It is of no surprise that over the last 12 months, that the World Lethwei Championship (WLC)’s popularity has skyrocketed. With TV rights with Canal+, and recently UFC Fight Pass, Lethwei has finally made it to the everyday man’s TV screens, and what is there not to like? Unlike other combat sports, Lethwei permits the use of all 9 limbs. Yes, you heard me, head, elbows, fists, knees and feet, what else could one want from a combat sport? Did I mention that it’s bare-knuckle?
For those new to the world of Lethwei, I have compiled a list of 3 fights that I believe will give you the best feel for Lethwei in its truest form.
Dave Leduc vs Seth Baczynski
Prior to this fight, Dave Leduc relinquished all of his Lethwei titles to sign with World Lethwei Championship and was met with a huge test for his debut.
His opponent was UFC veteran Seth Baczynski.
Baczynski came into this fight full of heart and bad intentions, but he was no match for the experience and skillset of Leduc, who used his full range and unorthodox elbows to keep Baczynski on his toes and canvas. After four knockdowns, the referee called off the match and Dave Leduc became the Cruiserweight World Lethwei Champion.
Antonio Faria vs Mite Yine
Mite Yine was an Asian Games gold medallist and a big fan favourite among fight fans for his pressing. His full-on action fighting style welcomed the debut of Portugal’s Antonio Faria.
Both fighters gave their all to this fight, throwing everything they had at each other, punches, kicks, elbows, knees, and headbutts, with no taking of a back step. Even though it was Faria’s debut he used pinpoint elbow counters to eventually cut Mite Yine, and the doctor jumped in to stop the fight. The win springboarded Faria straight into the title picture, this fight is widely regarded as one of the greatest fights to have graced a Lethwei ring.
Artur Saladiak vs Sasha Moisa
This fight was the co-main event to the first fight on our list between Leduc and Baczynski. Artur Saladiak came into the fight as the reigning Light Middleweight World Lethwei Champion after missing the best part of a year due to a torn ACL. The challenger was Sasha Moisa, who came into the fight on the back of a stunning knockout of Shwe Yar Mann.
Moisa came into the fight looking to finish early, landing a perfect 1-2 punch combo that knocked the feet off Saladiak and he faceplanted straight onto the canvas. In just the 1st round, Saladiak stood up immediately and tried to shake it off, but it was clear to the eye that he was feeling the effects of it.
Battered and bloodied, Saladiak needed a knockout to win the fight, knowing this was the way to victory, he turned the fight into a brawl. However, Moisa wasn’t to be denied. With the precision of his strikes and good movement, he managed to avoid the big exchanges. Saladiak gave it his all and there were moments where it looked like he would stage the most unbelievable of all comebacks, but it was not to be and Moisa became the new Light Middleweight World Lethwei Champion.
Below are the links to the full fights mentioned above.
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