UFC Top 3: Modern Masters of Muay Thai


Although efforts have been made to expand its reach, with events now being held in every corner of the globe, UFC remains most relevant and accessible to an American audience – the members of which invariably crave entertainment and spontaneous action. As such, eastern styles such as judo and Muay Thai have always been under-appreciated in the octagon. Yet, the history of UFC is awash with famous knockouts that have combined both to great effect.

Here is a retrospective look at three memorable Muay Thai-style knockouts…

#3 Edson Barboza – Vs Rafaello Oliveira

UFC 123 – 20 November 2010

For most UFC fanatics, the perfect warrior is a muscle-bound entity with the perfect blend of western and eastern fighting styles, combined to deadly effect inside the Octagon. From the west, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing bring about the potential for devastating combination hits and groundwork. They provide the perfect foil to the eastern styles of judo and Muay Thai, which rely on the ability to subdue with deliberate, more calculated submission methods and strikes.

The fourth-ranked Brazilian lightweight is one such warrior, and three of his nineteen MMA wins to date have involved the use of leg kicks consistent with Muay Thai. His brutal dismantling of Mike Lullo in 2010 is arguably the most memorable. It was not until the second round that Barboza managed to breach Lullo’s guard with his elbows, but it was the beginning of the end. Targeting Lullo’s legs, Barboza ruthlessly subdued his opponent with expertly timed kicks. So damaged was Lullo, that only three more kicks from Barboza were required to fully incapacitate him, and the fight was duly ended early in the third round.

Barboza in training.

#2 Darren Till – Vs Wendell Oliveira

UFC Fight Night 67 – 30 May 2015

Muay Thai’s main selling point is the liberal use of elbows. In beating Oliveira two years ago, Till demonstrated just how devastating the style can be when elbow strikes are timed to perfection. Yet more remarkable is the fact that Till beat a seasoned professional on his debut, staying true to his primary fighting style. The decision to do so has not always worked for debutants, especially for those unfamiliar with groundwork, but Till was sufficiently shrewd to find an opening and capitalise upon Oliveira’s fatal error.

Oliveira’s attempted half-guard sweep was evaded by Till, who then unleashed hell upon his opponent. A combination of elbow blows sent Oliveira’s head straight to the canvas, and the fight was ended in an instant.

A typically boisterous promo from Darren Till.

#1 Joanna Jędrzejczyk – Vs Jessica Penne

UFC Fight Night 69 – 20 June 2015

Jędrzejczyk, the incumbent UFC Strawweight champion, still boasts a perfect record which (as of 6 June 2017) stands at 14-0. This makes her very popular amongst bettors, including those who seek an exclusive bitcoin-only service, when it comes to UFC sports betting. Such unbeaten runs are a relative rarity in UFC, and the Polish expert of Muay Thai and kickboxing has never once looked daunted when facing off her latest opponent in the octagon.

She won her belt (via TKO) on 14 March 2015, with a flurry of punches, inflicted on Carla Esparza in the final minute of the second round. That win was but a taste of events to come. In her first title defence, which was a difficult match against Jessica Penne, she demonstrated exactly why ‘Violence’ is one of her nicknames. True to form, Jędrzejczyk started her winning process with measured strikes from distance, finding her range like a true expert of kick-centric fighting styles. Once presented with the opportunity, Penne was powerless against a flurry of punches and kicks that not only caused a stoppage but also redecorated the canvas an interesting shade of crimson.

The identity of Jędrzejczyk’s next opponent remains a mystery, but with rumours of a super fight against ONE Championship belt holder Angela Lee gaining momentum, there may yet be someone capable of withstanding some Polish punishment.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts

  • No Related Post

One response to “UFC Top 3: Modern Masters of Muay Thai”

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>