This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
How much money do Muay Thai fighters make? Unlike mixed martial arts and boxing, Muay Thai doesn’t attract huge crowds or draw large paychecks. In smaller shows, fighters are lucky to make about 300 to 500 per fight.
Women, however, can earn as much as 1,000 per fight. Of course, this is a pittance compared to the cost of training, equipment, and food. Muay Thai fighters also need to support their families.
Increasing interest in women’s muay thai
While there has always been a complex relationship between men and women in Thailand, the sport is finally beginning to attract greater interest from the public. For the longest time, women were not allowed to fight or even touch the ring, and even entering the ring was considered taboo. But with the changing culture, more stadiums are beginning to include women in their fights. Increasingly, these matches are taking place around the world and even in Thailand, where tradition has a strong presence in the culture.
While women have long been under-represented in the sport, new media coverage has shifted the focus towards more diverse representation. One promotion based in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, called Lady Fighter, is taking the sport to the next level with televised fights featuring five-round fights and the PAT (Thailand) title. This has largely been achieved through a new era of television coverage and increased interest among women.
The increased exposure of Muay Thai in the United States has also increased women’s participation. There are many reasons for this. Some women train to break the monotony of their daily lives, others to find meaning in their careers, and some who train because it is the ultimate dream misjudged by society. Many of these women leave their jobs and families to train in Thailand. It is hard to find a suitable career for every woman, but it can be done.
While most Thai fighters begin their careers in their late teens, many women are still training at an early age. One woman who has recently stepped into Muay Thai, Patty Supapitakpong, 47, is a mother of four and is just starting her career. In fact, she recently won her first match against an opponent 20 years her senior. The young mother is looking to make a name for herself in the sport.
When comparing bonus amounts for Muay Thai fights to those of their MMA counterparts, Muay Thai fighters are far less fortunate financially. Even though the sport has a large purse, fighters often struggle financially compared to their MMA counterparts. Nonetheless, a fighter like Rodtang brings the heat every time. ONE: Heavy Hitters, which takes place this Friday, will feature a purse of $50,000.
Hitman won a $50,000 bonus after finishing Elipitua Siregar in the third round. Musumeci, meanwhile, earned the bonus for making a successful promotional debut, beating Japanese fighter Masakazu Imanari. Musumeci, known as Darth Rigatoni, has won three out of his last four fights. He has now won seven consecutive bouts and has a record of 11-1 inside the Circle.
At the recent ONE X event, Chatri Sityodtong gave out seven performance bonuses. Angela Lee earned a bonus for beating Stamp Fairtex. In the first round, Lee survived a devastating body shot from Fairtex and then submitted him with 10 seconds left in the second. Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama was also awarded a performance bonus for finishing Aoki.
The combat sports academy in Northern California is another option. It is home to 40 Muay Thai champions, and Coach K’s striking is regarded as one of the best in the North American region. Coach K hosts regular coach clinics open to the public. They are a great source of inspiration for fighters looking to get better. The benefits of this training method are numerous. A fighter may not have to travel to Thailand to compete, but they could be able to train anywhere.
Requirements for becoming a champion
Being a world champion is a big achievement for fighters, but there are a few requirements to be a world champion in muay thai. The sport is a traditional martial art of Thailand, which is passed down from master to trainee, and fighters show utmost respect for their senior fighters. A top-level fighter named Saenchai, for example, is the inspiration for Manachai and his home gym. Training from a senior fighter is a key part of a fighter’s development as they gain the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in the ring. The fighters are also expected to honor the Wai Kru ritual before each fight to invoke protection and luck for themselves and opponents. A fighter must also congratulate his opponent’s trainer.
A WBC MuayThai championship fight must be contested under the WBC rules. All fighters competing for the title must first undergo a medical examination. An official physician must clear the fighter before a bout. If a fighter fails to clear the medical examination, the WBC will not consider them for the championship. This medical examination may include a neurological examination, MRI or CAT scan, or other medical tests.
To be a Muay Thai champion, young fighters must devote many hours to conditioning their bodies. They must be physically and mentally strong, as training in this sport requires a high level of physical and mental toughness. A muay thai fighter can earn more than a rice farmer’s salary. Muay Thai fighters have a tough life. They must adhere to a rigorous training schedule and supplement their training with strength exercises.
While many former Muay Thai fighters have very little money to retire on, many of them do make good money. For example, a Lumpinee champion can earn 60,000 baht per fight or about $1800. This money is divided between the fighter and the gym, and the rest goes to the fighter’s family. Legendary fighters like Buakaw and Saenchai can earn millions of dollars from gyms, seminars, and promotions. In retirement, many of these fighters also become trainers. Trainers can only choose former champions for their gyms, making them an excellent source of income.
Some fighters increase their fight purse by betting on themselves. While it is not permitted to bet on yourself, fighters often get friends and family to place bets. This is illegal in Thailand, so fighters may end up losing their guaranteed prize purses, but they can also increase their payout by placing bets on themselves. There have also been cases of match fixing, where a heavily favored fighter is paid to lose or bet against his opponent. These practices make fighters even more rich.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal noted that Buakaw earned around US$500 per hour as a personal trainer. His skills as a trainer are highly sought after by foreigners and other rich people. Despite being retired, Buakaw has kept his lucrative business going by training people through his Banchamek Gym. He even has the opportunity to travel to Hollywood to give one-on-one personal training.
Many foreign Mauy Thai fighters are paid less than their Thai counterparts. Usually, they earn between three thousand and six-thousand Baht per fight. However, fighters can earn much more money by competing in kickboxing promotions in Europe and China. In these countries, fighters can earn between $10k to $200,000, depending on their reputation. This money is often a small part of the equation, and fighters often have to win for more than just fame.
Although muay Thai does not have an official classification, there are many reasons that a fighter may sustain injuries. For example, it can be difficult for one person to have 200 fights, which can cause a number of injuries. A person may sustain multiple injuries, but it is highly unlikely that a fighter will sustain brain damage, especially if he spars with an opponent without full contact. Injuries to the head, body and head muscles are among the most common.
Injuries suffered by fighters are largely minor and self-reported. However, the frequency and severity of injuries varies across different levels, with young fighters having a higher incidence of fractures. Moreover, injuries to the face and head were most common among fighters with less experience. Injuries to the head and extremities were reported by the majority of fighters, with only a few fighters reporting serious injuries. While these injuries did not affect the outcome of the fight, a few fighters reportedly missed training due to a related problem.
Although Muay Thai is widely recognized for its spectacular combat displays, injuries are still an important concern for many participants. However, recent research has shown that injuries sustained by fighters are associated with the number of bouts they have, as well as their severity. The study’s findings are crucial for improving the health and safety of fighters in this sport. A better understanding of the causes of injuries in Muay Thai will help prevent the injury from happening again in the future.
Despite the incredibly high payout, many fighters only earn a small amount of money. This is because the injuries that Muay Thai fighters sustain are merely minor compared to the amount of money the fighters make in a single fight. Many fighters fight every three to four weeks, earning around 400 to 6000 baht ($100) – barely enough to sustain oneself or a family.