P4P Top Ten Female Muay Thai Fighters in the World
Lists and rankings are good for a sport, and female Muay Thai on the world spectrum dramatically lacks any kind of cohesive vision of even who the best fighters in the world are (a bit on world titles, and other measures below). If you can’t even picture who is really, really good, and think about who might be better than whom, a large part of ambition and dreaming is lost on fighters, and on youth entering the sport aiming at excellence. The purpose of this list is really to just start somewhere. It’s my personal list. I try to be fair, but I do have a bias toward Thai-style scoring, because to me that is what Muay Thai actually is. This means that there is a fair amount of extrapolation that has to be done because less and less are the top female Muay Thai fighters even able to fight in their sport in full 5-round professional rules fights. I have to make guesses from rule sets and promotions that are not what I’m measuring here (I leave MMA performance out because it is just too much of a stretch). If you can’t see the embed, you can see (and comment) the list here: Best Female Muay Thai Fighters in the World
P4P Top 10 Female Muay Thai Fighters in the World
The best female fighters in the world, pound for pound, ranked by weighting: recent activity, big wins last 2 years, big losses last 2 years, career accomplishments, fighting up. This is a full rules professional Muay Thai list, so projections from kickboxing and amateur performances are necessary. Projections from WMMA are tenuous at best, and not included. The list will be updated.
pros- two huge wins for Sofia in the last year beating Iman Barlow for the WMC title, and then beating Chommanee for IMFA Gold. A Swedish star who has won championships regularly in both pro and amateur rule sets. Has a fighting style for all distances. Looked like she was beating Tiffany van Soest in all the Muay Thai skill set areas and distances in Glory.
cons - has not fought top Thais as a pro, largely confining herself to the European circuit or amateur tournaments, until her recent Glory fight vs Tiffany (loss).
Overview - No other female fighter accomplished what Sofia has done this year or more, beating an almost untouchable western opponent in Iman, and then taking out Chommanee, one of the more feared Thai opponents. One of the most difficult things in a list like this is that so few top Thais and top westerners regularly mix. Sofia beat one of each in succession. Her split decision Glory loss to Tiffany I really don't count against her, as in my eye she owned the "Muay Thai" dimension of the fighting, and this is Muay Thai ranking.
pros - huge win vs Tiffany van Soest this year (kickboxing), follow up on her other big name victory vs Iman Barlow (kickboxing) almost 4 years ago.
cons- until recently almost fought exclusively in the European circuit, has not fought top Thais. Fights from more of a Savate based, kickboxing style.
Overview - She's beaten two the best female fighters in the world in Iman Barlow and Tiffany van Soest, at points in their career where they seemed like they may be unbeatable, giving her big pelts, and she did so using techniques and spacing that cross over to Muay Thai scoring effectively. Has not fought under Muay Thai rules for 3 years. Purposely or not, has missed fighting top Thais when in Thailand. I do not count her recent split decision Glory loss to Jady Menezes heavily.
pros - one of the most difficult fighters of Thailand, has had an unblemished record for a long time. Possesses a wicket lead elbow, and is a master of distance and counter-striking. kicks. In her career she has a winning record vs Loma Lookboonmee, something no other fighter can boast of (with a weight advantage though), and beat her in their most recent match (amateur rules).
cons - Fights top fighters under full rules very infrequently, does not fight up. Was not selected as part of the Thai National Team in recent years.
overview - may very well be the best female Muay Thai fighter in the world, but relative inactivity against top talent and modest match ups keep us from knowing.
pros- without a doubt the best female clinch fighter in the world. Over 200 professional Muay Thai fights she's walked through most of the competition at her weight. This year she easily took Gold at the IFMAs, moving up in weight. Loma also willingly has fought up.
cons - lost in the Gold Medal round at the IFMAs in 2017, struggling with the scoring, lost in amateurs vs Lommanee in the year in Thailand. Lifetime has a losing record vs Lommanee (giving up weight). Is seriously devoting herself to a transition to MMA so no longer seems poised to fight professional Muay Thai.
