Choosing the best Muay Thai knockouts is a significant challenge for one reason—if Muay Thai is great at one thing, it is producing jawdropping, forget what you were saying, I-think-he's-dead knockouts. The kncockouts listed below are some of the most incredible knockouts the sport has produced yet, but these are just the icing on a beautiful, violent cake. How's that for a metaphor?
- Anderson Silva vs. Tony Fryklund. Ok, technically this isn't a Muay Thai fight. It's an MMA fight, but it's contested entirely in the striking realm by two Muay Thai specialists. Of course, applying the term "specialist" to both individuals seems a bit unfair considering just how one-sided the fight was. If Fryklund is a specialist, Silva is a master, and midway through the first round he proved it with a devastating back elbow knockout. Silva wrote in his book "Striking for MMA" that he first thought of trying the move after seeing action star Tony Jaa use it in the movie "Ong Bak". He had to practice it privately because his coaches told him it was too impractical to use. See also — irony.
- Mike Zambidis vs. Kid Yamamoto. Nothing dramatic or flashy to see here, unless you consider a blistering right hand from hell flashy. This fight proves that even without their knees, elbows and kicks, Muay Thai fighters can throw leather with the best of them.
- Buakaw por Pramuk vs. Tony Imada. This knockout is unique in that its victim was still awake the whole time. Toby Imada was a gutsy underdog who clawed his way into a 2010 match with multiple time world champion Buakaw por Pramuk. To his credit, he fought his heart out against his far more experienced opponent, but the outcome was never really in doubt. The fight was a clinic in how to use a Thai kick to attack the lead leg of an opponent. Imada's legs were chopped out from under him over and over again, pure grit the only thing keeping him in the fight at all. Finally, his legs gave out completely and he physically could no longer stand up in the ring.
- Mirko 'Cro Cop' Filopivic vs. Ricky Nickolson. No list of the best Muay Thai knockouts could be complete without a headkick or two. If one man could be called the master of the headkick, few would argue that it wouldn't be Mirko Filopivic. His record is filled with highlight reel knockouts, but his fight with Ricky Nickolson in 1999 is a perfect example of the pure viciousness he could put into a headkick—viciousness that has won him thousands of fans worldwide.
- Remy Bonjasky vs. Peter Varga. The knee strike is one of Muay Thai's trademark techniques, one that has generated knockouts galore throughout the sport's history. Few knee knockouts are as dramatic, however, as the devastating jumping knee that ended Peter Varga's night in 2000 when he fought Remy Bonjasky. After all, how do you make a really cool move even cooler? Do it while flying through the air.