- Lethwei is an ancient Burmese martial art
- Known as the "Art of Nine Limbs", punches, kicks, knees, elbows, and headbutts are legal
What happens when a deadly finisher and a man with a head like Kazuyuki Fujita square off? A great fight, of course.
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In this chapter of Best Lethwei Fights, the fight was between the legendary Too Too and Kyal Lin Aung, which took place on January 13, 2016, under traditional Lethwei rules.
Too Too came into the fight undefeated, and he had won the Lethwei Golden Belt in the middleweight division just a year prior. Despite only being 25 at the time, he had vast experience performing at an elite level. Too Too took part in Muay Thai competitions at the 2013 Southeast Asian Games and 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, where he won a gold and bronze medal, respectively.
On top of this, he competed in the only Lethwei superfight match in 2015, which was held under the Kunlun Fight banner in Slovakia.
His opponent, Kyal Lin Aung, has a reputation of being one of the toughest in the sport. He is often compared to Kazuyuki Fujita – a Japanese mixed martial artist who has a chin harder than granite.
Allegedly, Lin Aung’s skull has broken numerous attacking fists and feet over the course of his career as a result of its unnatural sturdiness.
Lin Aung is also a lightweight, which gave Too Too a significant size advantage. This, however, didn’t faze Lin Aung in the slightest.
Too Too vs Kyal Lin Aung
As both warriors stood across from one another, it proved a stark reminder of why weight classes exist. Too Too was taller, heavier, and more muscular than his opponent; surely the fight would be over quickly, thought many.
One can identify Too Too in the fight video below as the fighter in orange shorts and green tape, whereas Kyal Lin Aung is wearing black and red shorts, along with black tape.
The whistle signaling the beginning of the fight was blown, and the music surrounding the ring began to play. Too Too and Kyal Lin Aung showed a mutual sign of respect, then took to their individual stances.
Too Too was clearly the aggressor, throwing vicious body kicks from the start. The middleweight bullied his opponent in the clinch, connecting with multiple elbows and throwing him to the ground. As Kyal Lin Aung was the smaller fighter, he attempted to use wild strikes as a way to close the distance, but his attempts were unsuccessful, as Too Too was able to counter the lightweight as he moved in.
Too Too’s faints were extremely effective: they lured his adversary into throwing strikes, which he countered. Towards the end of the round, the middleweight landed a powerful elbow that sent Kyal Lin Aung to the canvas.
Lin Aung began a different strategy at the start of the second round, throwing oblique kicks that forced his opponent backward. That impediment on forward motion didn’t last long, as Too Too connected with a clean left hook to the body, causing the lightweight to initiate a clinch. He would pay for this decision by eating three razor-sharp elbows, which stunned him.
Too Too threw a head kick, but it was his knee that collided with the skull of Lin Aung, sending him to the floor. As he rose back up, the crowd began to applaud. They were witnessing two warriors in the midst of battle. The middleweight fired another head kick, but this time his opponent did not flinch.
It was the most accurate strike of the fight so far, but Kyal Lin Aung never felt a thing. Too Too decided that two wasn’t enough, and subsequently sent another two in the direction of his counterpart, which led to the second knockdown of the round.
Too Too started the third round like he did the first, throwing body kicks. Kyal Lin Aung was able to catch a kick and sweep his foot from underneath him, reminding the middleweight not to get complacent. Too Too went back to using faints, and, in response, his opponent threw a body kick that was quickly countered.
The counters never stopped there, as Lin Aung was dropped by a robust 1-2. For the fourth time in the fight, the veteran lightweight rose back to his feet, further showcasing his toughness and durability. Too Too unleashed a wicked overhand right to the chin on Lin Aung, yet again making him collide with the canvas.
Too Too’s judgement of range is superb – he slips away from his opponent’s strikes at the perfect time, enabling him to throw counters of his own. It is obvious that he is the more powerful competitor, as a teep kick sends his opposition flying towards the corner.
Both men were speaking to each other, laughing, and nodding their heads throughout the contest. Too Too hits one more trademark head kick, which finds a home on Lin Aung’s hardened skull. The lightweight catches another body kick, sweeps his opponent to the floor and begins to shout at him, signaling him to get up; he is still in this fight. As the round comes to a close Too Too begins to tee off on Lin Aung, forcing him to fall out of the ropes.
At the start of the fifth and final round, both warriors showed mutual respect towards one another and continued with their clash. Too Too clinches with his opponent, and lands five knees which go unanswered. Kyal Lin Aung applies pressure on the middleweight by trapping him in a corner but ultimately becomes victim to a flying knee, which wobbles him. He initiates a clinch, and what follows is one of the most deadly combinations in Lethwei:
Too Too hits Kyal Lin Aung with a headbutt, followed by an elbow, which is then rounded off with a polished head kick. Lin Aung crashed to the mat, clearly concussed. The referee began his twenty-second count, but the lightweight was unable to reach his feet.
Too Too won via 5th round TKO.
He helped his dazed opponent to his feet, went onto his knees and thanked him for the fight. Too Too performed a Lekkha Yay in front of a pleased crowd, happy with his victory.
Too Too was able to win throw an effective use of his reach – he could hit his opponent at distance due to being larger, frequently using his lengthy jab and body shots to keep Lin Aung at bay. His feints played a major role, as they gave him the openings to counter; Too Too took advantage of these opportunities by routinely catapulting his right hand to the chin of his adversary.
Steven specialises in MMA and Lethwei. He loves a good 1-2 down the middle.