Overview - past or present, no female Muay Thai fighter has possessed the high level clinch techniques and skills of Loma, which puts her at great advantage. She's brilliant at managing rounds and fight narrative. P4P it could be that no fighter in the world could match her. Her only "big" pro losses came at the hands of knockout artist Erika Kamimura in Japan (giving up weight, and being quite young), and in England vs Denise Mellor (under perhaps "western" style scoring she did not understand), both many years ago. Her work transiting to MMA may have made her an even more potent Muay Thai fighter, as it may diversify her already honed skills.
pros - Iman has had a career like no other westerner. She's "fought like a Thai" since she was a girl but has done so in the west, compiling an impressive record of over 100 fights and very few losses. She has a relentless, high-tempo style that overwhelms opponents. In the last year she went all the way to Australia and beat the very notable Yolanda Schmidt on her turf, not easy to do. Career wins against strong opponents like: Ashley Nichols, Jeri Sitzes, Maria Lobo, Meryem Uslu.
cons - The only significant blemish on her record was a loss to Anissa Meksen in 2014 (kickboxing), until she also lost to Sofia Olofsson in 2017 for the WMC title. Does not fight top Thais.
Overview - Iman's one of a kind with an incredible career, mowing through opponents at unheard of rates for a westerner fighting in western promotions. But, since scoring a draw against 16 year old Sawsing in Thailand (2012), she's not returned to face a top Thai in the country.
pros - dynamic, aggressive style, has dominated the female Muay Thai scene in the US. In her career has beaten very solid western fighters Meyrum Uslu, Ashley Nichols, Bernise Alldis, Cindy Huyer, Lucy Payne, Alexis Rufus, Jeri Sitzes and Sofia Olofsson (a strong win in kickboxing rules).
cons - has not fought Muay Thai in over two years, lost this year to Anissa Meksen (kickboxing), is more of a Karate based fighter stylistically, and now is also focused on MMA. Her tough fight with Sofia under Glory rules was an excellent performance, but in the Muay Thai skill sets and distances she was out-shone.
Overview: One of the most exciting female fighters in the planet, but she has not faced top Thais, she struggled with Anissa Meksen in the pocket, and does not appear to be a strong clinch fighter. She fights with more of a Karate base, likes to defend with distance, using a combination heavy Dutch style which is maybe thrives best in K1.
pros - over 200 fights as a professional, and in her career as a teen has defeated some big western names: Alexis Rufus, Ashley Nichols, Farida Okiko, Janice Lyn, and drew with Iman Barlow (at 16 years of age). Aggressive, tough-as-nails fighter. Last big win: beat the powerful Candice Mitchell giving up several kilos in the ring.
cons - struggled under IFMA rules, which differ, in recent years producing early exits in those championships. Lost to Candice Mitchell and Ashley Nichols under pro rules in the last two years.
Overview - definitely still one of the top 10 Female Muay Thai fighters in the world, with a tough hardened style that differs from many more defensive Thai female fighters. It is said she's lost the edge after becoming a mother a few years ago, fighting less, training less, after thriving as a teen fighter, but she is still fighting at a world class level.
pros - Probably the best female Muay Thai fighter in the world at her weight. Beat the formidable Claire Baxter. Quickly beat Martyna Krol this year. Tough, rugged fighting style, comfortable with hands and in the clinch.
cons - lost to Faaseethong in Thailand. Due to her size the opponent pool is limited. Is making the transition back to MMA.
