Is Muay Thai overrated?
I hear it all the time: "Muay Thai is better than boxing because you have 8 weapons and in boxing you only have 2". In theory it makes perfect sense, but I'm not convinced.
In any fight - MMA, street, Muay Thai; the most frequently used tool is the punch. Almost all fights start with a punch, and most end with one (even in Muay Thai matches, most knockouts come from punches).
A punch can be thrown quicker and more accurately than any other strike. Kicks and knees might pack more power, but they are a lot slower to throw and require you to lift one leg off the ground (thereby compromising your balance). They are also harder to learn.
I'm starting to think boxing is better... a lot better. Yes it's limited, but it gives you a sharp and highly focused set of skills.
I went to a Muay Thai class a couple of weeks ago and found I was hitting harder than guys who had been training for more than 6 months (I've been boxing for 3 months). All of them had decent kicks, but out of the 8 or 10 people in the class, I only saw 2 who were good punchers (I spoke to them and found out they were cross-training in boxing).
I don't doubt the effectiveness of leg kicks, but just how practical are techniques like head kicks and flying knees?
And just how effective is the Thai clinch against a good wrestler (especially a Greco guy)?
Forget about K-1. MMA is much closer to real fighting than kickboxing... things are a lot different when grappling is involved. You won't be throwing many high kicks once you start having to worry about takedowns.
Boxing is definitely a more dominant force than Muay Thai in the UFC. Out of every former champion in the UFC, well over half used boxing as their striking base. Just look back at the most recent title fight... both guys were boxers.