I've noticed that many people, including boxers, have commented on the difference between the boxing ability of boxers and the boxing ability of mixed martial artists (for those who are unaware, mixed martial arts is the form of combat practiced in the UFC and other leagues).

By pointing out the superior boxing ability that boxers have, it appears that many are attempting to brand the mixed martial artists as second class; a notch below them.

The problem with that argument is that it's just plain wrong.

It's actually to be expected that MMA fighters would have poorer boxing skills, and here's why:

Boxers have a greater population from which they select their fighters, so it's to be expected that they'd find more highly skilled boxers.

Mixed martial artists have a smaller pool of people to draw from, because they've already dwindled the population down to those who also have others skills, such as wrestling and ju jitsu.

Let's say you start with 100 people. 15 of them may be fantastic boxers, but the number who may be good (but not excellent) boxers as well as good wrestlers and good ju jitsu fighters may be only 2 or 3. Of the 15 fantastic boxers, none of them may have competent enough wrestling and ju jitsu skills.

So, the next time you're watching UFC and someone tries to denigrate the boxing skills of mixed martial artists, perhaps you should denigrate them instead: their mind.
10/25/2010 05:28:16 am

Your argument is flawed. A good athlete can either focus on boxing or MMA. There's more money and opportunity in boxing. MMA is still relatively new, whereas boxing has been around for over 100 years. It stands to reason that the best athletes with the most talent and skill will focus on boxing because there's more money available to win. In a few years this might change, but it's true for now. Thus, if a MMA fighter had the boxing skills to compete at an elite level, he would be boxing not fighting in MMA promotions.

10/25/2010 05:35:32 am

Another, possibly bigger factor is that MMA fighters can't afford to overspecialize. Skill is normally distributed and training time is finite. A fighter who's mediocre at boxing will overtake a lot of competitors by getting a little better. But a fighter who already boxes better than +1 SD from the mean is running into diminishing returns, and should work on his lousy jiu jitsu instead.

Or as my Krav Maga instructor puts it: "We're just trying to be good enough to box grapplers and grapple with boxers."

10/25/2010 07:54:31 am


you claim my argument is flawed, but you don't point out any flaws in my argument. Your points are unrelated to my sample size argument.

However, you mention that a MMAer with elite boxing skills might choose to try boxing instead. That is reasonable, and likely contributes partially to the skill differential.

However, that doesn't mean that the MAIN reason for the discrepancy in boxing skills between both sports isn't the sample size issue. I don't see how the sample size issue could be rebuffed. Sample size is, by definition, a huge factor since it involves so many people in the distribution.

Also, from what I know, boxers may not get paid more than MMAers. I agree that the very elite boxers get much more, but this may be only the top 3-5 in the sport (not per weight class) that participate in very successful pay per views; very few boxers would get to that stage i would think.

Low to mid level MMA fighters earn about $75-$125,000 a year from salary and sponsorship according to Dana white. That excludes submission/knockout/fight of the night bonuses one could earn, which are usually $50,000 to $80,000 per match.

One MMA figher, Marcus Davis, used to be a pro boxer. I believe he was something like 15-1 as a boxer, and I believe he said that he only earned $15,000 for typical fights, and he was apparently close to getting a title shot, yet still earned only 15K!

Also, MMA fighters typically fight 3-4 times a year. I'm not sure how often boxers fight, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was less frequent, hence they would earn even less money in that regard.

10/25/2010 11:05:05 pm

You may not forget, that you have to use an other variete of striking in MMA than you'd have to in Boxing.

1. You have smaller gloves in MMA (4 oz). In boxing you're fighting with bigger gloves (10-12 oz) which make an enormous difference in your fighting style, for example you can't block straight punches with your small gloves like in a boxing-match. You need to adapt your striking.

2. Of course you have to use another fighting-stance and have to be careful with dodging, footwork etc. because your second goal besides getting ktfo ist to avoid the takedown or leg/high kicks. This situation can make your fighting-stance look mediocre to the viewer.

3. Like the other posters mentioned you are trained in different martial arts. So the probability to be superior in one art is not so high if you just have to train in one art.

Besides there are some good boxers in MMA: Junior dos Santos, Anderson Silva, KJ Noons to name a few.

Sorry for my bad english, not a native speaker.

11/11/2010 02:48:46 pm

Gullymar wrapped it up nicely. There are a lot of factors in this argument, least of which is how much money a boxer makes compared to a mma fighter.

12/9/2010 02:30:47 pm

Is this sam vaknin?

1/9/2011 09:31:57 am

Wot da fuk r u tlkin abt i am a boxer an i wil knock u out. U kik me an il punch ur boat

1/9/2011 09:33:12 am

U fukin idiot

1/13/2011 10:22:25 am

Once you have a little bit of success, you get the urge for more.

3/4/2011 02:51:19 pm

Ideal is the beacon. Without ideal, there is no secure direction; without direction ,there is no life.


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