Muay Thai, also known as the “art of eight limbs,” is a combat sport and martial art that originated in Thailand. It is characterized by its emphasis on striking techniques that utilize the hands, shins, elbows, and knees, making it one of the most versatile and effective striking arts in the world. In recent years, Muay Thai has gained significant recognition and popularity in the UFC, where it has produced some of the most skilled and feared fighters in the sport.
Loma Lookboonmee is a Thai mixed martial artist who has made her presence felt in the UFC’s strawweight division. As the first Thai female fighter to compete in the UFC, Lookboonmee showcased her high Muay Thai skills in her bouts, impressing fans and opponents alike.
Growing up in a family of Muay Thai practitioners, Lookboonmee began training in the art at a young age and had an accomplished career as a professional Muay Thai fighter before transitioning to MMA. In the Octagon, she demonstrates her mastery of the art of eight limbs, employing powerful kicks, precise knees, and vicious elbows. Lookboonmee’s technical prowess in the clinch is especially noteworthy, as she uses her experience to control and damage her opponents.
Cris “Cyborg” Justino is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and one of the most dominant female fighters in MMA history. Competing in multiple organizations, including the UFC, Cyborg is known for her aggressive fighting style and powerful striking abilities. Her background in Muay Thai has significantly contributed to her success in the cage.
Her speed, power, and relentless pressure characterize Cyborg’s striking. She utilizes many Muay Thai techniques, including devastating leg kicks, sharp elbows, and effective clinch work. Her ability to seamlessly incorporate Muay Thai skills into her MMA game has made her a formidable opponent for anyone she faces.
New Zealand native Brad “Quake” Riddell has made a name for himself in the UFC’s lightweight division. A former professional kickboxer, Riddell transitioned to mixed martial arts and has showcased his striking skills in the Octagon.
Riddell’s background in Muay Thai is evident in his fights, as he often utilizes powerful leg kicks, well-timed knees, and crisp combinations. With a high-pressure style and relentless pace, Riddell has proven to be a tough challenge for his opponents.
Don “The Magic Man” Madge is a South African mixed martial artist who has showcased his exceptional Muay Thai skills in the UFC’s lightweight division. Madge’s striking stands out due to his precision and ability to blend traditional Muay Thai techniques with creative attacks.
In the Octagon, Madge has displayed his devastating leg kicks, sharp elbows, and powerful knees, all signature moves of an adept Muay Thai practitioner. Additionally, Madge’s clinch work has proven to be a significant advantage, allowing him to control and damage his opponents in close quarters.
Ludwig is a retired American fighter who is now a well-respected coach in the MMA world. He has a record of 22-16 and is known for his Muay Thai skills. Ludwig’s striking is particularly impressive because of his speed and accuracy.
He has some of the most brutal leg kicks in MMA history and has finished several fights with them. Ludwig is also known for his excellent timing with his punches and kicks, making him a dangerous opponent for anyone in the octagon.
Anderson Silva is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time, and for a good reason. He held the record for the most consecutive title defenses in UFC history with ten before Demetrious Johnson took over with 11 title defenses. Silva’s striking technique is a thing of beauty.
Although he wasn’t a pure Muay Thai fighter on the feet, Silva used Muay Thai as a base on which he added techniques from other arts, making him very awkward and unpredictable for his opponents. His timing and accuracy were out of this world, and he changed the game by showing us the full effectiveness of Muay Thai in modern MMA. It is worth noting that Silva competed in Muay Thai before transitioning to MMA.
During his prime, Silva was an absolute nightmare for his opponents on the feet. He used various techniques, including kicks, punches, knees, and elbows, all with precision and accuracy. He was also known for his incredible head movement, allowing him to avoid strikes while setting up his counterattacks.
Silva ruled the UFC’s middleweight division for almost a decade, earning wins over some of the sport’s biggest names, including Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson, and Vitor Belfort. Even though he is no longer in his prime, Silva’s legacy as a Muay Thai striker in MMA will always be remembered.
Khalil Rountree Jr.
Rountree Jr. is an American fighter who is known for his Muay Thai skills. He has a record of 11-5 and has fought some of the best fighters in the UFC. Rountree Jr.’s striking is particularly impressive because of his power and accuracy.
