A South Paw is someone who fights with their right hand and foot forward. These fighters are often difficult to counter by those not used to facing them. Some South Paws fight this way because they are naturally left handed while others adopt this stance in order to gain a competitive advantage. There have been many greats who have adopted this stance such as Bruce Lee, Manny Pacquiao, Shinya Aoki, and others. The stance can can open up new opportunities to those fighters who adopt it by creating two power hands and opens up clear kicks to the opponents liver and inner leg. In this article, in no particular order, we’ll highlight five South Paw fighters.
- Vitor Belfort
Vitor Vieira Belfort is a Brazilian mixed martial artist currently competing in the Middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which he earned training with the great Carlson Gracie. He is also a black belt in Judo and a blue belt in Shotokan karate but is best known for his takedowns in BJJ.
- Samart Payakaroon
Samart Payakaroon is regarded by many to be the greatest Muay Thai fighter of all time. He is a multiple time Lumpinee stadium champion on top of being a WBC world champion in boxing. He started training when he was seven years old and, despite not having a natural body type of fighting, excelled immediately due to his technique and intelligence.
- Lyoto Machida
Lyoto Machida is a mixed martial artist who currently competes in the middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is a 4th dan black belt in Shotokan Karate. He started his career under the tutelage of Antonio Inoki in Tokyo, Japan and is known for keeping distance from his opponents and limiting his engagement to when he knows he can do damage.
- Anderson Silva
Anderson Silva is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and former UFC Middleweight Champion. He set a record by defending his title a whopping 10 times over the span of 2,457 days. He is considered by many to be the greatest mixed martial artist of all time and specializes in a variety of martial arts including Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Wing Chun.
- Yodsanklai Fairtex
Yodsanklai Fairtex is a former super welterweight WBC Muay Thai World champion and a three-time Lumpinee Stadium champion. Yodsanklai trains in kickboxing at the Fairtex Gym in Pattaya, Thailand. He is the first champion of The Contender Asia. The press nicknamed him “The Boxing Computer” because of his perfect fighting technique. Unfortunately, Yodsanklai very recently announced he would be retiring from fighting.
The southpaw stance has been used by many champions over the years in a variety of martial arts to gain a powerful advantage in the ring. Learn more about Muay Thai by watching our YouTube channel or stop by the gym if you are a Northern Virginia local.