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.
1) Mite Yine (Myanmar) vs Antonio Faria (Portugal) – WLC: KNOCKOUT WAR, 2 June 2018
This is the one fight to watch to get introduced to lethwei. Mite Yine is a Southeast Asian Games gold medallist and a perennial fan-favorite among fight fans for his high-paced, all-action style. He welcomed the debut of Portugal’s Antonio Faria, who would use this bout to springboard him all the way to becoming the first Light Welterweight World Lethwei Champion.
This bout lasted only two rounds but was full speed ahead the entire time. Both fighters threw everything they had at each other, punches, kicks, elbows, knees, and headbutts with no respite. Even though it was Faria’s first bout with headbutts allowed, he was undeterred and used pinpoint elbow counters to eventually cut Mite Yine, and the doctor jumped in to stop the fight.
An instant classic and arguably the greatest lethwei match in history. Following the bout, the full video was uploaded on Facebook and it went viral with more than 10 million views.
2) Dave Leduc (Canada) vs Seth Baczynski (USA) – WLC: KING OF NINE LIMBS, 2 August 2019
This was historically, the biggest fight in lethwei history. This fight was the debut of Dave Leduc, the first foreigner to win a lethwei title. He relinquished all other lethwei titles to sign with World Lethwei Championship, and after having a distinct size advantage in his other lethwei contests, he finally had to face a bigger opponent.
His opponent was UFC veteran Seth Baczynski, who became the first fighter from the Ultimate Fighting Championship to compete in lethwei. It shaped up to be the biggest fight to ever take place in the sport, and it did not disappoint.
Baczynski was game but was no match for the experience and guile of Leduc, who used range and unorthodox elbows to befuddle Baczynski and after four knockdowns, the referee called off the match and Dave Leduc became the Cruiserweight World Lethwei Champion.
3) Artur Saladiak (Poland) vs Sasha Moisa (Ukraine) – WLC: KING OF NINE LIMBS, 2 August 2019
What an absolute barnburner WLC: KING OF NINE LIMBS turned out to be. This was the co-main event bout prior to Dave Leduc vs Seth Baczynski, and in terms of match quality, this was even better.
Artur Saladiak came in as the reigning Light Middleweight World Lethwei Champion but was coming off a year layoff due to a torn ACL. The challenger Sasha Moisa came into the bout with a masterful knockout of Shwe Yar Mann.
In the first round, Moisa landed a perfect 1-2 punch combo that knocked the feet off Saladiak and he faceplanted straight onto the canvas. Saladiak stood up immediately and tried to shake it off, but he was clearly affected.
Saladiak was battered and bloody. Knowing he needed a knockout to win the fight, he turned the bout into a brawl, but Moisa was precise with his strikes and stayed clear of massive exchanges. Saladiak gave it his all and there were moments where it looked like he would stage the most improbable of all comebacks, but it was not to be and Moisa became the new Light Middleweight World Lethwei Champion.