You hear me? Finito. Thanks for keeping the seat warm, now
please step aside. Actually Boxing, why don’t you just leave the room
altogether? Because Mixed Martial Arts is moving in, my friend.
Now, I’m not going to get into personality comparisons, because with guys like Marciano, Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Hagler, Leonard and Tyson, boxing wins hands down … for now. But that’s just because it’s been around forever and the UFC isn’t even 20 years old.
But as far as pure action, excitement, athletic skill, intelligence
(I said it) and safety (yeah, I went there too), MMA wins hands down.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
MMA is primal. It’s war. It is the ultimate test of manhood. Two men
enter, one man leaves as the clear-cut winner. Every now and then, a
fight comes down to a split decision and the judges pick a winner that
I might not agree with, but there’s never been an outright baloney
decision just to set up a rematch. Can’t say the same for boxing.
Plus, there are three rounds in a fight (five in a title fight), so
there’s an urgency to win quickly as opposed to sticking and moving for
12 rounds. Any shot you take could be your last. It’s a modern day
It also really epitomizes all of those typical sports cliches like,
“he wanted it more” or “he showed more heart.” Don’t get me wrong, I
love all sports (and I promise I’ll start watching hockey next season,
so stop harassing me). But I think that the ability to defeat someone
who’s literally trying to beat you into submission shows a lot more
heart than getting someone to swing and miss at a curveball. Don’t get
me wrong, that is exciting, but it’s just not the same.
C’mon now? Do I even need to go there?
Boxing involves two men punching each other with huge, padded
gloves. MMA involves … well, everything. Punching, kicking, wrestling,
grappling, short range, long range … and you can win by knockout or
submission. That means you have to be an all-around athlete to be good.
Put a great puncher against a great all-around athletic fighter and I
don’t see good things happening for the puncher.
People have this notion that all MMA guys are just meatheads who love
to beat each other’s brains in, yet they’ll argue that boxing is a
thinking man’s sport. Really?
Let’s go back to the punching, kicking and grappling that I
mentioned earlier. To enter a competition like this without a finely
tuned game plan is like being a soldier, having your superior hand you
a pistol and saying, “The bad guys are somewhere up in those mountains.
Go get ‘em, cowboy!” You’re going to want to know how many bad guys there
are, where they are and if you need something more substantial to take
them down, like a machine gun, grenade or bazooka, right? So why do
people assume that these athletes are just idiots who like to fight?
If you’re not sitting down already, you better now. I’m about to drop some knowledge!
OK, in boxing, you go until you knock the other guy out to the point
where he can’t answer a 10 count or gets TKO’d (knocked down 3 times in
a round). In MMA, you go until you get knocked out (as in
unconscious), choked out (again unconscious), tap out to a submission
move (basically give up) or can’t “intelligently defend yourself” (the
referee stops it because your opponent is basically beating the crap
out of you and you’re basically just taking it).
How’s MMA safer? Because once you get knocked silly, the fight’s
over. In boxing, you’re getting your brains rattled for 10-12 rounds
and no one’s stopping the fight even if you’re obviously getting
pummeled. That’s not good for your long-term health. Also, the fact
that the guy hitting you is wearing padded gloves makes a lot of
fighters eat a couple of shots just so they can get in some of their
own. Very few MMA fighters employ this strategy because, since you’re
getting hit with a very light glove (basically a fist), you might not
be able to eat even one shot before getting knocked out.
So, I’ve tried to keep this list as brief and basic as possible. I
won’t even get into how boxing is full of shady promoters that set up
their guys with easy fights just to keep their belts.
But one more reason why the UFC is now boxing’s daddy?
If you set up either one of the Klitschkos against Brock Lesnar
in a “champion versus champion, anything goes” fight, Brock would
quickly take boxing boy down and turn his face into something that
resembled raw hamburger. Then he would flip off the crowd, insult a sponsor and say that he’s going home to get on top of his wife.
OK, so it’s not perfect.
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