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Despite Muai Thai being a staple for striking literature in MMA, there is surprisingly little representation of fighters who used to compete in Muai Thai circuits. A few exceptions would be UFC's Shevchenko (of Kyrgyzstan) and ONE's Dejdamrong (of Thailand). While both of these fighters have gone to live out very decorated careers in their respective organizations, on aggregate, the proportion of former Thai-circuit fighters are very small.

I was thinking maybe it has to do with culture. Even though I would have loved to see Buakaw in his prime versus the likes of Dustin Porier at 155, Buakaw has reportedly likened his training to a spiritual quest and he claims to fight out of the honor of the Thai monarchy.

Question

Save for groups of loyalists, who would remain Muai Thai no matter what, what is likely preventing wider cross-over between Muai Thai circuit fighters from mainstream MMA organizations, like the UFC?

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  • isn't there enough already? Most MMA fighters conduct heavy training in Muay Thai, in fact Rodtang did his first Muay Thai/mma ground fight, switching rules between rounds
    – mattsmith5
    Nov 22, 2021 at 6:29
  • It could be that they're happy with their current sport. :) Kind of like the question of why so few football players branched into baseball despite how Bo Jackson showed they might have a bright future with the switch. Nov 22, 2021 at 17:37

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