The greatest Muay Thai fighter in history has just joined BKFC. At least, according to BKFC who understandably got a little bit carried away after securing the signature of two time K-1 Max winner Buakaw Banchamek.

After a successful career in kickboxing and Muay Thai the 40 year old looks set to compete in boxing for the first time:

UFC veterans

Earlier this month Buakaw fought in Phnom Penh. The organizers hadn’t invested in a proper ring, or even proper gloves, but it didn’t seem to bother the Thai super star who cruised to a comfortable decision win over Dmitry Varats.

But Buakaw has never competed in traditional boxing. He also doesn’t appear to have participated in a fight without gloves before although he has done some exhibition matches with his hands wrapped in rope.

The signing of Buakaw represents something of a coup for BKFC. The sport has exploded in recent years with the promotion signing UFC veterans Paige VanZant, Héctor Lombard and John Dodson and Rizin veteran Andy Nguyen in recent years.

Bare knuckle

The sport was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries but became obsolete once gloves were introduced. But it has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years among fans looking for more drama than conventional boxing can currently provide.

So far BKFC has put on two events in Thailand with both taking place in the tourist resort of Pattaya. In the US events are taking place two or three times per month with some big names from the sport of MMA on board.

A BKFC event in London next month will be headlined by a fight between UFC veteran Mike Perry and Bellator veteran Michael Page. It has become an attractive career choice for mixed martial artists who are slightly past their prime, although the latter remains a big star with Bellator.

Perhaps the highest profile BKFC signing was Paige VanZant. The photogenic UFC veteran didn’t enjoy too much success in the world of bare knuckle boxing though, losing two fights out of two.

With approximately three decades of experience in Muay Thai and kickboxing Buakaw will presumably be hoping to have a more successful bare knuckle boxing career. We look forwards to finding out when the Thai superstar will be making his debut.