As a fighter this isn’t the easiest list to make, but as a journalist documenting female Muay Thai I think it’s an important one to create and upkeep, as a kind of report. As it stands now there is no dependable source where one can see altogether the best female Muay Thai fighters in one place, and have some idea of ranking. Particularly in Thailand, for western readers and fighters, names all blur together and there are hardly any faces when thinking about the top fighters. The WMC (World Muay Thai Council) does not publish their rankings and has receded from the primary place it once had in judging female fighter quality only a few years ago. WMC titles are rarely fought for in female Muay Thai now. The WMPF has stepped up its game, with regularly updated rankings, but these updates tend to be quite partial (lower ranked names have remained unchanged for years) feeling haphazard with their lists with fighters in weight categories they do not belong in, or even long retired fighters among them. It’s not an easy job, keeping these rankings, so I don’t blame the organizations, but rankings are useful and needed for the international growth of the sport. The WPMF also seems much closer to the Japanese fight scene, and at least in my opinion does not accurately reflect the changing quality of fighters in Thailand, where most of the quality female fighting in these weight classes is carried out. Thai female fighters are quite numerous, and most are tested in fights quite frequently.
The P4P Best Pro Female Muay Thai Fighters – 48kg (106 lb) and Under
So without further ado, here is my list. Below it I’ll comment more about the nature of the list and how I came about assessing each fighter. It should go without saying, but maybe nothing goes without saying: in this is a kind of pound for pound list (which, again, is unofficial and created by me), just because one fighter is ranked higher than another fighter does not mean that the higher rank would win in a fight between the two. Besides that fact that anything can happen in a fight, styles do make fights, and many of these fighters are simply different sizes. The factors involved in creating this list are based on some study, personal knowledge and reputation.
[updated Dec 27, 2015]
weight range / age
(Kanda Por. Muangphet)
I believe Loma is the best proven fighter in the world at 48 and below. She won Gold this year at the Thailand Games, as well as at the IFMA's (45 kg). I've fought her three times and her clinch neutralization, throws, and ring IQ is off the charts.
Lommanee Chalamnoi Sit Chayanee
Lommanee won Gold at the Thailand games (51kg), and Gold at IFMA's (48 kg) and possesses great timing, a top notch counter kick and front elbow. She has been the top fighter at her weight for many years now.
PhetJee Jaa O. Meekhun
Jee Jaa is in my opinion the p4p best female fighter in the world, but as she still is less proven, for lack of opponents, I place her below Loma & Lommanee for now. She already beat 4 fighters on this list including one of the best femur fighters in Thailand, Faa Chiangrai.
fights up to 46 kg
Thanonchanok R. R. Gilalampang
Thananchanok held the WPMF 49 kg belt for several years, ultimately losing the title this year in a questionable decision. She's the Muay Siam Northern Champion at 115 lbs. I've fought her several times, nearly beating her in our last despite her weight advantage, but she's a great fighter. Fight IQ, wonderful counter fighter. Not sure that she can make 48 now.
Cherry Gor. Twin Gym
Another top fighter I'm not quite sure can make 48 now. I've narrowly lost to her twice in our last fights, despite her weight advantage, but she's a very sharp, smart fighter, with quick hands and flair in the final rounds. She fights top opponents and has won several tournaments with early round KO's.
Saya Ito had a huge win this year, dethroning Little Tiger who held onto the 100 lb WPMF belt for a few years. While I'm unfamiliar with most Japanese champions, I've fought Saya, beating her a year and a half ago, and I've trained with her in Thailand. A very good striker who may struggle against strong Thai clinch fighters.
Faa Chiangrai S. Sakonthom
Faa Chiangrai in my opinion is very underrated, maybe in part due to her style. She beat Little Tiger a year and a half ago, but was robbed in the decision. Then lost to Pungsiam in the Spring News show, in another truly bad decision. She's the 105 lb Muay Siam Northern champion, a weight that's high for her, but lost firmly to Phetjee Jaa in Dec.
Overwhelmed Duangdaonoi for the 105 lb WPMF belt this year, but Duangdaonoi was kind of unknown, and light for the weight class. As I am unable to see most Japanese fights, and they fight infrequently, the high rank is mostly in respect to the belt.
Kwankhao and her sister Duangdaonoi held the 108 lb and 105 lb WPMF belts respectively. Duangdaonoi lost hers quickly, and I have not seen or heard of Kwankhao fighting since. The rank here is high mostly to respect that she held the title belt.
She is the 108 lb Northern Muay Siam Champion, so this rank is in honor of that. I have not seen her fight.
Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu
Hard to assess myself in that I'm a smaller bodied, clinch-heavy fighter, who can use clinch advantage to beat many larger opponents, some of them thought to be "better" than I am. I've beaten 10 fighters on this list, and very frequently fight larger than my weight class. My average opponent is over 50 kg, while I walk at 48.
fights up to 54
Jomkwan Sit. Tongsak
Jomkwan is a tough clinch fighter in Khorat, and was coming off a 16 fight win streak when she flew to Japan and beat the 50 kg WMC champion Rika. I then faced Jomkwan a month later and did well against her. But she's very strong and fighting her made it clear how skilled she is.
