Aggression is the name of the game in combat sports and martial arts. Don’t get me wrong, technique is supremely important, if not even more so. But aggressiveness is what can usually get a fighter noticed. Aggression in fighters brings excitement and fans love it.
In Muay Thai, you get a martial art that’s actually synonymous with aggressiveness and all-out action. Some say it’s brutal, but perhaps you can say it’s an art of violence.
Enter the Hitman
Liam Harrison, also known as the Hitman, is one of Muay Thai’s most aggressive fighters. He has a come-forward, all-out style that has won him fans the world over. He is also known for his hard sweeps, heavy hands and most of all, his crippling leg kicks.
It is worth mentioning that the Hitman is one of very few Muay Thai fighters -if not the only- to appear on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Born in Leeds in the UK, Harrison did not immediately find his way in the path of martial arts. His first love was soccer, at which he was good enough to play in high-level matches in his hometown.
Everything changed when he discovered Muay Thai at the age of 13. His cousin, Andy Howson had just started training and asked him along to train at Bad Company Gym. Coming from a rough part of the town, the two kids figured it was imperative that they learn to fight and defend themselves.
It would change his life and the course of Muay Thai in the UK forever.
Harrison developed such a tremendous passion for the art that he developed rapidly. At the time, he has also developed his signature style – characterized by his powerful left hook and low kick. It’s all based on his highly aggressive and all-action style.
His desire to win and high-level of ability made people notice the Hitman early on. It was this mindset that allowed him to win his very first fight via knockout just after 30 seconds.
He managed to emerge victorious in his first 29 fights and went on an undefeated streak from 2000 to 2004, earning the nickname “The Hitman”. He soon made a name for himself and people started to take notice of this young kid from Leeds.
These early feats allowed Harrison to climb the ranks of Muay Thai fighters in the UK rapidly. By the time he hit the age of 17, the Hitman was ranked as the country’s number one fighter.
He has managed to remain at the very top of the country’s Muay Thai fighters ever since. Harrison eventually won his very first world title (WAKO Pro) at the age of 19 in 2000.
A Champion the World Over
Harrison won his first world title as a teenager, but he didn’t stop there. The Hitman has managed to win titles and championships all over the world.
Competing in Muay Thai has taken him all over the planet, from countries such as the United States, Jamaica, Italy, France, and Japan. Of course, being a high-level Muay Thai fighter eventually means that he’ll end up in Thailand, whether to train or to fight.
In fact, it was in Thailand, Muay Thai’s land of origin, where the Hitman would have his winning streak come to a halt. The venue was the fabled Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok against Thai fighter Witthayanoi Sitkuanem.
That served as a turning point for Harrison as he moved to Bangkok to train at Jitti Gym. The return was immediate as he was able to get right back to his winning ways just one month after.
For a 4-year period, from 2006 to 2010, the Hitman mostly alternated his time between Thailand and the UK. In that time period, he competed in various promotions and tournaments in different venues in both countries.
Harrison received the honor of being Muay Siam magazine’s (the biggest Muay Thai publication in Thailand) 2007 “Best Foreign Fighter of the Year”. In 2019, he was also given the WBC Muay Thai global ambassador award.
Notable Wins & Fights
Harrison has amassed a total of 114 fights to date. He has managed to claim victory in 88 of those fights, with 43 of those victories coming by way of knockout.
Best of all, he has competed against some of the world’s best strikers. Harrison’s reputation also partly comes from having a fight record that reads like a who’s who list of the best Muay Thai fighters.
He has fought the top Thai elites like Malaipet Sasiprapa, Numphon PKStereo, Sagetdao Petchphayathai, Pakorn PKSaenchaiGym, Phetmorakot PetchyindeeAcademy and Singdam Kiatmoo9.
One of the most significant wins in Harrison career came in 2010 when he defeated the formidable Muay Mat, Anuwat Kaewsamrit.
But perhaps the most notable of those is against Muay Thai icon Seanchai, against whom the Hitman went to war in a trilogy of fights. Saenchai has also on record cited Harrison as the toughest foreigner he has ever fought.
As mentioned above, Harrison has won multiple titles and championships. The following is a rundown of some of his most accomplished titles and championships:
- 2016 Yokkao World Champion (65kg) with 2 successful defenses
- 2016 Kombat World League World Champion
- 2014 WBC Muay Thai World Champion (147 lbs.)
- 2011 WBC Muay Thai International Champion (147 lbs.)
- 2007 – 2009 WMC Muay Thai Lightweight World Champion (61.5 kg.)
- 2006 – 2007 WPMF Muay Thai World Champion (63.5 kg.)
The Hitman at ONE Championship
In spite of his many accomplishments, Harrison still has goals. One of his main ones is to win a world title at ONE Championship, where he currently competes.
He signed a non-exclusive deal with the major promotion in 2018 so he can compete in ONE’s Super Series Muay Thai branch. He lost his first two bouts in the promotion, which were against top ranked Thai superstars.
The first was against Petchmorakot PetchyindeeAcademy at ONE’s Destiny of Champions event in 2018 and the second was against Rodlek PKSaenchaiGym at ONE: Legendary Quest.
He recorded his first victory in the promotion in his next bout, a 1st round KO over Mohammed Bin Mahmoud in ONE: A New Tomorrow in January 2020.
The fight appearances on ONE helped to bring his name to an even wider audience than before. At the age of 35 (in 2020), Harrison doesn’t look like he has any intentions of slowing down.
Liam Harrison Training
The Hitman is obviously still very active in his fighting career. He still wants to win more titles and add to his already impressive legacy.
In the long run, Liam Harrison will not just be remembered as a great fighter and perhaps one of the greatest Muay Thai fighters to ever come from the UK. He will also be remembered as a great teacher of the art of 8 limbs.
Harrison has been coaching for more than a decade now. He shares his extensive knowledge and know-how of the art to eager students in seminars around the world as well as online on his website: Liam Harrison Training.
“Liam Harrison Training” is a goldmine of Muay Thai techniques, tips and tricks for all levels. Harrison demonstrates and explains each technique with clarity and how he has used it to achieve success in the ring.
Overall, it is a comprehensive Muay Thai program that covers the basics all the way to advanced level for those looking to compete. Clearly a lot of effort is put into making the videos.
And he teaches not just to aspiring fighters but even to those who simply want to get more fit and benefit from practicing Muay Thai.
Whichever way you look at it, Liam Harrison has cemented his place as one of the best foreign Muay Thai fighters of all time.
And one thing’s for sure, the Hitman will still keep on hitting and striking for the foreseeable future yet!