10 Best Muay Thai Fighters Who Started Late – and succeeded

The sooner we commit to Muay Thai, the sooner we will succeed in it. At least, that is the recipe for success for Thai fighters. But it doesn’t always have to be like that, and this will be shown by our list of Muay Thai fighters who started training late, but that didn’t stop them from achieving world-class results. If you think you’re getting late, don’t let that stop you because it’s better to start late than never.

Ciryl Gane

Cyril Gane is a French martial artist who currently performs for the UFC, but he started his MMA career as a Muay Thai fighter. At the age of 24, he started training at the suggestion of his friend, and already the first training session with zero experience impressed his trainers.

In November 2014, Gane made his first professional debut against Cyril Omahri, where he celebrated with a knockout in the first round on the territory of France. His four-year-long career consists of 13 matches in which he achieved 13 victories.

Gane knocked out as many as nine opponents and defeated the other four by decision. He did only one fight in Tunisia and all the others in his home country of France, where he won the AF Muay Thai Championship in 2016 in the +201 lbs category with one title defense.

Ciryl is a big guy who moves very fast for his weight, and his style is characterized by fluid footwork and incredible tact in attack and defense.

Kevin Ross

The Soul Assasin” was born in 1980 in Reading, Pennsylvania, and is a retired American Muay Thai fighter. He dedicated himself to Muay Thai in 2003, and two years later, he made his professional debut. Although he lost his first two bouts, Ross is an example of a strong mentality, after which he returned in 2008 and won the FIDAM Muaythai International Welterweight title.

In his 16-year career, Kevin fought in 59 matches, of which he won 45 and lost 14. Of the significant awards, it is noteworthy to mention that in 2009 he won the USMF Pro. National Welterweight Championship and WBC Muaythai Championship in two categories with one title defense each.

In 2014, he won the Lion Fight Super Lightweight Championship; in 2015, he won the WMTC welterweight junior title. Kevinov peaked in Bellator when he won the kickboxing title in 2017.

Orono Wor Petchpun

Born as Ophas Iamsaard in 1978 and unlike his compatriots, he turned to Muay Thai at 15, which is considered late for them. This did not prevent him from fighting 159 matches and a solid number of titles in his 12-year career.

Orono has won 120, lost 36, and has three draws. Only a year after the start of training, he got the opportunity for his debut, which was also a fight for the 122 lbs WMC title, which he celebrated as the winner. After a great start to his career, Orono won the 2002 PAT championship in two categories.

In 2007, he became the champion of the famous Lumpinee Stadium in the category up to 130 lbs, and the following year the WPMF World Muay Thai champion at 140 lbs. In 2009 he won the Rang Yeh tournament title and became the Showtime 65MAX World champion. Not long after that, he retired after a decision loss at Omnoi Stadium in 2010.

Anuwat Kaewsamrit

Known as The Iron Hands of Siam, he started his Muay Thai career at the age of 13. He made his professional debut and won after six months of training. He fought in four different categories and won an enviable number of titles.

His professional record is 108 wins with 61 knockouts, 38 losses, and six draws. Anuwat was named Fighter of the Year in Thailand three years in a row. He won the Omnoi Stadium Junior Featherweight Championship and the Isuzu Cup Tournament in 2004.

In the ocean of success, it is crucial to mention that Anuwat won the Rajadamnern titles five times and once at Lumpinee Stadium, and in 2008 he became the WPMF Featherweight World Champion and 2009 WMC Lightweight World Champion

Sylvie Von Duuglas-Ittu

A born American woman who lives and fights in Thailand. Sylvie started practicing Muay Thai at 25 in New Jersey. The very next year, she made her professional debut, and three years after that, she moved to Thailand and devoted herself to sports. In her quality career, Sylvie fought till february 2023, 272 matches with 181 wins, 91 of which were by knockout, and also has 80 losses and 11 draws.