Silvia La Notte
Silvia La Notte is a difficult fighter rank in a Muay Thai list, despite a great number of kickboxing accomplishments. She has only fought in Thailand once, and only a few of her fights are full Muay Thai rules. A very skilled kickboxer with epic experience.
Gawdaa Por. Muangphet
Gaewdaa beat former world champion Yodying this year. She's a very defensive, deflecting fighter from the famed Por. Muangphet gym. Gaewdaa is young and improving every time I face her, but she fights frequently which I think means she'll keep rising.
Thaksaporn is another fighter I'm not sure can get to 48, but she won the 51 kg Silver in the Thailand Games this year (2nd to Lommanee). I fought and beat her a year ago, which was a big surprise to her and her gym. A very tough, aggressive fighter who takes on larger westerners.
Yodying Sit Namkabuan
Yodying is a light-bodied, former world champion who both drew and beat Little Tiger. She does not fight Muay Thai frequently anymore, instead focusing on boxing, but she did lose a very close fight to Gaewdaa who had weight on her. Yodying is one of the most experienced fighters on this list, with probably over 200 fights.
Peungsiam is on the rise. She legitimately beat Little Tiger, who probably had some size on her, just before Little Tiger lost her 100 lb belt to Saya Ito. Previously this year she had a very controversial win over Phetjee Jaa (who weighed in smaller), and then on the Spring News show she beat Faa Chiangrai in another questionable decision. A rematch against Phetjee Jaa is probably in the making.
Little Tiger held onto the WPMF 100 lb belt for 2 years. There was a sense that she was not defending her belt against top Thai opponents. Her loss to Peungsiam, a very young, unranked Thai fighter at the time, and then to Saya Ito produced questions. I feel like she lost to Faa Chiangrai in 2014 as well - I watched the video of the fight and thought it was a blowout for Faa. But Little Tiger has been at the top in ranking for a long time.
Baifern Bor Puiboonput
Baifern is a strong straight-knee fighter with lots of experience. We fought recently with a questionable decision in her favor, but she is extremely experienced and one of the top 50 kg fighters in the North.
Buakaw is a young Isaan fighter who was rumored to be one of the best at her weight, but she lost dramatically to Phetjee Jaa (who gave up more than 6 kgs), casting some doubt. I've not seen her fight since, but heard that she's changed gyms. She's ranked base on the rumor of her potential. I have seen some video of her looking fantastic and she fights with big side-bets.
Muangsingjiew O. Wanchurd
Muangsingjiew is the 4th ranked challenger for the WPMF 100 lb belt, but I do think her 100 lb days might be over. I recently fought her and she seems to be about 51 kg. An extremely strong clinch fighter, good ring IQ, and regionally a top fighter near Ayutthaya.
Phetae O. Wanchurd
Phetae is a fighter I just had not heard of before her fight against Phetjee Jaa on the Queen's Birthday. She was extremely skilled in that fight, but lost (with a significant weight advantage). She's unusual in that she is 18 years old and yet still small bodied, walking around at less than 100 lbs. She probably does not have many opponents at her actual size, but she is #2 ranked for the WPMF 100 lbs title.
I've only seen Marcela fight in a tournament we were in in Laos and some brief clips online. She's a very experienced western fighter (Costa Rica), with a resume that includes a western boxing title as well. She had a difficult King's Birthday loss (by cut), took 2nd place in a 50 kg tournament, and took on the boxing champion Samson Tor. Buamas for the WIBA belt.
Hongkaw Sor. Sayan
Hongkaw has been a name in Isaan for some time, but she seems to be fighting all around recently. She was definitively beaten by Thanonchanok a month ago up in Chiang Mai. That fight strongly shaped this rank, as I've seen no other fights of hers.
Nong Benz Sit. Dobwod
(Faasiam Chor. Leksiam)
Nong Benz has long been praised for her skill, and she's one of the hardest kickers I've faced. She's a top 50 kg fighter in the North, and fought Faa Chiangrai for the Northern Muay Siam belt this year, so arguably could be considered the 2nd best 105 lb fighter in the North.
fights up to 58
Duangdaonoi only possessed the 105 lb WPMF belt for about a month, before she lost it to Haru in a fight she was overwhelmed in. I haven't seen her much fight other than that, so I can't assess her skill too much, though I suspect she was undersized for the 105 lb belt. Her camp told me she could fight at 100 lbs.
Rungnapa Por. Muangphet
Another fighter in the Por. Muang Phet stable (they have 3 in this ranking). A strong straight knee fighter who I've faced 3 times. Rungnapa is a solid fighter who fights frequently, so again she's sure to rise.
Sao Khon Kaen
Sao Khon Kaen very recently had an incredibly strong fight against Gaewdaa, where she exhibited great range of skill and technique, strength in the clinch and ring IQ. Ultimately, Gaewdaa demonstrated her own ability to turn fights around and won decisively in round 4, but I was impressed by Sao Khon Kaen (and Gaewdaa, really).