Overview- A lack of consistent fighting opportunities has guided Kaitlin back to MMA, though she's still fighting as a pro in Muay Thai. Maybe the most underrated known female Muay Thai fighter in the world.
pros - over 150 fights as a pro, one of the most technically dynamic female fighters of Thailand, for some time "the fighter to beat" who often fought up against top westerners. This year beat top Thai Namdtan Por. Muangphet and Lucy Payne in the World Muay Thai Angels tournament.
cons - lost twice to Yolanda Schmidt (once in the IFMAs, once in the WMTA tournament). Lost in this year's IFMA Gold Medal round vs Sofia Olofsson. May no longer train or fight regularly enough to hold elite position. Has professed to being very confused by IFMA type scoring.
overview - was left off the 2017 Thai National Team, does not train or fight regularly so appears to be far from sharp. Still though possesses some of the most beautiful technique Thailand has produced, a stylistic nightmare to face with a switch-stance, walking attack that is ever changing distances. Two years ago was probably the best female fighter in the world, she remains on the list due to the sheer magnitude of her muay.
pros - phenom fighter in Thailand, both in terms of fame and skills. Possesses techniques and timing from every distance, and probably over 200 career fights. Became famous fighting and beating boys on National TV as a child. Has joined the Thai National Boxing team last year, so her hands may have magnified her prowess. Dominant win on Thai Fight. Will fight up. Beat Faa Chiang Rai when Faa was one of the best at Jee Jaa's weight. Beat Stamp Fairtex fighting up.
cons - ran out of opponents, more or less, took a fight in Japan a few years ago, fighting up in weight, and lost. Rumored to have lost in central Thailand when she was making her transition to boxing. Has been reported to have dodged a match up with Loma before Loma made the transition to MMA. Does not fight frequently at all. Has not faced top western talent.
Overview - A fighter of incredible potential, who may even have once had the clinch game to nullify Loma, but like many Thai phenom female fighters coming into their prime in their early teens the loss of opportunity and a pool of opponents may have diminished her ceiling. Joining the Thai Boxing Team might have expanded her skill set and raised her ceiling. Hard to know, because she seldom fights.
I do follow female Muay Thai pretty closely, but it is possible that I’ve missed some important details, among the other fighters considered for the top 10: Thanonchanok Kaewsamrit, Amy Pirnie, Ashley Nicholas, Nong Biew, Yolanda Schmidt, Buakaw Sutai, Maesa Tor. Buamat, Faa Chiangrai.
A Little About Other Measures
Sadly, the major sanctioning Muay Thai bodies do not accurately, or even refreshedly keep rankings of female fighters in their weight classes – the WPMF once tried, but hasn’t updated their website rankings in perhaps 2 years or more (as of writing this their ranking website pages don’t even work), the WMC and WBC have no published rankings – which means that World Titles are pretty much obsolete for determining comparable achievement in the sport. World Titles perhaps were always or often political for female Muay Thai, to some degree, but in the last 5 years things have really degraded into almost complete meaninglessness. If there are no rankings, there is no actual champion. In Thailand it is pretty common to just make up a title fight between two decent fighters, but this is really not much different than a “good fight” at any stadium. On the other hand IFMA Championships are interesting tests, but the rule set there is much geared toward International Kickboxing standards, and has confused most Thais fighting in it. Additionally, this just is not professional Muay Thai, any more than maybe Olympic boxing may be professional boxing.
A note on Thai female fighters included in the list. I think it’s important that any list of the best female Muay Thai fighters in the world include or at least take into consideration Thai female fighters. They are the most skilled fighters in the world, often training and fighting from a very early age. The biggest problem is that when these fighters reach their mid teens they start fighting less frequently (waiting for bigger paydays or sidebets) and the talent pool they fight in gets smaller and smaller. So small in fact that their considerable skills may cease growing, or even diminish. Also, because these top fighters often have been training and fighting since young they can just stop training regularly when older. Male Thais their age will usually have a steady stream increasingly difficult opponents upon which they can sharpen themselves, so male teens will find themselves in camps more or less always training. Top female fighters, in the same gym ethic, will simply not train for long periods of time because they have no fights. When assessing the Best Female Fighters in the world, the inclusion of the Thais always has this caveat. My suspicion is that if Thai female fighters had the consistent training and regular fights of their older, western counterparts they would regularly outclass them. But, these dulling off-periods have to also be included in the assessment of current skill.
If you’d like to see some fight video of some of these fighters and others you can check out this Top Female Fights thread in the Roundtable forum.