In a sport historically dominated by men, the rise and recognition of female Muay Thai fighters on the global stage is both recent and revolutionary. These warriors, hailed from various parts of the world, have brought with them unique fighting styles, indomitable spirit, and inspiring tales of perseverance.
Let's delve into the journeys of some of the most prominent female Muay Thai fighters of our time.
1. Stamp Fairtex (Nong Stamp)
From Rayong, Thailand, Stamp Fairtex's initial foray into Muay Thai was at her father's gym, a move inspired to protect herself from bullies. This early introduction saw her making a stunning debut, winning her first professional fight in under 30 seconds.
Her journey in Muay Thai was impressive, securing over 80 professional fights and multiple titles. At 18, Stamp transitioned to Pattaya, fueled by her ambition to become a top combat sports athlete. This ambition led her to ONE Championship where she didn't disappoint.
In ONE Championship, Stamp quickly distinguished herself. She bagged the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title, followed closely by the Muay Thai World Title - a dual championship feat unprecedented in ONE history.
Not content with her striking achievements, Stamp ventured into MMA. 2021 was a defining year: she clinched the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship, and though she faced a setback against Angela Lee, her determination saw her emerge victorious in her next fight, capturing the ONE Interim Atomweight World Title.
2. Annisa Meksen
From a tender age of 12, Anissa Meksen was captivated by kickboxing, influenced heavily by her brother, Mehdi. Their childhood in Paris saw Meksen juggling her budding kickboxing talent with academics. Despite her rising stature in the combat sports realm, she stayed committed to her education, earning degrees in Sports Performance and Training Methodology.
Meksen's ring career is a tapestry of accolades. 2014 was significant as she clinched the WMPF Muay Thai World Championship and was recognized as the MuayThai TV Fighter of the Year. Her momentum surged in 2016, winning the WAKO Pro Flyweight World Championship, the Glory Women’s Super Bantamweight World Title, and the IKSA K-1 Bantamweight World Championship.
3. Sylvie Von Duuglas-Ittu
From the picturesque terrains of Boulder, Colorado, Sylvie Von Duuglas-Ittu began a journey into the world of Muay Thai, a journey that would see her transition from an enthusiast to a globally recognized fighter.
While Boulder ignited her passion for the sport, it was under the mentorship of veteran fighter Kumron Vaitayanon, fondly known as Master K, in New Jersey that she truly honed her skills and understood the depth and intricacies of Muay Thai.
Over the course of her career, Duuglas-Ittu's dedication, coupled with her training, brought her significant accolades. She clinched the International Professional Combat Council (IPCC) World Champion title not just once, but twice, a testament to her consistency and prowess in the ring. 2023 marked another milestone in her already glittering career as she secured the WBC Minimumweight Muay Thai World Champion title.
Her achievements haven't gone unnoticed in the broader Muay Thai community. As of the present, Sylvie stands tall in the World Muay Thai Organization (WMO) rankings. She holds the coveted No. 1 position in the Mini flyweight category.
4. Valentina Shevchenko
Destined for combat sports, Valentina Shevchenko grew up under the influence of her mother, the head of Kyrgyzstan’s national Muay Thai association and a former champion herself. However, Valentina's entry into martial arts began with Taekwondo at age 5, guided by her sister, Antonina, and their mother.
By age 12, Valentina transitioned to Muay Thai and freestyle Vale Tudo. Her breakout moment arrived in 2000 when, despite her young age, she secured a knockout victory against a much older opponent. This impressive feat earned her the nickname "Bullet", a nod to her speed and accuracy by her coach, Pavel Fedotov.
Over the next decade and a half, Shevchenko's reputation in the combat sports realm grew exponentially. Between 2003 and 2015, she achieved over 90 wins in disciplines like K-1, Muay Thai, and kickboxing, with a stunning ten wins by technical knockout or knockout. Her success was highlighted with 8 gold medals at the IFMA world championships across various years and a crowning achievement at the IMFA Royal World Cup in 2015.
Among her numerous notable encounters, she bested UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk thrice and secured a win against future UFC contender Lina Länsberg.