In 2014, she won four titles; in 2015, two, and 2016, she became the champion of Northern Thailand. In 2007, Duuglas-Ittu won the Thepprasit Stadium championship and, in the following years, two IPCC titles. Sylvia’s most recent success comes from 2023, when she won the WBC Minimumweight Muay Thai World Champion and continues to be active.

Kozo Takeda

Kozo is a retired Japanese fighter born in 1972. After being very late inspired by kickboxing matches on television, Takeda leaves everything behind and turns to martial arts. He started his career in 1995 when he knocked out his compatriot Sugiyama.

Takeda had a “colorful” 15-year-long career where he fought 72 matches with 45 wins and 34 by knockout. He also recorded 20 defeats and seven draws. Kozo did most of his fights in East Asia and won the Rajadamnern Stadium Welterweight championship in 2001 and the 2003 K-1 tournament in Japan. After many ups and downs in the last years of his career, he finally retired in 2010.

Julie Kitchen

Better known as “The Queen of Muay Thai,” Julie Kitchen was born in 1977 in Penzance, Cornwall, England. Julie has a career decorated with titles despite her late start. She began her professional career with a victory in 2002 and has since continued to make history for the next decade.

Julie fought around the globe, where she had 61 matches with 51 wins, nine losses, and one draw. As for her titles, due to the large number, we will list only a few, such as ISKA World Championships, WMC World Champion, WPMF World Championship, IKF, and WIKBA, and she was the first British woman to win WBC and many others for which we need a longer list. This Muay Thai warrior said goodbye after a split decision defeat in 2012.

Miriam Nakamoto

Miriam Herbie Nakamoto was born in 1976 and started practicing Thai boxing at 23. Miriam has also competed in MMA, Boxing, and Thai Boxing, showing that a late start does not determine the final destination.

She won the gold medal at the IFMA World Muaythai Championships in 2009 as an amateur. In her professional career, she had 14 matches with 14 victories. She is considered one of the most dangerous female strikers in the world. Although her career was short, it was highly successful.

She is the winner of the WPMF Light Welterweight Championship, WMC World Lightweight Championship, and WCK Super Lightweight Champion, and she managed to transfer the winning of world titles to the boxing scene as well.

Rob Kaman

The Dutchman is a true example of an old-school stand-up fighter. At 19, he was attracted to Muay Thai, after which he brought his form to a high level and began to compete in middleweight and lightweight. In his long career, he fought 112 times and managed to defeat 97 opponents, 77 of which were by knockout.

There are still 12 defeats, 1 draw, and two no contests. Rob has been crowned multiple times under the ISKA organization as a champion and was a multiple winner of the PKA and WKA world championships, which shows what kind of striker he is.

Certainly, the most important title of Kaman in the field of Muay Thai is the IMF championship from 1990. He ended his career on home soil in the Netherlands in 1999 when he won by referee’s decision against the Belarusian Alexey Ignashov.

Janice Lyn

Janice Lynn is a Canadian Muay Thai representative who has moved from the lights of the ring to the international office in Bangkok as an IFMA Muay Thai Ambassador, where she serves as the voice of the athletes. She started practicing Thai boxing in 2009 and made her professional debut in 2014.

In all her fights, Janice has shown how fearless, mentally strong, and intelligent she is. Her amateur score is 18 wins and seven losses, and her professional score is three wins and three losses, and already in her amateur career, she fought all over the world.

In addition to her fighting career, Lyn works as a trainer and nutritionist at the Krudar Muay Thai Gym, to which she is deeply attached. In 2011 and 2012, she was named Student of the Year and Most Inspirational Student in her gym.

She was the holder of the bronze medal at the IFMA Amateur World Championships in 2014. In the same year, she became the WKA North American Champion. Among other titles, she took silver at the IKF World Classic Champion in 2012, which she managed to win the following year. Janice also won the TBA-SA Featherweight Championship in 2012.

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Gregori Povolotski

I have been practicing martial arts since 2007. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a huge passion for combat sports, especially Muay Thai and boxing. Helping people on their martial arts journey is what drives me to keep training and learn new things. Read More About Me

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