2008 K-1 Max Final 8 – Buakaw vs. Sato


Big up to my K-1fans forum brothers, in particular Yassuo for taking the time to share with the rest of us. For those of you who can’t access veoh, you can watch here on dailymotion.  Thanks Gusnark for providing the dm link.

Buakaw Por. Pramuk vs. Yoshihiro Sato

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Do not read beyond this spoiler alert!

I’m going to take some time and look at our little contest.  I need to see who was able to call this one.  Wow… somebody is having a laugh…

What can we say… if this didn’t he KTFO of Buakaw he would have one the decision.  No not because of the shading judging, but because he outworked Buakaw.

Lazy, lazy Buakaw… people are going to be looking at this and wondering if he was paid to take a dive, people will point to the fact that he wasn’t fighting like himself…. but in the end Sato got busy. It bums me out to see Buakaw lose… he’s still probably one of my favourite fighters of all time.   I just don’t think he was prepared for Sato to come out guns blazing.  To me he looked nonchalant, like it was no big deal.

As the round wore on he got into KO panic mode.  I think he realized he was down on points and needed the KO. Wow…

Judging from this round nobody is getting any prizes from me.  If anyone calls this bracket I’ll be impressed.


About Author

I started My Muay Thai back in 2006... I was tired of reading about MMA, and wanted somewhere I could watch real muay thai fights, be inspired and connect with others who love muay thai as much as I do... I currently live in London... when I'm not geeking out over muay thai you can find me bombing around London on my scrambler, ferreting out the latest street food gems.


  1. I don’t know about you guys, but I think Buakaw needs a new trainer and some discipline. Maybe even another gym? One knee to the plexus and he was out. I never thought to see him KOed like this.
    I hope this KO gives him some motivation, we want wild, hungry Buakaw back!
    He will lose so many fans because of this fight. I kinda feel sorry for him. I hope he gets back on the horse, this is going to be a tough time for him.

  2. stinolatino on

    Speechless.. you said it bro…
    From the first round on I was impressed by sato, he used his reach advantage well and Buakaw didn’t fase him much until the 2nd I thought.. then that happened DAMN.

    Indeed respect to sato.
    The Sato betters just mada a LOT of dough at the betting office;)

  3. HighRevinMT on

    This is starting to become very painful to watch…….. : (
    Buakaw’s hands are leaving him way too vulnerable

    Another MAX, another step back

  4. Very impressed with Sato, this could be his breakthrough year. However, maybe I’m the only one but I had Buakaw ahead because he seemed to be landing the quality shots and returned a lot of Sato’s shots. Buakaw just wasn’t prepared for the war of attrition which he should have been prepared for since their last fight was a war.

    I feel bad for Buakaw, quality fighter and seems to be a nice person as well.

  5. Maybe I don’t know shit but, I had the impresion Buakaw was dominating. Sato was rushing, but not landing. At the end of the 2nd I was even impresed Sato didnt hit the floor after so many CLEAR hits in his head. And then, just one knee and one punch and Buakaw gets KOED? I dont get it really.

  6. natemuaythaimaster on

    It was a good fight and I don’t think Buakaw was being lazy I just think he didn’t have the correct strategy against Sato

  7. no offense guys but i find k1 world max to be getting fuckin ridiculous, what is this like the 3rd time these 2 are fighting? thats plenty time to study and get to know each other, its like the very same guys every year, these guys know each other by heart already, i bet you they can count every moe on their semi-final, quarterfinal opponent’s body, and honestly buakaw is an old man considering the over 400 fights hes had since childhood, just imagine the wear and tear of his body/joints. look at how young, strong, and active he was in 2003-2004, now that he knows how to box a little, in thailand in terms of muay thai, hes an old man or near. look at other champs like sakmongkol, when he was 18 he was considered in his prime in thailand

  8. Anyway, they need get a thai with wining options there, if buakaw won’t take it seriously then thake yod or whatever. Cant call anything a world class kickboxing tournament without a good thai in the lineup

  9. That’s what I don’t get Nop. He really looks like out when going down. I still haven’t seen a face of pain in him after any hit, he alwais looks like they are doing no damage. And now this. Sato must have hit at the right place at the right time.

