Who Can Beat Buakaw Banchamek? Here’s 5 Fighters I Believe That Could Take Down the Former K-1 Champ

Buakaw. We all know the name. From his legendary run during the iconic K-1 MAX tournaments, there is probably no fighter on the planet more synonymous with the art of “Muay Thai.” In Thailand, he is a celebrity. Abroad, he is one of the only Thai superstars known to even the most unenthusiastic layperson.

Of course, if you’ve followed Muay Thai for more than a few weeks you’re probably aware that there are vastly more skilled, vastly more experienced, and vastly more under-appreciated Thai fighters that deserve the pound-for-pound crown. That isn’t to say Buakaw isn’t a talented fighter. He is. For my money, he could probably still contend with the best at 70 kg, and possibly even reclaim his spot as #1 in the world. However, “here and now” is an ocean away from “what could be.”

Buakaw hasn’t fought high level opposition in over a year. His last decent match was a decision victory against Dhzabar Askerov, who himself is by no means on top the haystack. Since then he’s been surrounded by Yes-Men and adoring fans and competes selectively against lower ranked foreign competition in the extremely transparent Thai Fight Series. If the names of Mauro Serra, Tomoyuki Nishikawa, Toure Abdul, and Rustem Zaripov aren’t familiar to you, there’s good reason for that.

So who could beat the charismatic former K-1 Champion? In my opinion, quite a few people. Of course, like I said, Buakaw is still very, very good. But neglecting his training in favor of the spotlight and taking on weaker and weaker competition is not doing him any favors. Not to mention Buakaw is over 30 years old now, well past a typical Thai fighter’s prime. Here’s who I believe could dethrone the most well known nay muay in the world. Will any of these fights happen? Probably not. But sometimes we all need a bit of perspective.

1. Yodsanklai Fairtex

Yodsanklai has been on a roll lately. Yod completely changed his body prior to his fight with Kem Sitsongpeenong early this year. The Fairtex gym fighter obliterated Kem in the second round, before steamrolling Gregory Choplin at Lion Fight 8. In Full Thai rules, I don’t think Buakaw can stand up to the power Yod brings to the table.

2. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong

Sitthichai is a beast. He holds wins over the who’s who in 146 pound division, including Aikpracha, Iquezang, Petchasawin, and more. In his most recent outing he completely destroyed the highly rated Fabio Pinca at Best of Siam 3, and is scheduled to make his kickboxing debut at GLORY 7 Milan. Not only that but the “Killer Kid” is only 21 years old. Sitthichai is too good and too young for Buakaw to handle right now. The White Lotus may put up a good fight, but I don’t see him winning this one.

3. Aikpracha Meenayothin

Aikpracha is one of those Thai Fighters that people get excited about. He’s a cold blooded killer, straight down to the core. A former Lumpinee Champion, Aikpracha holds a bevy of nasty KO wins, including one spine-curdling head-kick over Frank Giorgi. I feel that Aikpracha’s clinch is far stronger than Buakaw’s and he could dominate the fight on the inside. A foreigner’s clinch will very rarely stand up to that of a Lumpinee champion’s- something Buakaw hasn’t faced in a long, long time.

4. Murthel Groenhart

Ah, the kickboxers. It’d be a shame if I didn’t include at least a few right? Some of you might disagree with good ol’ Murthel Groenhart being on this list, but I have my reasons. The 2012 K-1 MAX Champion is a horrible match-up for Buakaw. Firstly, Groenhart is huge. He looks big at 75-77 kg and easily fights above 70 kg. Not only that, but a lot of power comes with that size. He nearly decapitated Yashuhiro Kido, beat Mike Zambidis into surrender, and KO’d Artur Kyshenko in one of the most violent K-1 MAX tournament runs ever. Buakaw’s greatest weakness in kickboxing has always been his hands, and Murthel brings the heat. Groenhart also has stamina for days, and would be able to push Buakaw to his breaking point over the course 3 rounds. I have no doubt that Buakaw would be feeling his age in this fight. I’d be surprised if he made it to a decision.

5. Giorgio Petrosyan

You knew this was coming. Giorgio Petrosyan has sat atop the middleweight kickboxing rankings for years, and not without good reason. He faced Buakaw once before, back in 2006 when he was 21 years old. The fight was ruled a draw. Keep in mind that since then Petrosyan has not lost once, beating literally everyone worth note in the 70 kg division. He’s only improved over the past seven years, while Buakaw is in decline. From a purely objective perspective, it seems difficult to discover any area where the Thai would have the advantage. I’d even pick Petrosyan to beat Buakaw in Full Thai rules, but I’d doubt we’d ever see that fight happen, despite rumors of it late last year.

There are plenty more 70 kg fighters from both kickboxing and Muay Thai that could possibly end Buakaw’s night, but these are the 5 I’d feel most confident staking money on. As I mentioned earlier, Buakaw was a great K-1 champion and is still an amazing fighter. That being said, his time has passed. Hopefully he can give the fans the fights we all want to see before the opportunity vanishes for everyone.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Other


Connect with us on any of our social profiles below.

22 Comments on “Who Can Beat Buakaw Banchamek? Here’s 5 Fighters I Believe That Could Take Down the Former K-1 Champ”

  1. Mike Coleman
    March 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    He has been in the game for awhile now. Naturally, it might be time…too bad Masato retired. Granted, same would probably go for him too.

  2. White lotus never dies
    March 26, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    Buakaw still kicks ass! He still got a lot of fight in him, and now he finally gets to enjoy his career since he’s not with Por Prom….

