FIGHT BREAKDOWN: SAENCHAI VS. YODWICHA

Saenchai vs. Yodwicha was an epic fight that made Saenchai finally look mortal. Yodwicha’s forward pressure and stifling style stymied the sensational Saenchai, just as we show in this fight breakdown. . . 

PRESSURE BEATS POWER: SAENCHAI VS. YODWICHA

Saenchai is considered a living legend by many. He’s often called the best pound-for-pound fighter there is, and it’s easy to see why.

With over 300 fights, he’s demolished nearly every opponent put in front of him. When his opponents hit him, he defends and counters well. When he wants to hit them, he has a million ways of doing so.

In 2013, a rising star named Yodwicha faced the living legend at Lumpinee Stadium. Yodwicha beat Saenchai on points, which is an amazing feat. At the same, Yodwicha was only 17 years-old. But for some reason, this fact is unknown to many.

Here’s now the phenom Muay Khao beat the famous Muay Femur.


“UNSTOPPABLE FORCE? MEET IMMOVABLE OBJECT.

Saenchai, while being a well-rounded fighter, employs the muay femur style. Femur fighters usually use longer ranges to score and avoid getting hit.

This is the case of Saenchai, whose strengths lie in his kicks and punches. He is also very dangerous in close range – he’s knocked out quite a few with elbows, and most people who clinch with him get dumped straight on the floor. The latter often discourages many from clinching with him.

Yodwicha, on the other hand, is an extremely tough fighter. He didn’t let the fact that Saenchai was an established legend get to him in the fight. He wasn’t scared. He didn’t back off. He kept going forward despite getting hit. Every time Saenchai ploughed forward, Yodwicha hit right back, throwing Saenchai off his rhythm and forcing him to think twice before going in again.

Saenchai fakes the teep and goes in for the elbow, but Yodwicha blocks and fires right back with an elbow of his own without blinking. (Round 2)

Yodwicha counters with an elbow right after Saenchai lands a couple punches. (Round 2)

DISRUPTING BALANCE

Yodwicha also had great balance during the fight and Saenchai’s usual tripping/sweeping techniques simply weren’t working.

Saenchai tries to off-balance Yodwicha and fails. Yodwicha moves in and lands a few clean elbows on Saenchai. (Round 2)

 

Yodwicha giving Saenchai a taste of his own medicine, reversing an attempted sweep. (Round 2)

SUFFOCATING PRESSURE

The key to Yodwicha’s victory over the legend was his constant forward pressure. While Saenchai can throw kicks all day, he is not a fighter who will engage in entire rounds of clinching or close-range fighting.

This is what ultimately cost him the fight. He was not able to use all his weapons at his will. When Yodwicha closed the distance to what he was comfortable with, Saenchai was in a helpless situation. Simply put, Yodwicha didn’t give him space to breathe.

Yodwicha stalking Saenchai, then engaging in the clinch as Saenchai hits the ropes. This was a common tactic seen throughout the fight. (Round 2)

In the most important round by Thai standards, Yodwicha exerts nothing but complete aggression. (Round 4)

Yodwicha keeping his right leg up to block Saenchai’s left middle kick, then using a cross face technique to compromise Saenchai’s stance. He is able to knee Saenchai and Saenchai is almost defenseless. (Round 4)

 

FORWARD MARCH

Saenchai, visibly tired by the last round, was unable to keep away the relentless Yodwicha. At the beginning of the last round, Saenchai picked it up because he knew he was losing. Yodwicha, not missing a beat, continued his forward aggression. (Round 5)

Desperate for a last minute win via KO, Saenchai starts throwing kicks, which Yodwicha blocks and dodges. (Round 5)

Saenchai, realizing he is unable to win and with time running out, decides against expending more energy trying to knock out Yodwicha. Saenchai, frustrated, walks off the rest of the fight. (Round 5)


While aggression may seem like a somewhat obvious solution against a fighter who values their space, it’s not as simple in practice. Saenchai has faced a number of opponents who were aggressive and tried to knock him out. But none of them had the heart, tactics, toughness, or clinching ability that Yodwicha possesses. Yodwicha has more than proven himself that he deserves to be up there along with other Muay Thai legends.

Watch the epic, full fight here.


CLINCHING FOR MUAY THAI by Sean “Muay Thai Guy” Fagan

Stifle & stop your opponents dead in their tracks with a smothering clinch game.

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Angela Chang
Plant-based fighter, foodie, and aspiring physical therapist. Angela is currently living in Bangkok and training full time.







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