Muay Thai – Fighting Taller Opponents

Victor Saravia of Muay Thai America Gym gives us his top tips for fighting taller opponents

Victor “Dynamite” Saravia is one of the top Muay Thai fighters in the USA today. As a shorter fighter, Victor often ends up fighting taller opponents. To deal with them, you need to use your size to your advantage and bring the fight to them.

Taller fighters will use every inch of range advantage they can muster. They will keep you away and look to use the teep to stop you coming in to the pocket, where they are not comfortable. Fighting taller opponents is tricky, as they are able to punch at a greater distance and use ranged weapons to pick away at you.

The first thing you should not stay in front of them, where they can throw long teebs, jabs and knees. You need to apply pressure continually, utilising fakes and tapping a few light shots before throwing your power shots. You will need to use head movement to stay out of the way of the jab and counter. Victor says to always throw in threes, changing levels, hitting head, body and leg.

When they throw the teeb, start catching it and countering with the hook to the head, always applying pressure. If they throw the right push kick, catch it, put them into the cross. Start throwing knees while controlling their arms. They will be using their long straight punches to keep you at range. It is vital that you control their arms and and close the gap. This enables you to access the body with kicks and knees, continuing to apply pressure.

Fighting taller opponents is often a daunting prospect, but with continuous pressure, control of arms, use of angles and level changes, you will be able to bring the fight to them and fight your game.

Tom Billinge Tom is the Editor of Revgear Sports and the founder of WarYoga. He is a 10th Planet purple belt and a Muay Thai Kru having spent over two decades in the sport in Thailand and around the world. Tom has trained Lethwei in Myanmar, Kushti wrestling in India, Zurkhaneh sports in Iran, boxing throughout Europe, and catch wrestling in the USA. Tom also resurrected the ancient techniques of traditional British bareknuckle pugilism from archaic manuals.