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25th Mar 2016

The world’s greatest Muay Thai fighter drops biggest hint yet about joining the UFC

This guy is a machine...

Ben Kenyon

One of the greatest ever Muay Thai champions has hinted he is ready to fight in the UFC.

Saenchai is Thailand’s pound-for-pound king having won the prestigious Lumpinee Championship title in four different weight divisions, along with the WMC and WBC World titles.

The legendary Thai fighter is on a 17-fight winning streak (which incredibly only stretches back to October 2014) but it now looks like he’s got his heart set on the world’s biggest MMA organisation.

The 35-year-old has obviously been keeping an eye on the game, commenting on the rise of Conor McGregor – saying his kicks were average and even suggesting he would fight him.

But a post on his Facebook, with him in the UFC’s Reebok fight gear, all-but confirms he’s ready to step into the Octagon.

Do you think the world is ready for this? Saenchai, the #1 pound for pound Muay Thai fighter in the UFC? Tristar…

Posted by Saenchai on Thursday, 24 March 2016

Interestingly the famous Tristar coach Firas Zahabi and former UFC champion Georges St Pierre are tagged in the post, with fans sure he will be training at the respected Montreal gym.

Muay Thai is one of the core disciplines in MMA fighting. Exponents including former champions Jose Aldo and Anderson Silva are prime examples of how brutally effective Thai boxing is as a martial art.

Former featherweight champion and pound-for-pound great Aldo particularly is known for his deadly use of leg kicks and knees which originate from Muay Thai.

But Saenchai, who has fought in every division from flyweight to welterweight, would probably be the first fighter from Thailand to appear in the UFC if he is signed up by Dana White.

MMA is relatively new in the South East Asian nation whose culture and tradition is dominated by Thai Boxing – the Science of the Eight Limbs.

While greats like Buakaw branched out to fight in K1, most stay true to Thai sport.

But with increasing fight earnings, global exposure and the introduction of flyweight and bantamweight divisions to the UFC, heads are obviously starting to turn in Thailand.

It’s without doubt that Saenchai’s striking and stand-up game would be first class. But he would quickly have to get to grips with more alien elements of MMA like BJJ and wrestling if he were to succeed.

For fans of the sport he would be an exciting fighter to watch – his kicks are incredible, as is his showmanship in the ring. But for the UFC he could present a big opportunity to crack open the market in fight-mad Thailand.