Everyone knows that Buakaw Banchamek and Saenchai PKSaenchaigym are friends. The question heading into their bare knuckle Muay Thai fight at BKFC Asia 5 was whether they would put that friendship aside with a title on the line.

The answer was inconclusive. Both men shared the ring for 10 minutes without landing any hard shots to the face, in fact there was very little damage done.

Buakaw became the first, and only, fighter to win a bare knuckle Muay Thai title. But for the two time K-1 Max winner this achievement probably won’t be cause for wild celebration.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BKFC by Triller (@bareknucklefc)

Genuine intent

Both men made it look good but neither seemed to have any real desire to do any damage. The two traded low kicks and body kicks but never threw any punches or elbows with genuine intent.

Buakaw and Saenchai have extensive experience when it comes to putting on exhibition fights. They might not have been wearing gloves but this fight seemed to belong firmly in that category.

Toe to toe

The two men did go toe to toe for five rounds. But they looked content to exchange kicks and the occasional knee without ever looking to land bare knuckle punches.

Had the fight been scored a draw they would have been forced to fight an extra round. So both men might have been relieved to hear that the contest had been scored 49-46, 50-46 and 48-47 in Buakaw’s favour.

The fight was broadcast live and free on YouTube and attracted over 500,00 viewers. Afterwards Buakaw told fans that,

“All the questions have been answered.”

Fans questioning whether Buakaw and Saenchai would really go for it might feel that the answer was not forthcoming. But the fight had a winner and looked sufficiently convincing that both men will surely collect their full purse.

For his part Saenchai was magnanimous in defeat telling fans that,

“The better man won.”