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A Layman's Guide to Scoring a Muay Thai Fight

I wanted to write this article after seeing the scorecards for the Saenchai vs Kevin Ross fight and also in light of the scoring on the Cosmo Alexandre vs Cyrus Washington fight which was held in the US earlier this year.

Before I get started I should make it clear that I am not a qualified judge. For a definitive guide to how a Muay Thai fight should be scored you should check out this article by Tony Myers:

Judging a Muay Thai fight part onepart two

This is only intended to be a quick and rough guide for those who (like the judges in the US...) don't understand how a Muay Thai fight should be scored.

Muay Thai is not scored in the same way as boxing, K-1 or MMA so trying to apply the same criteria to a Muay Thai fight that you would any another combat sport is a waste of time.

The first two rounds of a Muay Thai fight are always scored a draw, unless one fighter absolutely dominates or visibly hurts his opponent. The opening rounds are only intended to be used as a feeling out process and good fighters will almost always treat them as such. Rounds one and two are an opportunity to size up your opponents and to begin to demonstrate your superiority to the judges BUT will generally have no effect on the scoring of the fight.

Rounds three, four and five are the decisive rounds and the result of them will settle the outcome of the fight unless there is a stoppage. Muay Thai rounds are not scored in isolation though so, for instance, if one fighter looked stronger in rounds one and two but round three is even the judges will often give round three to the fighter who looked stronger in the opening rounds.

A fighter who is already ahead normally seems to get the benefit of the doubt in a close round which means that once a fighter has taken a lead on the scorecards he only needs to be as good as his opponent to win the fight, whereas the opponent needs to clearly demonstrate that he is better. This may seem like merely a semantic difference but it is never the less an important one.

Another way that Muay Thai differs dramatically from other combat sports is in the way that different techniques are scored. Any strike which lands cleanly scores points but straight knees and kicks to the mid section seem to score more points than any other techniques.

Read more after the break...


Lion Fights: Battle in the Desert 3 to Be Streamed Live on Saturday

Battle in the Desert 3Lion Fights, an upstart promotion based out of southern Nevada has featured some solid muay thai cards within the course of the last year. They are set to put on their third event in the series of "Battle in the Desert" this Saturday. Lion Fights released a statement today that they are working with Go Fight Live ( this upcoming Saturday to stream the event live for $14.99. This is a step in the right direction for Lion Fights, as I've been saying for a while that these upstart muay thai and kickboxing promotions in the United States need to work hard for exposure. Lion Fights is run by Scott Kent who has taken some of this advice and hired an actual PR firm to help with promoting the company and will stream the next event. These events have been well-received by those in attendance for past events, including UFC President Dana White.

The cost of 15 dollars might be a bit steep for a first event to be streamed, but a main event like Cosmo Alexandre vs. Sakmongkol Sitchuchoke could make you think twice about that. Full Press Release after the break.


M1 Grand Muay Thai Championship: Saenchai, Ross, Yamato in the USA

Tonight we have some rare Sunday action in Commerce, California. Stand Up Promotions has brought together a great card of muay thai fighters, bringing in some heralded international talent.

In the main event, Saenchai Sinbimuaythai returns to the USA and takes on arguably the number one muay thai fighter in the country, Kevin Ross. On the line are the WBC Muay Thai diamond belt and the MTAA world title. It's always a treat to watch Saenchai fight, as he's widely considered among the best of the sport. This is his second time fighting in the USA and he's taking on Kevin Ross, who last year he expressed interest in fighting. At the time it didn't seem likely but here we are now and they're set to fight tonight.

The 2010 K-1 MAX -63kg World GP winner Tetsuya Yamato also returns to the USA. The last time Yamato fought in the USA, he was knocked out in the first round by none other than Saenchai. Yamato will look to pick up his first win across the pond as he takes on the Thai fighter Coke Chunhawat.

The card features some other great fights so here's a look at the full fight card:

Saenchai Sinbimuaythai vs Kevin Ross

Jonathan Puu vs Alex Gonzales

Rungravee Sasiprapa vs Kunitaka Fujiwara

Phanuwat Chunhawat vs Tetsuya Yamato

Marcos Guevarra vs Victor Perez

Shane Oblonsky vs Carlos Ramirez III

Glen Spencer vs Mike Sheppard

Malaipet Sasiprapa vs Chike Lindsay

You can order the card on for $9.99. It's a great card and well worth the price. Muay thai is usually free for us as we pretty much only have YouTube to catch up on fights so a small fee of $9.99 isn't much to see one of the best in the world.


Get Hyped; Fight Code Rhinos Tournament on Saturday

3PM Eastern time on Saturday, August 13th at

Prestige fight: Chingiz Allazov vs Gabor Gorbics
Prestige fight: Philippe Salmon vs Barna Szucs
Rhino fight: Pacome Assi vs Luca Panto
Rhino fight: Vjekoslav Bajic vs Petr Vondracek
Rhino fight: Mihail Tuterev vs Gyorgy Mihalik
Prestige fight: Vitaly Akhramenko vs Ivan Stanic

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