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Difference Between Muay Thai and MMA

Muay Thai vs MMA

Muay Thai and MMA both belong to the world of martial arts. “MMA” stands for “Mixed Martial Arts.” MMA is a fighting style that uses and combines a number of different fighting styles including Western-style boxing, Muay Thai, freestyle boxing, amateur wrestling, judo, karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Other fighting styles or disciplines can also be added. In this fighting style, there is no specialization as each fighting style is learned and practiced.

Mixed Martial Arts began in 1993 during the emergence of the Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC), a fighting tournament for martial artists. In its debut, mixed martial arts was formerly labeled and known as No Holds Barred (NHB).

A Mixed Martial Artist has a well-rounded knowledge and execution of many different fighting styles. This is advantageous in a fight or against a fighter with a specialized fighting style. The Mixed Martial Artist can utilize and combine many techniques from different styles to cover any weak spots. Mixed Martial Arts combine all the best styles for attacking. The fighting style features striking, grappling, submission, and groundwork.

The training for Mixed Martial Arts is harder compared to other specialized forms of martial arts. A Mixed Martial Artist has to learn each style and combine them effectively in a fight or in training. The artists under this discipline also have to learn how to change styles quickly.

On the other hand, Muay Thai (or Thai boxing) is a specialized form of martial arts. It also called “the art of the eight limbs” because it utilizes the two hands, elbows, knees, and shins. It is also the national sport of Thailand.

Muay Thai has a long history, and it is also incorporated in Thai culture with rituals, dances, and music. It is also used in the military training of Thailand’s armed forces. Muay Thai is one of the varieties of kickboxing. In this type of kickboxing, it makes use of a combination of the fighter’s knees and elbows in quick, striking movements.

Both fighting styles use gloves; open-fingered gloves for Mixed Martial Arts and boxing gloves for Muay Thai. In addition, Muay Thai fighters can also wear a head protective band to protect the head from strikes and punches.


1.Both fighting styles are forms of martial arts that are regularly featured in martial arts tournaments or used in self-defense. Both fighting styles are also considered as combat sports.
2.Mixed Martial Arts (or MMA) is a combination of different fighting styles. It has no specialization and doesn’t have a homogenous characteristic. In contrast, Muay Thai is a specialized form of martial arts. It is characterized by using hands, elbows, knees, and shins in striking opponents.
3.Muay Thai can be part of Mixed Martial Arts training. It is also part of Thai culture since it also involves music and dance. It is also a national sport in its country of origin.
4.Muay Thai concentrates on striking while Mixed Martial Arts also focuses on striking. In addition, Mixed Martial Arts also have grappling and groundwork.
5.A martial artist who practices Mixed Martial Arts has a longer and harder training compared to other martial artists who practice a specialized fighting style. The martial artists in this fighting style must learn to execute and combine all the basic skills or general precepts of other fighting styles.
6.Mixed Martial Arts can be advantageous in a fight since a Mixed Martial Artist can easily change fighting styles and has more technique compared to his opponent.
7.The number of fighting styles in Mixed Martial Arts can vary, and the combination of fighting styles can also be numerous.
8.Mixed Martial Artists wear an open-fingered glove for better grappling and submission. In contrast, Muay Thai uses boxing gloves.

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