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Muay Thai is Not Growing in Popularity - Some Data

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#21
K. von Duuglas-Ittu

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There are rumors that Petchboonchu has been training MMA and may go pro. I think if anyone could show the world what Muay Thai has to offer its a guy like him. Maybe some waves will be made!

 

I think all these VERY old (by Thai standards, 300+ fight) names are not really the answer, Saenchai included. I do think Thai clinch at the deepest levels is a profound grappling art, but these guys don't have much tread on the tire. Petchboonchu even lost in the IFMAs against a strong Russian dude, including in the clinch at times, in a very unexciting fight. Not to say that he isn't amazing, but he isn't what he was.


All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. - Spinoza


#22
WaffleNinja

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I think all these VERY old (by Thai standards, 300+ fight) names are not really the answer, Saenchai included. I do think Thai clinch at the deepest levels is a profound grappling art, but these guys don't have much tread on the tire. Petchboonchu even lost in the IFMAs against a strong Russian dude, including in the clinch at times, in a very unexciting fight. Not to say that he isn't amazing, but he isn't what he was.

True, but I dont have much hope for a 20 year old muay Thai phenom suddenly leaving the sport for MMA. As for the Russian guy, the fight was at 65kg I'm pretty sure and that guy had a pretty good size advantage. Petchboonchu would probably compete at 135 if serious about mma. He is pretty worn and I don't see him becoming a superstar, but maybe he would become the champion of ONE C or WSOF.



#23
K. von Duuglas-Ittu

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True, but I dont have much hope for a 20 year old muay Thai phenom suddenly leaving the sport for MMA.

 

This is what I wonder. I do believe an elite Thai fighter would make a run at the UFC, if the money was there. Already we know of a young fighter who basically refused the Lumpinee and Rajadamnern path (belts, etc), and instead chose to fight for Thai Fight long term, which isn't really real Muay Thai at all, but more circus Muay Thai. Why? Because the financial security and opportunity was much better. IF, and I know that is a big if, but if the UFC money was there there could be the move of an elite, young Thai fighter, to the UFC.

This is the thing, my own opinion. The UFC is getting really stale, and it is only a matter of time before it's momentum dies out. It's core growth occurred under very different fighting set ups. The original thrill of MMA was seeing discipline versus discipline. What art could beat what art. As MMA itself has slowly begun to become it's own fight style, and as fighters who came from specific disciplines work to close the holes in their game, you are losing that specific discipline excitement and intrigue. When a fighter like McGregor comes along, he reignites the fire because he fights with a unique fighting style. But most of the matchups are relatively stale, with "complete" fighter fighting "complete" fighter, each of them staying away from the other (just to generalize).

This is the reason I believe that female MMA has taken off in the UFC, way beyond expectations and beyond Rousey. Female fighting is still relatively undeveloped. Almost all the top fighters are specialized in what they do well, and have fairly big weaknesses too, weaknesses that have to do with their original arts. Female fighting is back where male fighting was when the UFC was growing. It is still discipline vs discipline, to some degree.

Perhaps the UFC will realize that there is a country filled with 10,000 fighters of Muay Thai who fight with a very specific style, a style that is nothing like the Mooey Thai that the UFC has seen. There is a ready made market injection sitting there, true Muay Thai. There is the huge technical hurdle that such fighters would have to have a modicum of takedown defense, and ground defense, but I don't see it as impossible. Yeah, highly unlikely, but not impossible. Perhaps the UFC continues to grow stale with fighters circling each other over and over for 5 minutes at a time. Perhaps it realizes what made it exciting in the first place. Perhaps Thailand becomes a source for unique fighting styles, fighters with lots of ring experience, that re-energizes the sport. I honestly would like to not see it happen, but maybe.


All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. - Spinoza


#24
K. von Duuglas-Ittu

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Just tooling around and ran the trend data again for the United States and Muay Thai popularity. This month Muay Thai as a topic hit a 5 year low on the Trends index, in fact it was an all-time low.

Google-Trends-United-States-map.png

5 year data picture (above)

Google-Trends-United-States-Map-all-time

since 2004, above


All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. - Spinoza


#25
K. von Duuglas-Ittu

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A year later, just checking the trends. "Muay Thai" (as a sport) in October hit was at the lowest, World Wide, that it's been since 2004, in terms of search percentage interest:

Muay-Thai-November-2017-e1512034305465.p

 

In the United States it also hit the lowest point since 2004:

Muay-Thai-United-States-2017-e1512034421

 

If you want a point of comparison with another sport/art that got a big boost from MMA and the UFC, in the United States you can see the difference between Muay Thai and BJJ:

Muay-Thai-vs-BJJ-United-States-November-

 

If you are thinking seriously about the future Muay Thai, in the world, this is data that should be discussed. The trends continue.


  • dtrick924 likes this

All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. - Spinoza


#26
K. von Duuglas-Ittu

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There are some how look to Taekwondo's inclusion in the Olympics (for roughly 12 years as a demonstration sport, and then as a medal sport in 2000) as a model for the kind of leap Muay Thai might be able to make. And yes, Taekwondo has received plenty of criticism for how things unfolded. But, it's worth looking at how Muay Thai fairs against TKD in the world and in the US:

Taekwando-vs-Muay-Thai-2004-present-e151

 

Taekwando-vs-Muay-Thai-United-States-200


  • dtrick924 likes this

All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. - Spinoza






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