Criteria I considered, though not always in this order, include:
A standing World title, standing Thai titles, fight frequency, wins against larger opponents, wins against other ranked fighters. reputation in the fight scene, fight style dominance, length of career accomplishments.
My rankings are Thai heavy, in that as a female fighter in Thailand, in these weight classes (I walk at 48 kg, ideally fight at 45 kg), I’ve fought a lot of these fighters, and/or follow their fights in Thai written media. Thai fighters are the most frequently tested. There are definitely holes in my awareness, but in the name of fairness I try to distribute any weakness I have, for instance I rank WPMF champions highly even though I may not have seen them fight much, or at all, and despite the fact that some of these champions do not defend their belts often against top contenders.
Age and weight: I’ve included an approximate weight range for each fighter, as these are different sized fighters. This range when provided is a blend of walk-around and cut weight, just to give a general perspective. Thai female Muay Thai fighters, start so young they can often peak in their mid teens as fighters, lacking a career path beyond. I wrote about this in Judging Youth. So I’ve included where I can the ages of each ranked fighter. The source of this number comes from Facebook (which can fluctuate in accuracy), Meeboard profiles (which also can have inaccuracies), and in some cases through friends who should know.
What this list comes down to is this is an informed, but subjective list – by me – weighing fighters by reputation but also by my personal experience of them. The average size of an opponent of mine in my 125(+) fights in the country has been over 50 kg, so I’ve fought not only in my weight class, but well beyond it most of the time. It complicates things that I’m part of this list – I’m very uncomfortable ranking myself -, but in another sense regarding many of these fighters I’ve very well informed as I’ve been in the ring with them, sometimes multiple times, or watched them in the ring with others.
In disclosure, these are the ranked fighters I’ve beaten at least once: Faa Chiangrai, Cherry Gor. Twin Gym, Saya Ito, Jomkwan Sit Tonsak, Gaewdaa Por. Muangphet, Taksaporn Inthachai, Muangsingjiew O. Wanchurd, Baefirn Bor. Puiboonput, Nong Benz Sit Dobwod, Rungapa Por. Muangphet, Sao Khon Kaen. And these are the ranked fighters I’ve fought and not yet beaten: Loma Lookboonmee, Lommanee Chalamnoi Sit Chayanee, Thanonchanok R. R. Gilalampang. My complete fight record can be seen here.
The biggest reason behind this ranking list is that female Muay Thai needs up-to-date rankings, even if its a subjective list. Other sub 48-ish kg western fighters (or fans) need to see the landscape, they need to know who is fighting at the top levels. Those who follow the sport need to have a sense of what results might mean. I’ll be editing this list as I get feedback, for instance I’ve asked reporters of Japanese fighting if I’ve missed anyone or wrongly assessed. I should also mention that I’ve left off a few fighters because of weight, as a line has to be drawn somewhere. Originally for instance I kept 14 year old phenom PhetJee Jaa off the list because she’s just too small (39 kg walk around), but a big victory up in weight against Faa Chiangrai forced my hand. She just needs to be on it, as she’s beating these larger fighters. A rising fighter though like Sophia Torkos (Coco Puff) of Santai Muay Thai is probably too large to make the cut off (I believe she walks at 55 kg) though she has fought and won against fighters on the list. A fighter like Denise Mellor-Castle on the other hand seems to have moved on from Muay Thai in the last years and concentrated on pro boxing. The Japanese fighter Rena, who I’m told could make 48, does not fight full rules Muay Thai – if she did she might very well be in the top 3. And yes, there may be other fighters all over the world I simply do not know of, pro fighters who fight and do well in the IFMA’s for instance. It’s just not on my radar. My knowledge base is very Thailand-heavy, including westerners who fight in Thailand, and some top Japanese fighters. But the real point here isn’t who is better than whom, but rather a chance to see everyone altogether, all the faces, all the names, as best we can. Ranking just gives it order. At the base of everything, this is just my personal list, just how I see things as a fighter and writer from my experience with many of these fighters, what I hear through the grapevine mixed in with natural holes in awareness.
Because this is meant to be a world list, if you know of someone (or you yourself are someone) who you feel belongs in the rankings please message me or email at sylvieAT8limbs.us and I’ll take a look. This list is not definitive, official, or exhaustive. It’s really a starting point, filling in the gap between what some other organizations are providing.
You can see the WPMF rankings, which I’ve been following for a few years now here:
A 100 lb. (46 kg) female Muay Thai fighter. Originally I trained under Kumron Vaitayanon (Master K) and Kaensak sor. Ploenjit in New Jersey. I then moved to Thailand to train and fight full time in April of 2012, devoting myself to fighting 100 Thai fights, as well as blogging full time. Having surpassed 100, and then 200, becoming the westerner with the most fights in Thailand, in history, my new goal is to fight an impossible 471 times, the historical record for the greatest number of documented professional fights (see western boxer Len Wickwar, circa 1940), and along the way to continue documenting the Muay Thai of Thailand in the Muay Thai Library project: see patreon.com/sylviemuay