He has some of the most devastating kicks in MMA history and has finished several fights with them. Rountree Jr. is also known for his excellent timing with his punches and kicks, making him a dangerous opponent for anyone in the octagon.
Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani, a Nigerian-American mixed martial artist, is known for his striking prowess and dynamic style. With a background in kickboxing and Muay Thai, Njokuani’s striking abilities have been displayed throughout his UFC career.
His speed, power, and precision have made him a formidable opponent in the lightweight division. Njokuani’s highlight reel includes numerous knockouts showcasing his Muay Thai background and earning him a spot on our list.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk was already renowned in the Muay Thai world before transitioning to MMA. She won five Muay Thai world titles and numerous European titles before joining the UFC. Unsurprisingly, she became the most dominant 115lbs champ with five title defenses, a record that has yet to be matched.
In MMA, Joanna is a master of keeping her range and striking with precision. Her fighting style is all about volume and overwhelming her opponents with a barrage of strikes. She never throws a single kick or punch at a time and is always looking to land multiple strikes in quick succession.
What sets Joanna apart from other strikers is her laser accuracy. She throws every strike with intent and purpose, and she rarely misses her target. Her ability to mix punches with kicks is also a key factor in her success. She finishes her combos with outside leg kicks, often leaving her opponents unable to continue.
Joanna’s fighting style is a thing of beauty. She is a true technician in the octagon and knows how to pick apart her opponents. Her ability to control the distance and pace of the fight is a testament to her mastery of the stand-up game.
Valentina Shevchenko is a true master of Muay Thai in the UFC. Before transitioning to MMA, Shevchenko had a highly successful Muay Thai career, winning over 15 world and European titles, some of which were earned in Thailand.
In the UFC, Shevchenko has become one of the most feared strikers in the women’s division. Her stand-up game is characterized by her exceptional technique, lightning-fast hands, and impeccable timing. Shevchenko is a counter striker who always waits for her opponents to make the first move, which she capitalizes on with lightning-fast counters.
One thing that makes Shevchenko stand out is her ability to mix her punches with kicks. Her kicks are powerful and precise and often serve as a setup for her punches. Shevchenko’s spinning back kick, in particular, is beautiful and has helped her score some impressive finishes in the UFC.
Shevchenko’s understanding of range and timing is another key factor in her success. She is a master of controlling the distance, often using her kicks to keep her opponents at bay before exploding with a flurry of punches when they try to close the distance.
The elder sister of UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, Antonina “La Pantera” Shevchenko, is an accomplished Muay Thai practitioner in her own right. With a professional record that boasts multiple world championships in kickboxing and Muay Thai, Antonina has displayed exceptional striking skills throughout her UFC career.
Competing primarily in the flyweight division, Shevchenko’s diverse striking repertoire, including devastating knees and elbows, makes her a dangerous opponent for anyone stepping into the Octagon. Antonina’s expertise in the art of Muay Thai and her ability to translate those skills to the UFC has earned to be on our list.
Jose Aldo is a pure Muay Thai fighter renowned for showing us how effective Muay Thai can be in MMA. His main weapons are his kicks, particularly the low kicks he often trained with Dutch kickboxing legend Andy Souwer. Aldo’s striking and knowledge of the standup game was a real mystery, and standing before him. Trading punches was not a smart idea.
Before fighting in the UFC, Aldo was already a Muay Thai world champion, having crowned himself with five Muay Thai world titles. Unsurprisingly, he was once on an incredible 18-fight win streak before Conor McGregor stopped him with a well-placed punch.
One of Aldo’s standout traits was his ability to counter the calf kick, now one of MMA’s most popular strikes. Aldo’s speed and reaction time allowed him to twist his lead leg outwards when he saw the low kick coming, making it difficult for his opponents to land them.
Aldo’s style of fighting was all about precision and calculated aggression. He was known for his lightning-fast strikes and his ability to mix up his attacks, making him a dangerous opponent for anyone standing in front of him. Aldo was truly a master of the stand-up game, and his legacy as one of the best Muay Thai fighters in MMA will always be remembered.
Rafael Fiziev is a highly skilled Kyrgyzstani mixed martial artist known for his exceptional Muay Thai skills. With a record of 12-1 in MMA, Fiziev has quickly made a name for himself as a rising star in the sport.
