Therdkiat Sittepitak

Therdkiat Sittepitak “King of Lumpinee” – Best Fights & Biography

To ascend to the pinnacle of Muay Thai glory, claiming the revered Lumpinee championship not once, but four times, and across two separate weight classes, demands nothing short of legendary prowess and unyielding determination. Enter Therdkiat Sittepitak – the legendary technician known as “The King of Lumpinee”, who beat the best of the best, carving his legacy into the annals of combat sports history.

Name: Therdkiat Sittepitak
Birth Name:Somkid Kruewan
Thai Name:เทอดเกียรติ ศิษย์เทพพิทักษ์
Date of Birth:August 29th 1970 
Place of Birth:Satuek District, Buriram province, Thailand
Nicknames:The King of Lumpinee, The King of Kathina, Disc Brake Kicker
Height:170 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Weight:126 lb (57kg; 9 st 0lb)
Style:Muay Femur
Team:Team Nongkeepahuyuth (1992-1997)
Titles and Accomplishments:1989 Lumpinee Stadium 122 lbs Champion, 1990 Lumpinee Stadium 126 lbs Champion, 1991 Lumpinee Stadium 126 lbs Champion, 1993 Lumpinee Stadium 126 lbs Champion, 1997 IMTC Junior Welterweight Champion
Therdkiat Sittepitak Elbow Highlights

Born in Buriram province in 1970, Therdkiat was first introduced to Muay Thai by his father who was a former fighter in the Thai circuit. He commenced his fighting career at age 14 with a KO victory, fighting under the alias Kiatanrong Luksakaew, and competing for several years in provincial circuits before being discovered by Songchai Rattanasuban. Songchai, a renowned talent scout and promoter, recruited Therdkiat to compete in the Onesongchai promotion in Bangkok, bestowing upon him the ring name “Therdkiat Sittepitak”.

In the initial phase of his stadium career, Therdkiat primarily trained independently in his hometown, occasionally supplementing his preparation with brief stints in Bangkok camps prior to matches. During these early matches, a journalist observed that Therdkiat often appeared exhausted in the latter rounds, prompting him to joke that Therdkiat only ate acacia leaves prior to his fights. Therdkiat used to pick acacia leaves to use in traditional Issan dishes after his training sessions back in his home town, earning him the nickname, “The Acacia.”

Despite this seemingly laid-back approach to fight preparation, coupled with the fact that he started out in the sport at a ripe age comparatively, Therdkiat entered the fight world with great momentum. In fact, he made his mark in the mid-1980s by turning over one of the most formidable elbow fighters in history, “The Elbow Hunter of 100 Stitches,” Yodkhunpon Sittraipum, to claim the Issan region 112 lbs title.

Meteoric Rise and Lumpinee

The late ’80s truly marked an extraordinary ascent to the top for Therdkiat, as he won 74 out of 81 fights between ’85 and ’88, overcoming legendary opponents like Panomrunglek Chor Sawat. Moving forward, Therdkiat beat Ritthichai Lookchaomaesaitong, Den Muangsurin, and Samransak Muangsurin en route to his inaugural shot at the Lumpinee title in November of ’89.

Remarkably, during this period, he suffered defeats against Panomrunglek, Den, and Samransak in their initial encounters, yet systematically avenged those losses, earning his opportunity to contend for the most prestigious prize in Muay Thai.

That opportunity came against “Remote Puncher” Superlek Sorn Esarn, a heavy puncher from Ubon Ratchathani province, who had fought Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai for the 122 lbs title just one month earlier. Therdkiat won their bout over five rounds, securing the 122 lbs Lumpinee title.

therdkiat sittepitak lumpinee champion
Therdkiat Sittepitak – Lumpinee Champion 122 lbs

Therdkiat’s first fight as Lumpinee Champion came against an old adversary in Panomrunglek who, once again, proved his title-contending credentials by beating Therdkiat on points in a non-title fight. Therdkiat then went on a three-fight winning streak, defeating Rot Lukrangsee and Boonlong Sor Thanikul (brother of Boonlai) on two occasions.

Therdkiat then successfully defended his 122 lbs title against Panomrunglek in March of 1990 before vacating the title. He experienced natural weight gain as he approached the age of 20, and decided to relinquish his 122 lbs title to move up to the 126 lbs division.

In June of that year, Therdkiat was crowned the 126 lbs Lumpinee Champion after defeating Petchdam Lukborai on points. Two months later, Therdkiat attempted to fight for a second title by challenging Cherry Sor Wanich for his 130 lbs Lumpinee title. However, the Muay Khao from Khon Kaen refused to yield, successfully defending his title for a third time, and depriving Therdkiat of simultaneously holding two Lumpinee titles.

therdkiat sittepitak pictured with jaroenthong kiatbanchong
Therdkiat Sittepitak (right) pictured with Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong

Although he chalked up a few good wins against notable fighters such as Panomrunglek, Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong and Rajasak Sor Vorapin over the next twelve months, this period was littered with defeats against notably strong knee fighters. In addition, Therdkiat lost his 126 lbs Lumpinee title later on in the year to Jaroenthong, only to win it back from an aggressive fighter named Sanit Wichitkriangkrai “The Leaping Tiger” when the title became vacant three months later.