    Or maybe that emotionless face is something common among thai nak muays? Now that I think about Yod…

  10. I have to disagree with Buakaw being in panic mode in the 3rd – he was winning that fight IMO but got caught running on empty against a hungry and strong opponent. Was his conditioning a problem going into the fight (sickness? injury?)? Who knows..

    Regardless, I believe people in general are too hard on Buakaw. They elected him as their representative for ‘MT awesomeness’ and now that he loses (to a great fighter like Sato), his motivation, place in MAX is being called into question… Not much support from fans who not too long ago were lauding him as greatest thing ever just a year and a half ago. Shouldn’t us MT fans stick by our idols a bit more?

    I wish him the best of luck and more success in MAX and otherwise :p

  11. Colargol: That being true, the thing is that he comes from another bad year…I expected a better come back(like ’06).

    The greatest can become a commoner by not training, me being from Barcelona have had the “pleasure” to experience it (soccer) with Ronaldinho.

  12. although sato was eating some shots you could tell that the fight was turning. sato was pushing the pace of the fight and his knees were backing buakaw up. its those damn pointy knees that stab in your side and make you feel like throwing up everything inside of you.

  13. Kreuang Jak on

    WOW……. Thats all i can really say. its kind of like when WWF was popular and Hulk Hogan was the man and Earthquake sat on him. Damn. I was crushed.

  14. WTF?

    The fight seemed pretty even in terms of punching, and both got some good shots in, but I’d have to say Sato had the quicker hands.

    I don’t know where Buakaw’s legs have gone. Kick the guy, man!!! Quit giving him weak push kicks!!! Kick his legs!!! Kick his body!!! Kick his face!!! (Okay, maybe Sato’s a bit too tall to kick in the face, so nevermind). But goddamnit!!! Just kick him wherever!!!

    I wouldn’t say Buakaw was lazy. Maybe he just didn’t have the right gameplan. Or maybe/probably Sato’s just really that good.

    Btw, credit to Buakaw for not showing any sign of pain after that knee. I know I would have been wincing in pain like a little bitch…

  15. in the last round, sato definitely started to land more, as Buakaw started to shy away…at that point I had a bad feeling. Oh well. Good for Sato. Poor guy really needed this I think, and landed a great shot.

    Hopefully Buakaw comes back, but damn…respect to Sato.

  16. what game plan?! You can’t play it slow in K-1 with only three rounds to win. It’s not Thailand (unfortunately). He was far too lazy, and he was expecting Sato to wear himself out. Japanese fighters just don’t wear out as easily as western fighters, in my experience. He was literally just lazy. Lazy in training, lazy in the ring. Thumbs down, but let’s hope he learns from this.

  17. “He was far too lazy, and he was expecting Sato to wear himself out.”

    He started slow in the first round, and just kept pushing Sato back with those kicks, but picked up the pace later on and in the second round. In the third he slowed down again, but maybe Sato had him hurt by then.

    I guess you’re right. He should do a non-stop demolition job from the first to the last bell, the way he used to.

  18. It’s hard to know if it’s lazy or lack of a gameplan, but BPP didn’t push the fight enough and relied WAY too much on his hands. In the last few years his boxing skills have improved dramatically, but he’s not good enough to rely on them, especially against a taller opponent. The old one arm jam/lean in and take the punches doesn’t work when your opponent knows how to throw an uppercut!

    I do agree that (in spite of what I’ve said above), BPP was ahead on my card. It was probably really close b/c Sato was really pushing the action. In real time I thought Sato was dominating, but when you watch the replays, all of Sato’s “good combos” were glancing blows…until that last one.

    Buakaw may need to switch gyms. Maybe a change of pace would do him good. But somebody asked the $60,000 question: with all those fights, is Buakaw too far over the hill in muay thai?

    No matter what, he’s still one of my favorite nak muays!

  19. I feel like ive just seen the twin towers collapse or princess Di’s car hit the wall……Buakaw is just not suppossed to go down like that…..surely it’s a promo stunt before the real fight happens…

  20. I think it’s hubris, plain and simple. I have my doubts that he or his camp took Sato seriously.

    It’s an overwhelmingly Thai attitude towards fighting non-thais. Nopstar, you touched on yourself when talking to Kaoklai, he admitted to no extra or different preparation. I think it was the same for Lamsongkram.

