He may not be well known in mixed martial arts (MMA) circles but Saenchai PKSaenchaimuaythaigym is a WMC and WBC World Muay Thai Champion with close to 300 professional victories on his record spanning 14 years.
He's a good judge of what constitutes a kickboxer, I guess is what I'm getting at here.
Saenchai sat down recently to talk about UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor's standup game, and surprisingly wasn't as impressed as you'd imagine him to be (see video above).
"He's pretty quick and agile. He's got pretty good hands. His punches are hard and accurate. His kicks are not that great. His kicks are just quick and his hands are the real weapon. The timing of his punches are good. His counter punching is really good, he can really do damage with his counter punching. Yeah, his kicking is pretty weak."
As the video appears to have been recorded before an injury sidelined the UFC 196 lightweight title fight, Saenchai also broke down Rafael dos Anjos. While agreeing that McGregor's punching is definitely superior, he said the Brazilian has more variety by using his knees more and utilizing better kicks.
It probably goes without saying that the Muay Thai fighter gave the ground game edge to dos Anjos as well.
"When these guys fight, I like [dos Anjos] power and he seems like more of a complete fighter. I like the way he kicks, uses his knees and his ground game is better. As long as he doesn't get hit by McGregor's punches first I think he has a better chance of winning."
Indeed, the only edge he would give the Irishman is in punching speed and accuracy.
Answering the obligatory question of whether he could defeat McGregor in a kickboxing fight, Saenchai said unequivocally yes.
"Well, bring it on. I would win," he said, laughing. "I would definitely win. If he were to stand and trade with me I wouldn't have to do much. I would just teep and kick. I would just have to block or evade his punches. I would not worry about his kicking at all. My kicking is way better. If he and I were to fight McGregor couldn't beat me."
Having said all that, Saenchai has more miles on him than Al Bundy's Dodge. A pro competitor in Muay Thai since 2002, the Thai fighter has compiled an astonishing 293-53-3 record.
His career has been linked to MMA numerous times but to date he's never stepped inside a cage and at the age of 35 it's looking less likely he ever will. In the video, however, he says Georges St-Pierre has invited him to train at Tristar in Montreal which certainly makes things interesting, even if it's just for the world class Muay Thai experience he brings to that camp.