Fiziev’s Muay Thai abilities are characterized by his impressive speed and accuracy, which he uses greatly in the octagon. He is a skilled counter striker, always looking for opportunities to land his strikes with precision and power. Fiziev’s kicks are particularly impressive, often serving as a key weapon in his arsenal.
Fiziev is also known for his creative striking, regularly utilizing unorthodox techniques to surprise and overwhelm his opponents. His skills will be tested on March 18, 2023, when he faces the vicious Justin Gaethje.
Joanne Calderwood is a Scottish mixed martial artist widely known for her exceptional Muay Thai and kickboxing skills. With numerous world championships titles to her name, Calderwood’s striking abilities are a force to be reckoned with in the women’s flyweight division of the UFC.
Born on December 23, 1986, in Scotland, Calderwood began her professional fighting career in 2012 and has since proven to be a fierce competitor in combat sports. In addition to her impressive career in mixed martial arts, Calderwood has also competed in professional boxing, boasting an unbeaten record of 2-0.
Throughout her tenure in the UFC, Calderwood has had a successful career, claiming notable victories over prominent fighters such as Valerie Letourneau, Andrea Lee, and Jessica Eye. She has also participated in the reality show “The Ultimate Fighter.” She has been ranked as high as #3 in the women’s flyweight division, solidifying her status as a top-tier athlete in the sport.
Carlos Condit is a former UFC interim welterweight champion with a record of 32-14 in MMA. He is known for his impressive striking skills, particularly his proficiency in Muay Thai. Condit’s striking abilities have been on full display throughout his career, with his devastating knees standing out as some of the most brutal in the game.
Condit’s striking skills are particularly impressive in the clinch. He has landed several fight-ending knees that have left his opponents crumpled on the mat. His ability to generate power and accuracy from such close range is a testament to his skill as a striker.
Donald Cerrone is a household name in the world of MMA. It is often considered the epitome of a UFC veteran. With a professional MMA record of 36-17-1, Cerrone has fought some of the best fighters in the sport and is widely regarded as one of the most exciting fighters to watch.
Cerrone’s Muay Thai striking skills are his bread and butter, and he has demonstrated his proficiency in this martial art time and again in the octagon. He is known for his dynamic and explosive striking, with his head kicks being some of the most brutal in MMA history.
Cerrone’s exciting fighting style and willingness to take on any opponent have made him a fan favorite over the years. Before Charles Oliveira overtook him in 2022, he held the UFC record for most wins and most finishes in the promotion’s history, a testament to his longevity and success in the sport.
Felder is a creative Muay Thai fighter who never throws the same combo twice. He is known for his exciting style and ability to mix up his striking, making him a difficult opponent for anyone. Felder’s Muay Thai skills shine in the clinch, where he is particularly dangerous with wild elbows and knees. He has a strong background in Taekwondo, which goes well with his Thai boxing skills.
Edson Barboza is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers in UFC history. He is the epitome of “fast twitch muscle fibers.” With a background in Muay Thai, Barboza’s striking skills are second to none. He has used them to finish many great fighters throughout his career.
Barboza began his martial arts journey in Brazil, where he competed as a professional Muay Thai fighter with an impressive record of 25-3. He later transitioned to MMA and quickly made a name for himself with his explosive striking abilities. Since joining the UFC in 2010, Barboza has fought some of the top names in the sport and has consistently showcased his proficiency in Muay Thai.
One of Barboza’s most notable UFC fights came in 2012 when he landed a spectacular spinning wheel kick that knocked out Terry Etim and earned him a “Knockout of the Night” bonus. The knockout went viral and is widely regarded as one of the most impressive finishes in UFC history.
Despite suffering some losses throughout his career, Barboza remains a fan favorite for his exciting and dynamic fighting style. He is known for his incredible speed and power, particularly in his kicking game. He has earned praise from many in the MMA community, including Joe Rogan, who has called him the best standup fighter he has ever seen compete.
Thiago Alves is a Brazilian mixed martial artist with a strong foundation in Muay Thai. He burst onto the martial arts scene at the young age of 17, winning his first Muay Thai fight against a much older opponent. This early victory clearly indicated Alves’ potential as a fighter.
