How Many Rounds in Muay Thai? Unveiling the Ultimate Guide to Fight Lengths

Rate this post

Knowing how many rounds in Muay Thai is crucial to appreciate the sport and its unique fighting style fully. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or an interested observer, understanding the structure of a Muay Thai match is essential. In this article, I’ll delve into how many rounds are in Muay Thai, so you can better appreciate this exciting martial art. So, let’s get ready to rumble!

How Many Rounds in Muay Thai?

In professional Muay Thai bouts in Thailand, there are typically five rounds, each lasting three minutes. Between each round, there is a one-minute break for the fighters to rest and receive instructions from their corner.

In amateur Muay Thai bouts, the number of rounds can vary depending on the rules being followed. For example, in some amateur competitions, there may be three rounds lasting two minutes each, while in others, there may be five rounds lasting two minutes.

Sometimes, the number of rounds can increase if a fight ends in a draw. The officials may add an extra game to determine the winner in such a situation.

The number of rounds in Muay Thai may vary based on the level of competition and the rules in place. Nevertheless, the primary focus is always on technique, strategy, and respect for the ancient martial art of Muay Thai, regardless of the number of rounds.

Rules and Regulations


In Muay Thai, the judges award points to each fighter based on their techniques and aggression towards their opponent. The judges score the fighters based on the following criteria: effective striking, clinching, and aggression. Each round is scored on a 10-point must system, where the fighter with more effective techniques receives 10 points, and the other receives nine or fewer points.

READ NEXT: Can You Take Down in Muay Thai?

Weight Divisions

Muay Thai has various weight divisions, ranging from minimum to super heavyweight. The weight divisions are as follows: minimum weight (105 lbs), light flyweight (108 lbs), flyweight (112 lbs), bantamweight (118 lbs), featherweight (126 lbs), lightweight (135 lbs), welterweight (147 lbs), middleweight (160 lbs), light heavyweight (175 lbs), cruiserweight (190 lbs), and heavyweight (over 190 lbs).

Muay Thai has various weight divisions, ranging from minimum to super heavyweight
Image source:

Duration and Rest Periods

Each round in Muay Thai lasts three minutes, with a two-minute break between games. In addition, there is a one-minute break between the first and second rounds and the third and fourth rounds. The fighters can sit during the breaks, and their cornermen can work on them.

Penalties and Warnings

If a fighter commits a foul, they may receive a warning from the referee. If the foul is severe, the referee may also deduct points from a fighter’s score. Some common fouls in Muay Thai include hitting below the belt, headbutting, biting, and attacking a downed opponent.


There are several different rulesets in Muay Thai, depending on the organization and the country where the fight occurs. Some of the most common rulesets include the International Rules, which allow the use of knees and elbows to the body but not the head, and the Full Rules, which will enable the use of knees and elbows to any part of the body. Fighters must familiarize themselves with the ruleset before the fight to avoid penalties or disqualification.

Overall, understanding the rules and regulations of Muay Thai is essential for both fighters and spectators. By knowing the scoring system, weight divisions, duration and rest periods, penalties and warnings, and rulesets, fighters can prepare themselves for a fair and exciting fight.

READ NEXT: Can You Throw in Muay Thai?

Fighters must familiarize themselves with the ruleset before the fight to avoid penalties or disqualification
Image source:


As a Muay Thai practitioner, I’ve learned that this martial art utilizes various techniques. This section will discuss some of the most common Muay Thai techniques.

Striking Techniques

Mastering the striking techniques is crucial in Muay Thai. Punches, kicks, elbows, and knees are all utilized to strike an opponent.

  • Punches: Muay Thai fighters commonly use straight punches and hooks. The chin and knuckles are the main points of contact when punching.
  • Kicks: The roundhouse kick is one of the most common kicks in Muay Thai, which can effectively strike an opponent’s legs, body, or head.
  • Elbows: In close-range combat, elbows can be highly effective in attacking an opponent’s head, body, or legs.
  • Knees: Knees can be a powerful weapon in close-range combat in Muay Thai, allowing fighters to strike their opponent’s legs, body, or head with great force.

READ NEXT: Does Muay Thai Have Spinning Kicks?

Clinch and Grappling

Clinch and grappling techniques are also important in Muay Thai. These techniques are used to control an opponent and take them down.

  • Clinch: The clinch is a technique that controls an opponent’s upper body. It’s commonly used to set up knee strikes and sweeps.
  • Grappling: Sweeps and throws are standard grappling techniques used in Muay Thai. These techniques are used to take an opponent down and gain control.

Mastering these techniques is essential to becoming a successful Muay Thai fighter. By incorporating these techniques into your training, you’ll be able to develop a well-rounded skill set and be prepared for any situation that may arise in the ring.

