Muay Thai and MMA are two of the two most popular combat sports globally. They both have their own unique set of rules and techniques, but they also share a lot of similarities. This article will compare and contrast these two martial arts and see which one comes out on top!
The answer depends on what you are looking for. For example, in a street fight, we believe that an MMA fighter would win since he would have the upper hand on the ground. If we are talking purely about striking technique and power, then the Muay Thai fighters have the upper hand.
Muay Thai is a martial art that originates from Thailand. It is also known as the “art of eight limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. Muay Thai training focuses on stand-up striking, but it also includes some clinching techniques. On the other hand, MMA is a relatively new sport that combines various disciplines such as Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, and many more.
When it comes to training styles, Muay Thai and MMA are very different. Muay Thai training typically involves a lot of drilling and sparring. Since Muay Thai has no grappling elements, the fighters can primarily focus on developing their striking and clinching technique. This helps fighters develop their timing and accuracy and a solid rhythm that can help them with their endurance during a fight.
MMA training, on the other hand, tends to be more varied. Fighters might do some grappling one day and striking the next. They might do both striking and grappling techniques on the same day. It is logical that MMA fighters have many more techniques to practice and learn. This stretches out their available learning time and technique development potential.
Some MMA fighters focus mostly on striking while only learning the basics of wrestling and grappling. The reason for that is they believe their striking will help them neutralize their opponent before the opponent can take them down. This is a very risky game plan since it can backfire quite quickly, but some fighters make it work. Other MMA fighters try to learn all the elements of MMA. A prime example would be Alexander Volkanovski or Valentina Shevchenko, who are both highly skilled in striking and wrestling alike.
Who Is More Skilled, A Muay Thai Fighter Or An MMA Fighter?
The answer to this question is not as simple as a straight yes or no. Both Muay Thai and MMA fighters are incredibly skilled athletes, but they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Both kinds of fighters are very athletic and strong. Both work on their endurance and try to condition their bodies as much as possible.
The difference comes down to the ruleset in which the fighters would have to compete against each other. If the fighters would compete in a kickboxing match, then the Muay Thai fighter would probably come on top. On the other hand, if the rules would allow for takedowns and submissions, the MMA fighter with even the most basic understanding of wrestling and grappling would probably come out on top. But in the world of martial arts, there is no such thing as a “sure thing.”
Rodtang vs. DJ
The perfect example of what we just talked about was the match between Demetrious Johnson and Rodtang. DJ is an excellent MMA fighter with a wide range of skills in striking, wrestling, and grappling. Rodtang is a Muay Thai legend who destroys everyone in his path.
The rules in this match were mixed, meaning the first and third rounds were Muay Thai rules while the second and fourth rounds were MMA rules. Rodtang knew he needed to finish DJ before the second round in this match because if he allowed DJ to take him down, it would probably be game over. And this is exactly what happened. Rodtang came out hungry for blood in the first round; however, the skilled DJ kept his cool and held his ground. He survived and even put up a show in the first round. As soon as the second round started, Rodtang became more defensive, but DJ still managed to grab ahold of a takedown and finish the fight via a rear-naked choke.
Muay Thai vs. MMA: Which Is More Popular?
MMA gained a significant following with the rise of UFC. The Gracie family, who created Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), became famous for their success in early UFC events. BJJ is a core component in many MMA fighters’ gameplans. Muay Thai has seen a recent surge in popularity due to its effectiveness in striking stand-up exchanges in MMA. While both sports are quite popular, MMA is more widely known and accepted than Muay Thai.
Also worth noting is that MMA fighters gain more popularity and, therefore, a bigger paycheck in the west. This is due to the fact that MMA is more popular in the west than Muay Thai. In Thailand, however, it is the opposite; Muay Thai fighters are more popular than MMA fighters, and they earn a bigger paycheck accordingly.
What is interesting is that we have seen a hybrid of these two combat sports. A Muay Thai match that is fought with MMA gloves and in the ring. This is a very fun and unique combat sport garnering more and more fans around the world. We believe that this sort of Muay Thai might even capture the attention of the US audience, which is keener on MMA than Muay Thai.
So, which one is better? Muay Thai or MMA? To be honest, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to focus on stand-up striking, then Muay Thai is probably the better option for you. However, if you’re interested in a more well-rounded approach to combat sports, then MMA might be a better choice. Ultimately, the decision is up to you! Thanks for reading!