World Lethwei Championship (WLC) has ignited the world’s excitement for Burmese bare-knuckle boxing and has been going strong since their start in early 2017.
Showcasing some of the world’s most fearless fighters, WLC has put together eleven events that have shown the grit and perseverance of their Lethwei competitors.
Using headbutts and competing with just gauze or tape to wrap their hands, Lethwei has been crowned “the most brutal martial art in the world,” taking the world by storm on international platforms like UFC Fight Pass.
If you are just getting started with Lethwei, take a closer look at our list of the three greatest WLC bouts of all time.
Sasha Moisa vs. Artur Saladiak
Ukraine’s Sasha Moisa and Poland’s Artur Saladiak had both excelled in multiple martial arts before taking on the ultimate challenge in WLC.
Defending his belt for the first time, Saladiak had a tough test ahead of him in the calm and collected Ukrainian. Moisa had already had a splendid year and was looking to add WLC gold to his collection.
Remembering the title fight, Moisa says he and his team studied Saladiak to be able to find a route to victory.
“We watched him fight, learned his technique, and prepared only for victory,” Moisa said about his preparation. “I was training normally, but added some headbutt techniques and more defensive techniques.
The constant pressure of Saladiak and Moisa’s technical counter-punching delivered an action-packed title bout. Even though the Polish champion became more and more bloodied up, he kept charging forward, looking to put Moisa to sleep during the entirety of the match.
“Artur is a very strong guy,” Moisa shared. “I hit him with a few strong punches, but he got up every time and continued the fight.”
Two power punchers staying in the pocket, firing away for a shot at WLC gold? Sign us up! Check out the fight in the video above.
Mite Yine vs. Antonio Faria
Portugal’s reigning WLC Welterweight Champion Antonio Faria made a big splash in 2018 when he took on the far more experienced Mite Yine in his debut.
Competing in the lightweight division at WLC 5: Knockout War, Faria and Mite Yine instantly went to war, pushing a tremendous pace that had the crowd roaring. This instant classic would be end up being an absolute barnburner between two warriors that refused to take a step backwards.
Faria displayed an aggressiveness and grit that would later take him to the very top of WLC, and together with Mite Yine, they brought out the best in each other.
Too Too vs. Michael Badato
Multiple-times Australian Muay Thai champion Michael “Badass” Badato got thrown in at the deep end when he made his WLC debut at WLC 3: Legendary Champions.
Taking on the reigning WLC middleweight champion Too Too, Badato got off to a good start, keeping his distance and finding his rhythm. But, the experienced and powerful Too Too stood his ground and showed why he is widely considered as one of the sport’s bests.
In the second round, Too Too opened up a cut above Badato’s eye and kept landing the more powerful strikes, while Badato impressed with his composure, technique and perseverance.
A five-round war, this main event displayed the warrior spirit of both fighters and the final result could have gone either way. Afterwards, Badato was more than happy with his performance:
“That was a really hard hard fight,” Badato said. “I really put my heart on the line. It was really good, I made history. I was the first Aussie to fight for the title. My dreams aren’t gone. I am still going to be pursuing my dreams and representing Australia.
“There were times when we both felt like giving up. I thought he was going to give up, I thought I was going to give up. It was a heart-to-heart fight. I had a taste of it, I had a taste of blood, and I want more.”
“The Philippines is a hotbed for combat sports and the fans are some of the most passionate in the world. Filipino combat sports athletes have all the skills to translate well into Lethwei, and I truly believe that there could be a Filipino world champion in Lethwei in the near future,” - Gerald Ng
The Welterweight division in World Lethwei Championship is probably the best in the promotion, with enough stars to make a 16-man grand prix. It features local stars like Yan Naing Tun, Tha Pyay Nyo, Saw Ba Oo and Soe Lin Oo, as well as international superstars like Cambodia’s Roeung Sophorn, Italy’s Samuel Toscano and Uzbekistan’s Shokrukh Kholmurodov.
It appears a grudge match is being set up over in England by two of World Lethwei Championship’s top Light Middleweights. Overtime Heroics Lethwei posted a video about Artur Saladiak’s Light Middleweight World Lethwei Championship winning sequence where he knocked out challenger Saw Ba Oo to become the first World Lethwei Champion at that weight class.
If you are staying home and craving premium combat sports content, you can look towards the world of lethwei. Here are three of the best lethwei fights to get you acquainted with the Burmese martial art.
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