    I seriously think that many of the Thai nakmuay think they will get by on their experience and skills, no matter what. Often it works, sometimes, the results are not so pleasent.

  21. Buakaw looked like he was leading in the first 2 rounds, landing some good shots, but Sato obviously wanted it more and deserved the win.

    Its been said recently, Buakaw no longer has power behind his punches, despite his speed, hence the lack of wins by KO.

    Can’t imagine him taking on Yodsaenklai, and definately not under Muay Thai rules, which makes K-1 rules tame by comparison!

  22. Bryan,
    right on spot. Agree.

    nice observation, maybe you’re right, but I believe Buakaw needs motivation more than anything. He stil looks very strong and fit.

    What a shocker this fight was man!

  23. While the behaviour Bryan described is prevalent (Buakaw’s fight against Chahbari is an example) it probably had nothing to do with this fight. In their last bout Sato nearly dropped him after Buakaw bludgeoned him the entire round. He gained a ton of confidence and know-how from that fight. The uppercut which Buakaw is susceptible to worked like a charm and what else needs to be said about those knees?

    Judging by the first round alone Buakaw was going to cruise to a decision, but Sato stepped up his game and did what he had to.

    Sato has beaten stadium-ranked Thai fighters before under MT rules and while it wasn’t a particularly pleasant sight to see Buakaw collapse like that you can take solace in the fact that it was Yoshihiro Sato of all people that stopped him.

  24. LorKoteKote on

    Wow…He is after all human I guess. I’m happy for sato that he got some revenge after those embarassing knockouts of the past.

    He’s a soldier though he was fighting against his body to stay up, he was still trying to throuh puches with his lungs locked up like that?? That’s Heart, Jai Yai Jing Jing!
    Did anyone else see that nut punch @ 6:42?

  25. About Sato in this fight:

    – His hands weren’t scoring as often as people think (many, incl. those uppercuts actually missed or were blocked) but they DID win him the fight; if he wasn’t throwing and throwing well, Buakaw would have been all over him, just like in their last fight. This IMO was the big difference in the fight and what allowed Sato to utilize the rest of his arsenal properly.

    – His work with the lows and knees was great. Particularly how he mixed them in with his boxing. Sato was fighting the way he used to back in his MT days.

    – Sato showed tremendous courage and poise under pressure. Buakaw had smoked him twice before and was doing his usual intimidating tricks: teep the supporting leg, sweeps, trips, dodging and scary counters. Plus Sato was getting hit with heavy punches more and more as the fight wore on. Sato was dead tired in the third as well – I could see him gasping for air ..but he fought through it and managed to hurt Buakaw at a very critical point in the fight.

  26. Buakaw worked too hard for the first 2 rounds. So, he ran out of gas in the round 3. He moved too slow in the round 3 to escape Sato attack. I think Buakaw should consider to quit or find a new trainer.

    It is time for Yodsanklai to get in K1. This is his peak time in his career. So, he should try to get more title and money.

    I hate to see Buakaw lost like this. Unbelievable…

  27. Jerry,

    Why should Buakaw quit?
    Souwer was KOed in 2006 and in 2007 became champion and very likely will become champ in 2008. Everyone usually gets KOed in his career.

    Buakaw got kicked in the plexus or liver and he stayed without breath. He wasn’t knocked out cold. Staying on your feet without a breath that long is a miracle to me. The fight was pretty even where Buakaw dominated with hands, but his undiscipline and recklessness cost him I guess.

    Guys, is there any post-interview with Buakaw?

  28. son……i wouldnt call him lazy. he didint seem 100%. i dont think any bit of it was do to lack of training. if sato worked the knees in the beginning he would have really rocked buakawss world. OR it would have woke buakaw up but then again he didnt rly have any effective defense goin on.

  29. Jerry, don’t think I want to see Yod in K-1; rather K-1 allows their fighter to fight outside of it under alternative fight rules such as in Muay Thai and China’s Art of War FC.

    Have seen too many fighters enter K-1 and lose their edge from too many restrictions, but that’s just me.

