Will Saenchai Ever Compete in MMA?
If you follow Muay Thai then there’s no doubt you’ve heard about Saenchai, arguably now of the best P4P Thai fighters of all time, making a potential move to MMA.
The announcement was made on his Facebook page earlier this year and hardcore fans everywhere leapt into the air with excitement. After all; Saenchai has unbelievably creative combos, multiple Lumpinee titles under his belt and a list of accomplishments unlike anyone else of this era.
Putting it simply; he’s undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the world, and after gaining the opportunity to train with Georges St-Pierre at Tristar Gym, it was finally looking like a “real” Muay Thai fighter was going to make an impression on the UFC.
Saenchai appeared in a video in February this year calling out ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor,
“He’s got pretty good hands, [but] if he were to fight a real Muay Thai fighter then he would have no chance of winning”.
When asked what would happen if he fought him, Saenchai went on to say,
“Well, bring it on. I would win”.
Confident words; however at 36 years old, is it too late for Saenchai to make such a bold move?
Don’t get me wrong, he’s definitely still in his prime fighting years – you only need to look at Anderson Silva to see how dominant an older fighter can be in MMA. However, you do have to consider the years of training needed in other disciplines such as BJJ and wrestling to even contend with fighters in the UFC.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has notoriously strict grading and an extremely lengthy training time – especially when you consider it takes 10 years to achieve black belt status!
After getting a good grounding in other martial arts Saenchai would likely be well into his forties, and definitely past his prime. Any intelligent fighter would go into a fight against Saenchai with the game plan to take him to the ground and keep him there.
It would definitely be interesting to see if Saenchai’s extraordinary striking abilities are enough to defend against an aggressive grappler. After watching countless clips suggesting Saenchai actually lives in the Matrix, I’d definitely say it was possible!
Considering neither Conor McGregor, the current Featherweight Champion or the UFC have yet to comment on recent developments, I think it’s safe to say we’re still a long way off getting to see Saenchai do his thing in the cage. At the end of the day, the UFC is an organisation that’s out to make money, and since most UFC fans may not even have heard of Saenchai, we best not get our hopes up just yet.
If any fighter was foolish enough to stand and bang with him, I think we all know what the outcome would be. Hopefully we will get a chance to see him in the octagon soon and regardless of the outcome, it would certainly be an unmissable fight.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.
- Matt started training in Muay Thai at the age of 18 and was instantly hooked. After training in Thailand during the summer of 2014, Matt was given instructor status under Phraya Pichai Camps International in the UK and now teaches regularly in Birmingham.