Training and Form

Regarding Muay Thai, training and form are crucial to mastering the sport. Consistent training and proper form are essential to improving your skills and technique as someone who has practiced Muay Thai for several years.

Shadow Boxing

One of the best ways to improve your form is through shadowboxing. This technique lets you practice your movements and strikes without a partner or opponent. By shadowboxing, you can focus on perfecting your technique, footwork, and balance.

During shadowboxing, it’s essential to pay attention to your form. Keep your hands up and elbows in, and make sure your strikes are coming from your hips and not just your arms. Incorporating different combinations and footwork drills can help keep your training sessions challenging and engaging.

One of the best ways to improve your form is through shadowboxing
Image source:


Sparring is another essential aspect of Muay Thai training. It allows you to put your skills to the test against an opponent in a controlled environment. Sparring can help you develop your timing, distance, and reaction time, and it’s a great way to practice your defensive techniques.

When sparring, it’s important to focus on your form and technique. Try to avoid throwing wild punches or kicks, and instead, focus on precise strikes and movements. Communicating with your sparring partner and establishing boundaries and rules are crucial to ensure a safe and productive session.

Fitness and Calories

Muay Thai is a physically demanding sport that demands endurance and strength. Consistent practice boosts your overall fitness level and burns many calories. A one-hour Muay Thai session can burn up to 1,000 calories, so Muay Thai is an excellent choice for those looking to shed some pounds. This also explains why Muay Thai fighters are often lean and skinny, as their training regimen involves rigorous physical activity and calorie-burning exercises.

Incorporating various training techniques, including cardio, strength training, and conditioning exercises, is crucial to maximizing your fitness and calorie burn. Running, weightlifting, plyometrics, and other activities can be included in your workout routine.

Overall, training and form are essential to mastering Muay Thai. You can improve your skills and reach your full potential by incorporating shadow boxing, sparring, and various fitness techniques into your training regimen.

Muay Thai is a physically demanding sport that demands endurance and strength
Image source:

Competitions and Fights

As a Muay Thai practitioner and writer, I have had the opportunity to witness and participate in different types of fights and competitions. This section will share my insights on Muay Thai bouts and match types.

Amateur Fights

Amateur fights are an excellent way for beginners to get their feet wet in Muay Thai. Local gyms usually organize these fights and are open to fighters with little experience. In amateur fights, fighters wear protective gear such as headgear, shin guards, and gloves. The bouts are usually three rounds of two minutes each, and the judges’ decision determines the winner.

READ NEXT: Can Muay Thai Be Used in A Street Fight?

Professional Bouts

Professional bouts are for experienced fighters who have trained for years and have a good track record of winning fights. In professional bouts, fighters wear less protective gear; the battles are usually five rounds of three minutes each. The judges’ decision or knockout determines the winner.

Muay Thai Competitions

Muay Thai competitions are a great way for fighters to showcase their skills and compete against some of the best fighters in the world. Several Muay Thai competitions are held worldwide, including Thailand’s Lumpinee and Rajadamnern stadiums. These competitions are usually held over several days and feature fighters from different countries.

READ NEXT: Muay Thai Competition: Is There an Age Limit?

Fight Promotions

Fight promotions are organizations that organize and promote Muay Thai fights. One Championship is one of the most famous fight promotions in the world and features some of the best Muay Thai fighters from around the globe. These promotions usually have their own set of rules and regulations, and the fights are usually televised for a wider audience.

In conclusion, Muay Thai fights and competitions are intense and fast-paced events requiring much skill and strategy. Whether you are an amateur fighter just starting or a professional fighter with years of experience, there is a type of fight or competition that suits your level. As a fighter, it is essential to always wear the necessary protective gear, maintain your balance and flexibility, and focus on dominating your opponent.


In conclusion, there are different opinions on how many rounds are in Muay Thai. Some experts say there are five rounds, while others say three or even seven.

Regardless of the number of rounds, it is essential to remember the fundamentals of Muay Thai. This martial art has a rich tradition and history, and it is crucial to respect that. It is not just about fighting but also about discipline, respect, and self-improvement.

As an expert in Muay Thai, the number of rounds is less important than the quality of the training and the fighters. It is crucial to focus on technique, strategy, and mental preparation.

Muay Thai is a great martial art that can help you improve your physical and mental health. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, this fantastic martial art always has something new to learn and discover.

Photo of author

Michael B. Ryan

Michael is a passionate Muay Thai enthusiast and founder of Fancy Muay Thai. He shares tips and resources to help others improve their skills and provides unbiased product reviews. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated sites. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.