  30. Don’t get me wrong. Buakaw is still a great fighter in my mind. I love K1 because of him. I wanna see him on K1 also, but it seems his opponents know how to fight with him. We could see that he often needed to fight extra round. The new K1 rules are unmatched with his style.

    Also, since he lost Masato, everyone has expected him to keep coming back better by fixing his weakness. But it turns out he still has no sign of coming back. On the other hand, Souwer and Masato came back very strong after he lost Buakaw. He really needs a new trainer if he wants to continue K1.

  31. I see your point Jerry, everyone talks about “the comeback” but it’s already been 2 years since I saw a good fight of him.

    They say it’s harder to stand at the top than arriving there. Really strong will needed. And arriving is freakin hard also so…he gets my respect even if he’s not the same ever again.

  32. I’ve just watched the whole fight again and i notice buakaw was not blocking any knees in the clinch and rarely kneeing himself. Not sure why that is. He ate alot of knees until it caught up with him. Too much fighting in K1 where no one except Sato uses that much knees? Or has fame and fortune caught up with the man and he is just not training as hard… too many distractions ;)

    I think Bryan is right about both the hubris and 1 strategy thing. I also think that there is a distinct difference in him… like i said not sure if its Buakaw himself that is just not training as hard, or his camp that’s at fault or the distractions but something is wrong and he is slipping and unless he does something dramatic to change we will probably see more Buakaw KO, unfortunately. Buakaw’s hands are probably not going to get too much better… his leg kicks and clinches now seems to be less effective… since concentrating on his hands… just my opinion.
    I’m a big buakaw fan but I’m going to be a little critical here … to be honest maybe now Yod can get a crack at K1 Max! I’m betting K1 will continue to let Buakaw slip and just enjoy having more Japanese fighters get a win on him until they are done with him. Sad. It’s up to him to change that now and I hope he has it in him after this defeat. Hopefully this will knock the hubris out.
    I guess it’s hard to see yourself as an underdog once you have been at the top? Maybe this is what Masato was talking about when he made that turn around and said he has to see himself as the challenger now. Although at the time, him being Masato I thought he was talking sht and it was just another publicity spin. But watching his recent fights starting as early as when he was fighting Ole Larsen the hubris during the fight itself seems to be gone and he seems to be just focused. Buakaw gives me the opposite impression in his fights… watch the look and body language whenever he trips and throws his oppopnents… anyway, just my 2 cents.

  33. Treeman-

    I agree with you, I think the K-1 organization likes to see Buakaw in decline. As I had mentioned in the past there has been issues with Buakaw’s camp and K-1 over money.

    I think they will let Yodsanklai in… but the sick thing is I would be willing to bet big money on this… they’ll make Yodsanklai dispatch Buakaw.

  34. “they’ll make Yodsanklai dispatch Buakaw”
    Nop, you blew me away with this statement. Maybe this is the way, how they will switch places someday (since only thai is allowed?), but if Buakaw continues his work, they’re other Japanese fighters who has privilege over Yod, heh.

    right on spot with Buakaw concentrating on hands and neglecting his legs. I don’t know why that is. On one hand could be him changing his style, since the fighters adopted his previous muay thai style. On the other hand could be because boxing is more valuable than kicking?
    His fights in the last two year were more or less unconvincing and uninspiring, winnings with extra rounds, etc.
    Mike said, he’s getting too old, where he has 400 fights behind him. There may be some truth about that, but like you said treeman, something changed.
    I understand he is not the same wild Buakaw, but if this fight won’t sober him/camp, we will see him go down in a painful way.

  35. “make yodsanklai dispatch Buakaw” wow that blew me away as well but to be honest, if that’s what it takes to see the 2 go head to head i wouldn’t mind although i prefer to see it in full MT rules. Ideally I would love to see Buakaw return to winning form before going up against Yod who from recent fights seem to be in incredible form. Please let there be a Yod vs Souwer rematch as well.

  36. Seriously doubt that right now, Buakaw is the most popular foreign fighter in MAX. It was against Sato, but almost every girl was cheering for Buakaw and they’re a main part of the fanbase to this day. They know how valuable Buakaw is to them, would I put it past K-1 management? No. The unspoken one Thai rule speaks for itself. I hope he destroys whoever he fights next, because if he does go down like that again his K-1 career will be over.