5. Loma Lookboonmee
The journey of Loma Lookboonmee in the realm of Muay Thai is a shining example of starting young and breaking barriers. Beginning her training at a tender age of seven, Loma stepped into the world of Muay Thai under the tutelage of her father, Boonmee Suphisara, in his gym.
Her initial foray into competitive Muay Thai saw her pitted against girls. However, due to a lack of competition, she soon found herself stepping into the ring against boys, challenging and often transcending traditional gender norms in the sport.
Loma's skills saw a rapid ascension, and she quickly made a name for herself by clinching various titles. Her consistent performance and dedication to the sport earned her a spot on the Thai national team, further establishing her as one of the promising talents in the Muay Thai world.
Among her notable achievements, Loma bagged the Gold at the 2017 IFMA Amateur Muay Thai World Championships in the 48 kg category. Her victory streak continued as she secured another Gold in the 2015 IFMA Royal World Cup in the Pinweight 45kg division. Earlier, in 2012, she was crowned the S1 World Champion.
6. Sawsing Sor Sopit
Sawsing Sor Sopit, also known by her birth name Wihantamma, stands out as a dominant figure in the contemporary world of women's Muay Thai. Sawsing Sor Sopit's credentials are nothing short of exemplary. She proudly held the prestigious title of WMC (World Muaythai Council) World Champion and was also crowned the Women's Featherweight World Champion by the World Muay Thai Organization.
However, her accolades aren't confined to these championship titles alone. Sawsing's prowess in the ring led her to garner several medals at esteemed international competitions.
Among these, she clinched top honors at the IFMA World Muaythai Championships, marking her dominance over competitors from across the globe. Additionally, her outstanding performance at the World Combat Games and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games further solidified her reputation as one of the elite Muay Thai fighters of her generation.
7. Iman Barlow
Iman Barlow, nicknamed the "Pretty Killer," epitomizes the spirit of a true martial artist, combining her innate talent with unwavering dedication. Born into the realm of Muay Thai, her training commenced at a tender age of 2 at the Assassins MuayThai Boxing Club in Leicestershire, England, under the guidance of her father. Her prodigious talent became evident early on, as she clinched the IKF Junior British and European Titles, hinting at the heights she was destined to reach.
2008 marked a pivotal year for Iman. Making her professional debut, she announced her arrival with a resounding fourth-round TKO victory and swiftly captured the S1 Bantamweight World Title.
The ensuing years were testament to her dominance in Muay Thai. She earned the titles of WKA Muay Thai Bantamweight World Champion and clinched the Enfusion 54-kilogram World Championship twice. Her illustrious journey included wins like the Lion Fight Super Bantamweight World Title in 2017 and the coveted WBC Muaythai International Title in 2019.
With an incredible record of over 100 fights, Iman stands as an icon in Muay Thai, embodying the virtues of perseverance and passion, and serving as an inspiration to countless emerging fighters.
8. Miriam Nakamoto
Miriam Nakamoto is more than just a fighter; she's a force of nature in the world of combat sports. After making her professional debut in 2005, Nakamoto quickly cemented her reputation as one of the world's premier female strikers.
Her journey in Muay Thai is one marked by relentless dedication and an unwavering will to win. The impressive tally of her career speaks for itself, retiring with an unblemished record boasting 14 professional victories, a testament to her unparalleled skill and prowess.
In 2009, as an amateur, Miriam showcased her mettle by clinching the gold medal at the IFMA World Muaythai Championships. This achievement was a precursor to the string of successes she would achieve in the years to come.
Nakamoto's glittering career includes holding the esteemed WPMF Light Welterweight Championship, the WMC World Lightweight Championship, and the WCK Super Lightweight Title. But her accolades aren't confined just to Muay Thai; Miriam also made a mark in the boxing world, translating her championship-winning pedigree to that arena.
Inspired by these powerhouse athletes? Dive into the world of Muay Thai with us at Ubud Muay Thai. Nestled in the heart of Ubud, we offer authentic training for both novices and experienced fighters.
Start your own journey, refine your skills, or simply embrace a fresh challenge. Whatever your goals, Ubud Muay Thai is here to guide you.