When you pit a boxing virtuoso against an MMA master in a boxing match, the former will almost always be guaranteed to be the victor. In the same way, if the fight takes place in an MMA cage, it’s easy to see the latter claim the win.
That has been proven time and time again, with the most concrete proof coming in the world stage. These events showed us how distinct these two sports are and how your skills in one won’t necessarily translate well to the other.
So, which should you choose? We’ll take a look at how effective boxing and MMA are as fighting styles. In doing so, you can see where you measure up better in terms of self-defense, training, and fitness.
Boxing in MMA
A lot of people don’t realize that MMA is a blend of different disciplines in one sport. It’s called Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) because its practice uses several forms of martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai.
Before you get into MMA training, you have to, at least, have some form of knowledge and know-how to perform a number of martial art forms. Plus, even when you possess a certain degree of expertise, you must bear in mind that the forms you’re well-versed in might not necessarily be the best for cage fighting.
Although there is likely no better place to hone your MMA fighting skills than in an MMA gym, a boxing facility can still help you develop a useful skill set that furthers your MMA progress. What’s great about boxing is that it teaches fighters proper footwork and head movement, both of which are critical in cage fights. Also, since boxing matches start with competitors standing up, it’s an excellent discipline for developing an effective self-defense strategy.
Boxing is an ancient sport that’s been excessively studied throughout history. Today, it has even become a crucial MMA sub-skill, with some of the world’s most prized fighters constantly honing their boxing technique to enhance their defensive and counter-attacking game.
MMA or Boxing as Self-Defense
Both MMA and boxing are high up there in terms of self-defense in real-life situations. With boxing, you get a defensive skill set ideal for stand-up situations since it focuses on timing, spacing, and reading your opponent’s hand movements. Also, because most fights start in a standing position, you will find boxing an ideal skill to develop for defending yourself.
While boxing allows you to deliver standing up, it’s not nearly as effective when you’re fighting on the ground. The technique becomes useless when you’re taken down and leaves you defenseless when you’re pinned beneath your attacker.
Conversely, MMA affords you a more adaptable way to defend yourself. Plus, with elements of boxing ingrained in the discipline, it can help you fare well in stand-up fights. MMA training regularly involves dealing with takedowns, kicks, and punches and gives you plenty of options to deal with each appropriately.
While MMA bestows you a variety of defensive skills in your arsenal, boxing can leave you vulnerable to different types of attacks. Although this isn’t to say boxing will be useless in street fights, it just won’t be as effective as MMA for handling the variety of unarmed self-defense scenarios.
With that said, if your goal is to train for self-defense, you should focus more on MMA training. Consider learning the combination of boxing, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu forms to further your stand-up and on-the-ground defensive skills.
Which Is Better for Getting Fit: Boxing or MMA?
Both Boxing and MMA are at a level playing field when it comes to health and fitness. Both these combat sports are excellent for conditioning, cardiovascular strength, core strength, and more.
As far as competition goes, boxers are conditioned to have the endurance to last 10 to 12 three-minute rounds. In contrast, MMA involves short-burst fights that last three, five-minute rounds. While boxing does require you to endure longer, it doesn’t entail experiencing a fight with the full weight of your opponent on you.
Whether you choose boxing or MMA for fitness will ultimately depend on your personal preference. Both these sports involve grueling training and discipline that will get your body in tip-top shape.
Which Combat Sport Should You Go For?
Although MMA and boxing share a lot of similarities, they are two completely distinct sports in several aspects. As far as which combat sport suits you, you don’t always need to look at the “better” fighting style for the answer.
When choosing between these fighting styles, consider your goals and what appeals to you personally. While it’s tempting to choose the option that’s scientifically-backed to have the edge in self-defense, training, and fitness, sometimes you have to go with what your heart tells you. Whether that ends up being MMA or boxing, trust that you can’t go wrong with either.