    “they’re other Japanese fighters who has privilege over Yod, heh”

    Mochizuki still isn’t in K-1, Daiki is focusing on Muay Thai etc. It’s not that simple. Fact of the matter is that K-1 doesn’t give a lot of these Japanese fighters an easy entrance into K-1. They fight Muay Thai rules and are then expected to adjust in one fight. It’s no wonder there’s only three Japanese MAX contenders.

    Kido has actually been around MAX for three years and needed to become more of a kickboxer. With Shin Noppadetsorn at Taniyama he can still grow as a fighter. Now even someone as good as Sato had to struggle – with the elite, mind you, but if the knees and clinching were allowed he’d make short work of a lot of people.

    K-1 is very lucky AJKF and co. are around seeing as they can now pillage their 60 KG division and model their GP after AJKF’s awesome tournament last year.

  37. I just woke up, ive been in shock for a while, watching the Fight over and over again, (not that i didnt think it was fair or possible) But I think that Buakaw did panic cause of the last fight with Sato went the Xtra round even though he killed him, and like then Buakaw thought oh shit, if i dont knock him out or TOTALLY dominate him He will be given the Victory or the Draw. But I admitt Sato was better than he ever showed before, and had a gameplan, and beat all the odds. The knee was to the Liver wasnt it, not the Solarplexus.!? Buakaw DID look lazy and confident, and I wonder if thats was his Nemesis. The Hype, all the money, maybe he needs “The eye of the Tiger” so to speak. But I knew SOMEONE Would do it To him at some point, but I wasnt expecting SATO to be the one, props to Sato.

  38. Kamatari, I like your comments. respect.
    But I still believe many Japanese fighters are privileged over Yod and non-Japanese fighters. Just by looking at the line-up at K-1 WORLD MAX 2008 World Championship event for example, there are a lot of Japanese fighters. They always are. To me they are totally unknown, while Yod is very well known internationally. He would probably also beat all these ‘unknown’ Japanese fighters. This year there were 3 Japanese fighters in final8. I understand K-1 is Japanese sport, but why, you have such a great fighters around the world adapted to K-1 fighting style. Why is Yod not given opportunity in K-1 MAX tournament, why he doesn’t attend K-1 Asia MAX tournament, I don’t know. But that’s another topic.

  39. Yeah, but fighters like HAYATO only get a shot at the Japan MAX tournament and let’s not forget that he beat someone like Kyshenko in a super fight. I don’t think fighters like him would become K-1 MAX champion, but at the most there’ll be 3 Japanese fighters in the eliminations that way.

    I would love to see more Thai fighters in MAX and I really do have a problem with Japanese AND Dutch fighters being priviledged over Thai fighters. Yodsanklai with his style could become a star, he won’t have Buakaw’s appeal but let’s not forget that Buakaw’s popularity blows Kraus and Souwer’s out of the water.

  40. Hayato is an ok fighter, but another Japanese fighter in Max Final is way too much. :)
    Hayato had the opportunity, but Kido dispatched him.
    Which brings to idea, why don’t we see more Thais competing in Asia tournament? Te only explanation to me is that, they’re not given a chance. Why is that, only K-1 administration knows the answer. Two fighters that I really miss in K-1 are Yod and Petrosyan. Hope to see them around soon! Cheers.

  41. I notice that buakaw’s hands are still as heavy as when he knocked out Sato in their first meeting. However, i think the difference is that without good boxing and the element of surprise he can’t land those punches while he is still fresh and throwing predominantly punches seems to tired Buakaw out much more than throwing kicks. Phyically he looks in incredible condition as always but I’ve notice he seems to tire alot quicker these days. Don’t forget he’s not a natural puncher like Yod.

  42. Wassup guys. New kid in town here. I am little late on this but want to put my 2 cents in.
    Buakaw is one of my favorite fighter. I am just disappointed when he lost to Masato last K1 and now this. I am speechless. And lost to Sato? an apponent he dominate before. I wonder if the K1 ever changing rule have anything to do with it.
    I want old Buakaw back.

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