Many superstars from other combat sports have crossed over into bare knuckle fighting, but Buakaw Banchamek is arguably the biggest.
Simply put, Banchamek is the Michael Jordan of Muay Thai kickboxing.
Banchamek is synonymous with the sport in his native Thailand, the global capital of competitive kickboxing. The two-time K-1 World Kickboxing Champion has an eye-popping professional record of 240-24-14 with 70 knockouts and multiple national championships on his resume. His ferocious fighting style has made him a global star for the better part of the past two decades, with countless viral moments along the way.
Banchamek shocked the combat sports world last year when it was announced he had signed with BKFC, the world’s fastest growing combat sports promotion. But, according to the fighting legend, it’s a perfect fit.
“I’m incredibly proud and excited to be a part of such a historic event that could potentially launch a whole new era in combat sports. Being associated with BKFC’s creative promotion and their willingness to think outside the box is truly an honor,” he says.
“We both believe in pushing boundaries and challenging norms, and this opportunity aligns perfectly with our values. It’s a thrilling journey, and I can’t wait to see where this takes us.”
Banchamek scored a first-round finish over Erkan Varol in his highly anticipated debut at BKFC Thailand 3 in 2022. He returns to the Squared Circle at BKFC Thailand 5 on Nov. 4 in Pattaya, LIVE on The BKFC App. He takes on fellow legendary Thai kickboxing icon Saenchai, a six-time national champion with over 300 victories on his epic resume, in a special rules bare knuckle Thai fight.
Banchamek says BKFC is a more intense experience for a fighter than a kickboxing match. He predicts a victory in his return to the Squared Circle, but falls short of predicting how or when the fight will end.
“I've never faced anyone quite like my opponent. Saenchai is a true legend in the sport, and what makes it even more exciting is that you can never predict how he will fight. However, in the end, there can only be one true legend of Siam,” Banchamek says.
“There will be no holding back. It's going to be a genuine fight with real pain. I’m always confident when I step into the ring, but you never know what Saenchai is going to do, so I can’t predict how I will win, but I am sure I will win. If this were Muay Thai, fans might predict the outcome, but when it comes to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, it's difficult to predict.”
Banchamek isn’t looking past November and can’t guarantee fans will see him compete with BKFC in 2024. However, one thing is certain.
“I can promise you I’m ready for any big fights that come my way,” the legendary striker says, “I love the excitement that BKFC brings to combat sports; this is what brings me back.”