The two most dominant combat sports are Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA. They have captured audiences around the globe with their demonstrations of courage, athleticism and skill. Although both sports are similar, their techniques, cultures and strategies set them apart. In this article we explore the worlds of Boxing and MMA. We examine their origins and differences and look at the current debate about which sport is better.
The Sweet Science of Boxing
It is often called “The Sweet Science” because it focuses on only punches. In the boxing ring, fighters use their footwork, head movements, and precise striking to overmaneuver, outscore, and defeat their opponents. Since its ancient origins, boxing evolved to a sophisticated sport with strict rules.
It is very clear what the goal of boxing should be: you must deliver punches that are effective while also avoiding your opponent’s. Boxers train hard for speed, power and accuracy to make their punches. This makes each match a battle of strategy and endurance.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Mixed Martial Arts is a fusion between various disciplines of fighting, such as wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Jiu-Jitsu), Muay Thai and others. MMA fighters can use a range of different techniques in order to win a match. This includes strikes, submissions, as well as takedowns on both the standing ground and the mat.
The attraction of MMA comes from its indeterminacy and fighters’ need to master multiple fighting styles. MMA fighters are required to combine striking, grappling and defense. The result is a dynamic sport with a constant evolution.
Debates and Differences
This debate is never ending between boxing fans and MMA supporters. The boxing enthusiasts claim its focus on the refined art of striking techniques and the art evasion are unmatched. Legends like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson are cited as examples of icons that have shown the best in boxing.
They are adamant that MMA is a sport of diversity, and that it is a realistic representation of combat. Some MMA fans point to fighters, such as Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre or Jon Jones, who seamlessly combine different styles of fighting.
Impact on Culture and Popularity
The popular culture has been profoundly impacted by both boxing and MMA. Historic boxing matches, such as the “Thrilla” in Manila and the “Rumble In The Jungle”, have had an impact on culture. The Ultimate Fighting Championship has helped to demonstrate MMA’s growth, bringing the sport worldwide and producing household names such as Conor McGregor or Ronda Roussy.