While Capcom has never come out and officially confirmed it, it is widely believed that the character Sagat was directly inspired by the real-life Muay-Thai Boxing legend Sagat Petchyindee. Sagat, in real life, was a fighter whose legacy is so strong that he inspired modern-day martial artists like George St. Pierre. This is his story.
How good was real-life Sagat? Pretty damn good. He was known mostly for his power, and his ability to break through tight guards with cutting elbows.
This video by MMA technique specialist Lawrence Kenshin takes us through some of his most famous matches, and explains some of his notable techniques. Sagat Petchyindee bore little resemblance to the Sagat we all know — he was stocky and short for his weight class — but in terms of his technique you can see the similarities. Petchyindee couldn't throw Tiger Shots, but his leg kicks were devastating, and he had a mean uppercut. He was also an incredible pure boxer, which is rare in Muay Thai, which tends to focus on kicks, knees and elbows.
Despite being a fan of martial arts, I wasn't really too aware of this guy and his silent part in video game history until recently, so I thought it might be worth sharing.