As combat sports are growing, there are many new fans that are just getting into Muay Thai. One of the biggest questions asked about the sport is how many rounds are there in a Muay Thai fight?
Let’s break it down and go over how many rounds are in a Muay Thai fight and why? We’ll also compare the rounds in a Muay Thai fight to the rounds in other combat sports.
How Many Rounds in a Muay Thai Fight?
A professional Muay Thai bout consists of 5 rounds that are 3 minutes each. Between each round, the fighters are given a 2 minute break to rest and get ready for the next round.
Every Muay Thai governing body in the world uses this number of rounds for their matches. Both for title and non-title bouts.
Why 5 rounds?
If how many rounds in a Muay Thai is the most asked question from new fans, why five rounds is second. There’s actually four specific reasons why a pro Muay Thai bout is five rounds.
If a Muay Thai fight was just three rounds, the fighters would not have to worry about pacing. They would just go full blast and not worry about getting tired.
But in a five round format, the fighters have to take pacing into account, which is what makes Muay Thai special. Forcing fighters to pace themselves to make it through the five rounds.
As we said in pacing, if a Muay Thai fight was just three rounds, strategy wouldn’t be as important. But having five rounds completely changes the dynamic of the bout.
It forces fighters to have to strategize and read their opponents. See where they are weak and exploit them to either finish the fight or win a decision.
Having a five round bout gives the judges scoring the matches and really evaluates the fighter’s performances. It also gives the fighters more chances to win the fight.
If a fighter loses the first two rounds of their match, they’ll still have a chance to win the next three. Or maybe even come from behind and deliver a stunning knockout that will make the crowd go crazy.
If you didn’t know, gambling is a large part of the sport of Muay Thai. At Thai boxing events in Thailand, half of the audience is betting on each fight.
Up until the start of the fifth round, bookies are taking bets on the fight. Everything from who is going to win the round, who’s going to win the fight, and how?
This is also why you don’t see many first round knockouts in Muay Thai, because it hampers the betting action.
Why 3 minutes?
The main reason for Muay Thai and boxing bouts is because three minutes is perfect for a round. It allows for fighters to keep the action constant and keep the crowds entertained.
Anything under three minutes would feel rushed and over three minutes would exhaust the fighters and make the bout unwatchable.
Why a 2-Minute Break?
Muay Thai requires a lot of endurance and the fight is exhausting. Having a two minute break allows Thai boxers to catch their breath, strategize, and get ready for the next round.
Is Amateur Muay Thai Also 5 Rounds?
The rounds of professional and amateur Muay Thai bouts are not the same. While pro fights consist of five rounds, amateur bouts are generally three rounds.
Amateur Thai boxing matches are also between one and two minutes long. Depending on their age and experience.
How Many Rounds in a Muay Thai Fight Within ONE Championship?
The combat sports promotion ONE Championship actually does their Muay Thai bouts differently than the traditional format. They actually do 3 rounds for non-title bouts and 5 rounds for title bouts with each round lasting 3 minutes.
How Many Rounds are Fights in Glory Kickboxing?
The fights in Glory Kickboxing are the same format as ONE Championship. But the fighting in Glory Kickboxing is not under Muay Thai rules and doesn’t permit elbows or the clinch.