MMA Fighting or Boxing: Which Sport is Right for You?
Welcome again to our next round, fighters! Today, we have two totally bad-ass contenders in our textual fighting ring here – in this corner, in blue, there’s the ferocious art of MMA fighting! On the other side of the ring, in red, we have the ultimate hand-to-hand mastery known as Boxing! Stay tuned and see who’s going to win!
Okay, okay, we’re not actually going to decide which one is better in general. What we’re going to do is help you decide which one is better for you. Needless to say, the fighting discipline that best fits your needs and desires will be the better match for you. Here at Fighting Report, we’re open to all fighting disciplines, and today we’re going to take a look at the similarities and differences between Boxing and MMA.
The similarities are fairly obvious – and end pretty soon. Both Boxing and MMA are fighting disciplines. Alongside that, we could also say that both of them have their fights inside a square ring, and with that being said, the similarities end. But what about the differences? Well, there are many and they usually have to do with the fighting styles themselves.
First, the names tell us almost everything we need to know – MMA stands for “Mixed Martial Arts”, and it is literally a compilation of fighting techniques, moves and strategies taken from practically all martial arts known to man. In MMA, you can kick, elbow, grapple your opponent, throw them down, up, or sideways, headbutt them, punch them in any imaginable way, knee them, trip them, and so on… MMA is boundless, basically. Needless to say, this means that it can be a more dangerous fighting sport, so if you’re wary of getting kicked in the face and then slammed to the ground by a throw, maybe you should stay away from MMA.
Boxing, on the other hand, has to do with the hands. Contrary to MMA’s diverse and rich collage of fighting moves, boxing focuses solely – and heavily – on fighting with your hands. While this may seem obsolete to some, or unnecessary, make no mistake, the most skilled MMA fighter cannot match the hand-game of a skilled boxers. Boxing will make you the master puncher: you’ll be able to punch faster, cleaner, sharper… Stronger. There’s a reason why boxing gloves are much more padded than the hand gear in other martial arts – with power, comes the need for a lot of additional protection. While MMA is the Jack of all Trades, but master of none, boxing is the opposite of that – master of punching, but useless at pretty much everything else (like kicking, clinching, throwing and so on).
We already said a few words about equipment above, so let’s continue here. Both Boxing and MMA use gloves, but due to the differences in fighting styles, the gloves are very different. The gloves themselves are used differently – a boxing glove has a purpose that’s different from the MMA glove. This difference in use and purpose gets translated to the design of the glove itself. So for example, MMA gloves feature an open-finger design. They’re usually smaller, lighter and less padded, with most of the padding being placed on the knuckles. This is because in MMA, the fighters need to be able to grab their opponents, clinch them, and execute throws. A closed, extremely padded glove like in boxing won’t do here. Additionally, MMA gloves feature less padding and protection at the wrist area, since the opponent’s punches can come from a variety of directions, and are less powerful than in boxing.
Contrary to this, the boxing glove serves a very different purpose. First, it is meant to blunt the striking force and make it easier both for the hand of the person doing the punching, as well as for the face of the opponent. In boxing, punches can get much more forceful than in MMA, so the gloves have thicker padding. Additionally, as a defensive measure against the opponent’s punches, boxing gloves feature strong wrist protection with added layers of padding. This makes the boxing gloves much larger and heavier than the MMA gloves, which grants the bonus of greater stability for the hands during a punch. While an MMA fighter may land punches more quickly, the boxer will punch less frequently but pack way more force into the punch. Needless to say, both sports are highly dangerous when it comes to risking (sometimes fatal) head injuries, so whichever you choose, be aware of the fact.
DIFFERENT WANTS & NEEDS
But ultimately, it all boils down to this – your personal preference. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to engage in a more professional fighting discipline, with a longer, almost elite tradition become a master in a highly refined martial art? If so, then we recommend that you give boxing a try. While it won’t be of total use for learning self-defense for example, or holding your ground in street fights, it will definitely make you a very good puncher and make those facing you afraid. With boxing, you’ll be able to knock people out without a lot of effort, but bear in mind that it’s practically defenseless against kicks, tripping, knees, elbows, head-butting, and all the “dirty” varieties of combat. But if you’re looking to master punching, improve your focus and build your body and stamina to perfection, boxing is the better choice.
However, if you’re not that interested in either style, finesse or tradition, then MMA is the thing for you. If you excel in your MMA skills, soon you will become almost indestructible during that rare, unpredicted street fight, and you’ll be extraordinarily prepared to defend yourself. You can outmaneuver almost any kind of attack, and deal any kind of attack in return. It goes without saying that MMA training can be very intense and good for your health too, but if you’re less interested in becoming a boxing legend, and just want to learn to fight like hell, then don’t wait and go sign up for your first MMA class right now.