Throughout his career, Alves has faced some of the biggest names in the UFC, earning a reputation as a dangerous striker. His record of 23-15 may not be as impressive as some of his peers, but his striking abilities are second to none.
Alves is known for his lightning-fast kicks, particularly his devastating leg kicks that have won him several fights. He has a remarkable ability to time his strikes with precision. He has earned numerous knockouts and TKOs as a result.
Ben Saunders is a retired American mixed martial artist who competed in the UFC. He is known for his exceptional Muay Thai skills and his ability to finish fights with his striking abilities. He retired with a not-too-shabby 23-13 MMA record.
What makes Saunders special in the UFC is his proficiency in Muay Thai. He has trained in Thailand and deeply understands the art of eight limbs, which he has used to great effect in his fights. Saunders is particularly known for his dangerous knees and elbows, which he throws with precision and power.
In addition to his striking abilities, Saunders is also a skilled submission artist, making him a well-rounded fighter who is dangerous in all areas of the fight.
Rafael Dos Anjos
Dos Anjos is a Brazilian fighter who is known for his Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills. He has a record of 32-14 and has fought some of the best fighters in the UFC. Dos Anjos’ striking is particularly impressive, and he has won several fights with his powerful leg kicks. He also has excellent timing and accuracy with his punches, making him a dangerous opponent for anyone in the octagon.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is a legendary Brazilian mixed martial artist who achieved the rare feat of winning titles in both Pride and the UFC. Rua has left a trail of destruction in his wake every time he has stepped into the ring or cage, thanks in large part to his incredible Muay Thai skills.
Growing up, Rua trained in both BJJ and Muay Thai alongside his brother. While he is a legitimate BJJ black belt, Rua has always preferred to stand and trade strikes. In his prime, Rua’s Muay Thai game was nothing short of devastating, and he was widely considered one of the most complete strikers in the sport.
Throughout his career, Rua has faced some of the world’s best fighters and consistently demonstrated his proficiency in Muay Thai.
Petr Yan is a Russian mixed martial artist with a background in Muay Thai and kickboxing. He is known for his calculated and deadly striking abilities, often used to dominate his opponents in the octagon.
Yan is particularly proficient in Muay Thai and has honed his skills by training extensively at Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand. His Muay Thai techniques are characterized by their precision and power, focusing on delivering strikes that can quickly finish fights.
Yan’s Muay Thai game is characterized by his ability to mix up his strikes, throwing combinations of punches, kicks, knees, and elbows with fluidity and speed. He is known for his deadly accuracy and his ability to time his strikes to perfection, often landing devastating blows that leave his opponents stunned.
One of Yan’s standout traits is his calculated approach to fighting. He is a patient and intelligent fighter, always looking for openings and opportunities to land his strikes. He is particularly dangerous in the clinch, where he can utilize his Muay Thai skills to devastating effect, landing elbows and knees that can quickly end fights. Although he is on a three-fight-losing streak, I am sure we will see him in the win column soon enough.
Matt Brown is a retired American mixed martial artist who competed in the UFC. He is known for his exciting fighting style and his willingness to engage in wild brawls with his opponents.
What makes Brown special in the UFC is his reputation as a warrior who always brings an intense and aggressive fighting style to the octagon. He is known for his striking abilities, particularly his elbows and knees, which he greatly uses in his fights. Brown is also a skilled wrestler and submission artist, making him a well-rounded fighter who is dangerous in all areas of the fight.
Brown’s toughness and resilience in the octagon are also what make him stand out as a fighter. He has been in some of the most brutal and bloody fights in UFC history and has always come out swinging, even when it seemed like he was on the verge of defeat.
Johnny Walker is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who competed in the UFC. He is known for his exciting fighting style and his ability to finish fights with his striking abilities.
His unorthodox and unpredictable fighting style makes Walker special in the UFC. He is known for his flashy strikes and his ability to finish fights with his knees and elbows. Walker is particularly known for his impressive spinning back fist, which he used to knock out Misha Cirkunov in just 36 seconds.
Walker’s unorthodox and unpredictable fighting style is largely due to his background in Muay Thai. He has trained extensively in Thailand, where he honed his striking abilities and learned the art of eight limbs. Walker’s Muay Thai skills are evident in his striking, which is characterized by his use of knees and elbows, as well as his impressive clinch work.