Boxing


Did UFC 118 finally answer which fighting style is superior? MMA or Boxing?

Leo Kapakos - The spectacle of former three-division boxing champion James Toney and five-time UFC champion Randy Couture squaring off in the Octagon on Saturday night proved nothing. The question of whether MMA or boxing is a superior combat sport is ridiculous at best. Anyone who understands combat sports knows the rules of competition will generally determine how a boxer fares against a mixed martial artist. This was proven on Saturday night when MMA legend Coture didn’t hesitate to take boxer James Toney to the ground and choke him out in a little over 3 minutes of the first round. Unfortunately for the 41 year old boxing great, with less than a year of MMA training he had no take-down defense and couldn’t get a shot off, his only chance..

As Toney found out the hard way, the only chance any boxer with limited MMA training has against an MMA fighter is a punchers chance. Most MMA fighters like Coture that come from a decorated wrestling background and will go for the immediate take-down against a good boxer knowing it would be extremely dangerous if the fight remained standing. At the UFC 118 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White said that “an MMA fighter will beat a boxer in the octagon 100% of the time”. Not so fast Mr. White. Odds that an MMA fighter will win only increase if the MMA fighter takes the fight to the ground. This was evident in June of 2009 when boxing great Ray Mercer knocked out former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in the octagon in 9 seconds showing that chances an MMA fighter will get knocked out cold increase significantly if the fight remains standing.

What does this all mean? Nothing. Unless a boxer has a very good-take-down defense and learns some of the other disciplines which requires a long learning curve he has no business fighting MMA. On the other hand, while boxing is one of the disciplines in MMA, most MMA fighters are absolutely not boxers and they don’t belong in the ring. Boxing in the ring and boxing in MMA is vastly different. For example, MMA fighters often run across the ring squared up throwing punches. They never bob and weave because they may get kneed. They don’t are not proficient in fading or stepping back from a punch because it leaves their legs forward and open for a takedowns. Finally, most MMA fighters rarely move their heads, they just put both their hands up and keep them around their head as they get pummeled.

At the end of the day, these two combat sports that are completely different. As for which is superior and hence which fighter is maybe “tougher”? It really all depends on who gets their discipline off first an utilizes it. So enough said on this silliness already, let’s put it to rest.

Article posted on 09.09.2010



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