
    Samart got shipped to boxing because he made everyone look like amateurs .
    Somrak same thing , too skilled .
    Muay Thai run on gambling , a fighter that is too good is not worth betting against .
    Saenchai for example was never near Somrak he got out clinched and can even be in close fights ( when his opponent are a few pounds up ) .
    Somrak made some of the greatest golden era legends look lost against him .
    Sanechai never did that .
     
  19. Cocakillbana Black Belt

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    I'm skeptical of the belief fighters such as Somrak, Samart and Dieselnoi were "forced" to retire or go to boxing because they ran out of opponents. Dieselnoi retired at an age that is common for top fighters to retire; Samart used his MT credentials and (I assume) promotional backing to get fast-tracked to a "world" title in boxing; Somrak's gold medal brought his fame and wealth that a long MT career never would have.

    Something I'd be really interested in knowing about is the evolution of weight advantages to satisfy the gambling interest. For example, was Dieselnoi drying up to 132 to make his lightweight title fights? Was Somrak made to lose an extra 2 or 3 pounds every fight? If Somrak and Samart ran out of challengers, why not continue going up like Saenchai did?

    If weight advantages weren't the norm for previous generations, I think it makes Saenchai the GOAT by a wide margin.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  20. AndyMaBobs Brown Belt

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    Y'know your basement? Well right underneath that.
    I know that Dieselnoi tried to kill himself after a few years of not being able to fight. I don't know about Somrak and Samart (I hadn't really heard much about why they retired) but it's not a stretch to me that the guy who only lost twice was not able to get a fight booked, maybe not forced in any formal sense - but possibly that he just went through months of trying to book fights and not being able to get them for who he is.

    It isn't uncommon for fighters to experience bad depression after retiring, for sure, but he still seems to be mad about having to retire even now

    I'd also like to know this too - there was an interview with Samart, I posted here a good few years ago. Where he said that gambling had killed the sport - that in the very least implies that it was very different back then
     

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