Therdkiat Sittepitak vs Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong | November 27th, 1990 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Victory)

Lumpinee belts were changing hands like hot potatoes, such was the high level of competition among Muay Thai fighters in that era. In fact, in early 1992, Therdkiat lost the title once more on his very first defence against “The Wooden man” Jongsanan Fairtex who was in top form, having just beaten Cherry and Dokmaipah Por Pongawang.

The Paradigm Shift

Following a win against an aggressive Sangtiennoi, a loss against Namkabuan Nongkeepahuyuth, and yet another loss to Jongsanan, Therdkiat made a pivotal life decision that would significantly influence his trajectory in the world of Muay Thai. He transitioned to the Nongkeepahuyuth camp in Nong Ki District, where he trained alongside former adversaries, Namkabuan and Nampon Nongkeepahuyuth, the brothers who had both defeated Therdkiat in recent years. Songchai had been unhappy with Therdkiat’s inconsistency, and had requested that he switch from his home training routine in the countryside to a professional gym with other top nak muay.

therdkiat sittepitak vs nampon nongkeepahuyuth
Nampon Nongkeepahuyuth (left) vs Therdkiat Sittepitak (right)

Like most femurs in the ‘90s, Therdkiat required ample distance between himself and his opponent to execute his fluid technical maneuvers. Namkabuan and Nampon excelled in their use of kicks and knee strikes, and were capable of closing the space on their opponents, effectively suffocating them. Although Namkabuan began his Muay Thai journey as a pure Muay Khao, he later developed into a much more technical and complete fighter, utilising knees inside the clinch and seemingly transitioning to technical out-fighting. Notably, Namkabuan was the 130 lbs Lumpinee Champion at the time of Therdkiat’s switch.

Division Tear-Up

From October ’92 to March ’93, Therdkiat tore through the 126 lbs division, embarking on a five-fight winning streak against some of the greatest fighters in history – Cherry, Nuathoranee, Jongsanan, Robert and Charndet. To highlight two of these matches:

1. Therdkiat vs Jongsanan – remains one of the most aesthetically pleasing and technically perfect head kick knockouts of all time

2. Therdkiat vs Nuathoranee – stands as an example of Muay Femur elbow fighting.

Therdkiat Sittepitak vs Cherry Sor Wanich | October 13th, 1992 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Victory)
Therdkiat Sittepitak vs Nuathoranee Tongraja | November 20th, 1992 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Victory)
Therdkiat Sittepitak vs Jongsanan Fairtex | January 29th, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium (KO R2)
Therdkiat Sittepitak vs Robert Kaennorasing | February 26th, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Victory)
Therdkiat Sittepitak vs Chandet Sor Prantalay | March 23rd, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Victory)

This winning streak came to an abrupt end courtesy of “The Black Pearl” Oley Kiatoneway – a mesmerizing technical fighter from Thung Song in the south of Thailand. Oley KO’d Therdkiat in the very first round.

Despite Therdkiat’s defeat to Oley that night, the promoters evidently recognised a potential opportunity, arranging for the two technicians to face each other again just two months later, this time contending for the vacant 126 lbs Lumpinee title.

Therdkiat Sittepitak vs Oley Kiatoneway | October 5th, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Victory)

Therdkiat defeated the legendary femur in a technical battle of wits, winning the 126 lbs Lumpinee title for the third time.

Title Loss and Downturn

Although the following twelve months brought victory for Therdkiat against old adversaries Robert and Jongsanan, he ultimately met his match against another femur elbow specialist in Matee Jadeepitak, losing the fight by doctor stoppage due to elbow cuts. This loss seemed to signify a “passing of the guard” moment, as Therdkiat experienced a three-year period that, by his own exceptionally high standards, could be deemed mediocre. Although he put in some good performances during this period demonstrated by wins against Orono Por Muang Ubon and Rainbow Sor Prantalay, it culminated in a loss against a French fighter by the name of Morad Sari. It was clear that, at just 26 years of age, Therdkiat was passed his best.

Therdkiat Sittepitak Legacy

Therdkiat fought infrequently over the next few years, until fully retiring in 2003. He finished his fighting career with a total of 140 fights, 107 victories with 3 draws.

Therdkiat Sittepitak – One of the most relaxed fighters

Therdkiat’s beautifully technical Muay Thai style, characterized by precise knees and kicks executed from a distance, coupled with smooth slicing elbow techniques, resulted in some of the most captivating and visually stunning Muay Thai battles ever witnessed.

These days, Therdkiat can be found in his home town where he actively helps promote Muay Thai.

therdkiat sittepitak and karuhat sor supawan
Therdkiat Sittepitak (left) with Karuhat Sor Supawan (courtesy of Sylvie)

Similar Posts