Iman Barlow: The Pretty Killer

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Talent is the lifeblood of Muay Thai. It keeps the art alive. In modern times, few Muay Thai talents can boast the resume that Iman Barlow holds! Her journey from childhood prodigy to world-class combat sports athlete is nothing short of spectacular. 

She began training when she was 2 and later joined the Assassins Muay Thai Fighter Boxing Club in Leicestershire, England. Iman bagged European titles and won IKF Junior British. 

Iman Barlow Muay Thai ceremony
Photo Credits: Benni Optimum

It’s not an overstatement to say that Muay Thai is in her blood. Barlow was inspired and trained by her father, Mark Barlow, a renowned Muay Thai fighter. She didn’t earn the moniker “pretty killer” in a single day. Her exposure to the art of Muay Thai at an early age led to the development of her fighting spirit.

Pretty Killer has achieved success at the highest levels of Muay Thai. She captured multiple world titles at different weight divisions and organizations.

Her career spans over many years, during which she has consistently competed at high levels. Her longevity in the sport and ability to maintain a high level of performance over time are testament to her dedication and skill.

Pretty Killer is known for her versatility. Barlow has showcased her versatility by competing in different weight categories. She has adapted her fighting style and strategy according to different circumstances.

Barlow built international recognition by consistently competing and winning at the highest levels of Muay Thai. She has rightfully earned the title of “Pretty Killer.”  Let’s explore Iman Barlow’s fighting style and her achievements.

Early Life and Muay Thai Beginnings

Iman Barlow truly lives and breathes Muay Thai. She came from a family of renowned fighters. Her father, Mark Barlow, did make a name for himself as a Muay Thai fighter and trainer. 

Her younger brother, Thai, is also a world-class Muay Thai fighter. Her mother, Maxine, was a Muay Thai fighter of note. Iman gained a lot growing up in such a positive environment. It becomes clear that being a fighter is in Iman’s blood. 

Iman Barlow started going to Muay Thai Assassins when her father started the club. She would go, and sit there around the corner with her toys. Even when she was too young to train she’d be around the sport.

Her early exposure to the sport did not just stop at the Muay Thai Assassins, she would often get a chance to train and experience Muay Thai at family vacations.

It would be fair to say that your coaches affect your fighting style and strategy. Being trained by her family in the Muay Thai Fighter Boxing Club, Barlow worked her way up in the Muay Thai world. 

Muay Thai Championships and Accomplishments

Iman Barlow has a pretty impressive Muay Thai record. She has won both Amateur titles and Professional titles. Her Amateur titles include:

  • International Kickboxing Federation
    • IKF 2002 Junior British Championship
    • IKF 2002 Junior European Championship
  • World Kickboxing Association
    • WKA 2009 Kickboxing World Championship
    • WKA 2009 K-1 World Championship
  • World Games
    • 2022 IFMA Muay Thai at the World Games -57 kg
  • International Federation of Muay Thai Associations
    • 2021 IFMA World Championships -57 kg

Iman Barlow won the following noteworthy Professional titles:

  • World Kickboxing Association
    • WKA Muay Thai Bantamweight World Championship
  • World Ring Sports Association
    • WRSA 54 kg World Championship
  • World Professional Muay Thai Federation
    • WPMF World Bantamweight Championship (One time, former)
  • Lion Fight
    • Lion Fight 54 kg World Championship (One time, current)
      • One successful title defense
  • Enfusion
    • Enfusion 54 kg World Championship (Two times, former)
      • Six successful title defenses
        • Record number of title defenses (6)
        • Most consecutive title defenses (6)
      • Longest serving Enfusion champion (1924 days)
  • World Boxing Council Muaythai
    • WBC International Muay Thai 54 kg World Championship (One time, current)

Fighting Style and Techniques

Iman Barlow is known for her versatile fighting style and technical prowess in Muay Thai. Her technical proficiency is one of the reasons behind her success. 

Being highly skilled in the technical aspects of Muay Thai, Barlow can demonstrate precise strikes, fluid movement, and excellent timing in the ring. She’s the master of fundamental techniques, such as punches kicks, elbows, and knees, and it allows her to actively control the pace and flow of her fight.

Iman Barlow has a distinctive fighting approach in the sense that she has the agility and footwork needed to win the fight. The pretty killer has such exceptional agility and footwork that she can swiftly move around the ring and evade her opponent’s attacks.

She always maintains distance and angles herself strategically to frustrate her opponent. In this way, she sets up opportunities for counterattacks.

The clinch is one of the crucial aspects of Muay Thai. Barlow has mastered clinch work. She utilizes her strength for close-range grappling and striking. Her technique allows her to control opponents who have a physical advantage over her in a clinch.

A good fighting technique is incomplete without a strategic mindset. Barlow has a strategic mindset because she gauges the adaptability of her opponent and changes her technique accordingly. The pretty killer successfully exploits the weaknesses of her opponents.

One cannot be called a ‘pretty killer’ without exercising a fluid combination of punches and kicks. Iman Barlow seamlessly transitions between different strikes to keep her opponent guessing and creates openings for her attacks. Her ability to mix up her strikes adds unpredictability to her offense and makes her a formidable opponent to face.

An aggressive fighting style is incomplete without a strong defense. Luckily, Iman Barlow has both. Her strong defensive skills include blocking, parrying, and evasive maneuvers. She is adept at reading her opponent’s maneuvers and reacting defensively to minimize damage while looking for opportunities to counter. 


No doubt, Iman Barlow is a trailblazer in the sport. She’s an ideal Muay Thai citizen. She has had nothing but success on her journey and has had a profound impact on the sport.

Iman Barlow has solidified her status as the top female Muay Thai fighter by capturing multiple world titles across different weight divisions and organizations. Her ability to compete and win against top-level opponents from around the world demonstrates her skill and dominance in the sport. 

Overall, Iman Barlow’s fighting style and techniques reflect her well-rounded skill set, combining technical proficiency, strategic acumen, and athleticism to make her one of the top female Muay Thai fighters in the world.

If you’d like to learn more about other Muay Thai fighters, click on one of the links below:

Sagat Petchyindee

Smilla Sundell

Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn

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