Saenchai is widely considered as one of the greatest Muay Thai fighters of all time. The master of cartwheel kicks, however, started from scratch.
The famed fighter has recently appeared on JM Podcast with “Muay Thai Angel” Jade Marrisa Sirisompan. The interview covers Saenchai’s career, including early days, his opinion on the level of Muay Thai today and in the past, Thai and international competitors, and much more.
“I was not born a great Muay Thai fighter. Most people have it wrong when they assume that I’ve always been a natural and that I have the skills without working for it,” Saenchai said.
“As a youngster, I always trained very hard and looked for ways to evolve since the beginning. I have never born with the skills I have today. In fact, I was a clincher when I first started Muay Thai. not a born Fimeu (technician). I just ran towards my opponents and hoped for the best.”
“But then I trained with famous fighters. True technicians and champions and learned from them. My real skills started to develop then.”
“You see, people like to watch me fight because I am constantly looking for ways to develop myself.”
Saenchai ‘obsessed with improvement’
Saenchai also spoke about an on-going development, as well as a big mistake some fighters make by becoming way too confident.
“I am obsessed with with improvement, I am obsessed with creativity.”
“I always believed that I could be much better. And it’s when I thought I was already great, that I lose”.
“When I fought a legend at 15 years old, I lost by knockout. It was the first knockout loss. I was overconfident, but I told myself I’d never lose that way again and that I had to be sharper.”
“At the time, my style wasn’t sharp enough, but I evolved, and it never happened again. Today, I like to go abroad and fight. People have this misconception that they’re not hard fights.”
Beating foreign fighters
“Foreign fighters like Fabio Pinca, Damien Alamos, Chadd Collins, Rafi Bohic, Andrei Kulebin, Kevin Ross, Liam Harrison, and so many more are all top class fighters.”
“They are all hard fights for me, and all of them have a lot of talent and skill. It is with my fight experience that I’m able to beat them.”
“In Thailand we fight so often since a young age to build this ring experience, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t give the fights my all. None of these fights were easy.”
Muay Thai today and before
“Muay Thai has changed a lot since the start of my Muay Thai career. In the beginning it was very much about roundhouses, punches, and elbows. Today, everything is about how you use the knees and power in the clinch. There is a loss of art in old Muay Thai in today’s stage.”
“In the golden era, kicking, punching, and elbows were abundant. The champions I looked up to and trained with were the best at them.”
“Foreign fighters in fact have a more complete skill set with their punches elbows and kicks. This is a sentiment echoed by Samart Payakaroon as well.”
“That’s why I continue to compete internationally and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. I hope you continue to support Muay thai and my journey. It means everything to me.”
— Parviz Iskenderov (@parviziskender) October 26, 2019
In his previous bout last weekend (October 26) Saenchai stopped Batjargal Sundui in the first round. He is riding the 49-fight win streak.