The Muay Thai super fight that everyone has been dreaming of for years has finally happened. Yes, all-time greats Saenchai and Buakaw finally met atop the ring to fight in an actual Muay Thai match. And what’s great about the fight is that it actually delivered in terms of action and even a bit of drama.
When the fight was initially announced, not everyone took it that seriously. After all, Saenchai and Buakaw are very good friends and people know just how close they are. So it came off as a little difficult to believe that they would sign up for an actual fight. But the two legends did agree to the fight and gave their fans what they wanted.
However, there was a catch - it was not the usual Muay Thai fight where fighters used 8 or 10 oz. gloves. What Saenchai and Buakaw agreed to was to fight under special bare-knuckle Muay Thai rules, which was a first for such a high-profile match. Again, there was speculation about whether this was a serious bout at all. Bareknuckle fighting is considered even more dangerous than fights with gloves on.
Come fight night, all speculations and expectations were put to rest. The two superstars actually came to fight. The result was an entertaining display of bare-knuckle Muay Thai that was action-packed and exciting.
The match was scheduled for five rounds. It started off slowly, which is customary for traditional Muay Thai. The two legendary warriors were clearly measuring the distance and gauging each other at the start. It was also a pace that favored the two who are both at the tail end of their careers. Buakaw took the initiative when he landed a head kick and followed it up with a knee to Saenchai’s midsection.
Any fears that the two would be doing nothing more than a paid sparring session were quickly laid to rest. Viewers saw that the two meant business. As the fight progressed, Buakaw’s edge in size and power became a huge factor. He pushed Saenchai around and started walking him down. Buakaw threw a lot of low kicks whenever he had the chance.
Saenchai, being the GOAT of Muay Thai, was able to fight back. However, his strikes were not able to deter Buakaw or affect him much at all. His best success came when he and Buakaw were tied up in the clinch. On those occasions, Saenchai was able to throw some effective elbow strikes. Buakaw countered that by sweeping and then throwing Saenchai, even though that was not allowed in their special rules bout.
Buakaw could have probably pressed some more and chased the finish, but he seemed to let off on the pressure as the fight wore on. This was particularly evident in the last round when the pace slowed down again a bit. When the smoke cleared, Buakaw emerged victorious as he was declared the winner via unanimous decision. He and Saenchai embraced after it was all over, it was still a hard fight and was much more action-packed than what some expected. In fact, they ended up at the hospital later on for check-ups, with Saenchai being treated for a broken finger in his left hand.
The real winner in the end was the legions of fans of the two legends throughout the world. Saenchai did sustain his first loss in almost a decade and Buakaw can now brag that he has the edge over his friend in terms of competition. Muay Thai will only benefit from this fight and hopefully, it will help bring even more attention and appreciation for the sport to continue growing in the years to come.