  3. March 28, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    this is real talk

  4. March 28, 2013 at 2:15 am #

    KARIM GHAJJI knocked down AIKPRACHA in france last month at “la nuit des titans” check this out first round so believe me ok i’m fairplay i give him second round buakaw!!! this is the link:


    look at this fight as well: IDOUCHE LAHOUCINE vs YAK DAM 10days ago in france:


  5. March 28, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    Karim Ghaji is a great fighter, and the only reason I didn’t include him on the list was because Aikpracha was already severely hurt from his fight with Yury Bessmertny earlier in the night. There’s a good chance Ghaji could win against Buakaw. Maybe I should make a second list sometime.

    I hadn’t seen the Payakdam fight. Thanks for the link.

  6. March 28, 2013 at 2:40 am #

    i’m belong to te french promotion crew hopefully karim ghajji with 2 others will be in the next thaifight in april…if they really wanna see some real thaifight or they still wanna continue potatoeshipping around!!! lets wait and see

    • March 28, 2013 at 2:53 am #

      That would be awesome. Keep us posted please!

  7. amar
    April 26, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    There is lot of pressure from Thai sponsors and Thai government on Buakaw not to accept tough fights, it’s his management who decides whom he is going to fight, Not Bukaw . He doesn’t really care about his opponent (but Thai sports minister yes  ) . Thai fighters are not used to choose their fighters, this is not their stuff and Buakaw is not exceptional.
    Singha , TOP king and Thai government who decide whom Buakaw going to Fight…

  8. May 14, 2013 at 4:34 am #

    all o this heisa about Buakaw is the result of jealousy inside the competition Buakaw has not to prove anithing he did fight the best western fighters under their rules but not one of the glory or petrosytan camp want to fight under thai rules so for me they do not count and the thays you mention why would they fight buakaw they know they have all western fighters challenging them they have afull agenda and buakaw is still a great fighter together with the other thai fighters they keep the standarts an level of skill and sportmanship on a high top so my opinion you westerners want to fight bukaw +? now its time to fight thai rules and then we will tajk again buakaw is still one of the best

  9. June 3, 2013 at 5:18 am #

  10. mai thai
    June 14, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    he hasn’t fought any one real in a few years now. I am sure the list of who could beat him is larger than this. his career has become a joke

  11. fei long
    July 24, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    Except for the black dude, everyone is a south paw. The only reason why buakaw had a draw with the italian was because he was a south paw. I do agree with you about the other dudes having a chance beating buakaw but cmon man the black dude has height advantage also reach advantage. It looked like his arms was holding other arms thats how long his arm is. He should fight in heavier weights.
    It was awesome watching his fights over the years but youre right hes in retirement age. These young south paw dudes are fierce and up and coming.

    • September 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

      He is not Italian. He is Armenian.

  12. Ohms
    September 20, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    “the most well known NAY MUAY in the world”

    If you were referring to “Boxer” in Thai, it is “NAK MUAY” with K not Y.

  13. Larsenator
    September 20, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    What’s the point in lists like this one: Isn’t that what fight sports are all about: The excitement about each and every fight because you do not really know who is going to win? :)

  14. Mike PL
    September 20, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    I think that Giorgio Petrosyan or Robin van Roosmalen could beat Buakaw and it should be a great fights. Also fights between Yodsanklai or Groenhart could be awesome but in my humble opinion Petrosyan could win by decision and Roosmalen might knock him out. Cheers

  15. September 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Reblogged this on The Fighters Life and commented:
    Great read!

  16. Alexander
    November 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    It’s weird that buakaw is on a 23 fight win streak while still being considered on a decline. I don’t disagree he’s past his prime, but it’s nice to see him still winning.

  17. Alex
    November 28, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    what is the song in the fith video?

  18. December 22, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Its easy to talk, but give the boy buakaw credit he has done evrything and say what you all want he is special and especially his fighting style, no one can take that away from him. Offcause he can be beaten, he is already 30 yrs. But still he is the most special fighter of all thaiboxers around the world and won so much already that can never be taken away from him.you talk about roosemalen, petrojean, murthel etc say what yiu want but he has beaten the hardest hitting kicker nicky holsken. What bout holsken you considering him peanut, give me abreak holsken destroyd murthel groenhart and can easely defeat the others boy. Dont takk trash if you have something good to say and dont speculate chunk. I like buakaw because of his skills and fighting style outstanding beautifull style nobody other has it.

  19. February 1, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    Could ya Could WIN this is here the QUESTION???If you’re a Fighter(i’ve been)and you fight against a LEGEND like Buakaw than isn’t easy to WIN.SO why of this Fighter you named don’t FIGHT against Buakaw???Aahhaa now we come to the Point:Is it Fear,is it Money,is it Respect or is it may them can lose their Titles.My answer:It’s all of this what i’ve written and Believe me Buakaw still have the Pump to fight all of them and Win…of course a Lucky Punch can change it all but not with an experience FIGHTER like Buakaw…just saying.In my opinion there’s just 1 Fighter if he were still alive and in the same age “Ramon Dekkers” could have a change because he was the Gamest Fighter ever,any other you named aren’t Game for me if you know what i mean.Thank you…

  20. March 11, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    Looks like Buakaw is fightings Fabio Pinca June 14, ’14, which won’t be too much of a scrub fight. And while it’s not a good way to do analysis, if he loses we can maybe assume since Sitthicha beat Pinca, Buakaw would have no chance.

%d bloggers like this: