Boxing vs MMA | Which Is Better Really?

Fighting sports have been popular for a very long time. People love watching two skilled athletes fight to determine which one of them is the best.

In the western world, the two most popular combat sports are likely boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA).

For a long time, fans from both sides have been debating which of these combat sports is superior. There may be some similarities, but the sports are very distinct from one another.

When it comes down to it, boxing vs MMA, which is better really?

boxing vs mma which is better

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at both boxing and MMA. We’ll also compare both from several different angles, so you’ll be getting a varied perspective.

By the end of this article, you should be able to draw a conclusion as to which sport you think is superior.

The Differences Between Boxing and MMA

If you’re familiar with these combat sports, then the differences between boxing and MMA are likely already obvious to you.

Boxing is a sport that is fought entirely standing up and MMA also has a ground game element to it.

With boxing, competitors are only allowed to use their fists during the fight, but MMA fighters can throw punches, kicks, elbows, and knee strikes.

The rules of boxing and MMA are very different, too. When a fighter is knocked down in boxing, they’re generally given until the count of 10 to get back up to resume the fight.

If an MMA fighter is knocked down, then it is up to the referee’s discretion to determine whether the fighter is able to continue or not.

These two fighting disciplines are very different from one another.

Traditional boxing is a highly specialized form of striking that produces some of the most powerful fighters in the world.

MMA is a more versatile form of combat that incorporates many different martial arts fighting styles into one combat sport.

boxing vs mma which is better

Boxing vs MMA for Self Defense

Knowing how to box is certainly going to be useful for self defense. That being said, MMA is likely going to be better for the average person who wants to defend himself/herself.

MMA techniques will teach you how to fight in various different situations, whereas boxing is going to be about learning to fight only throwing punches.

The movement of a skilled boxer is certainly quite impressive. Many boxers know how to dodge punches adeptly and they’re capable of being light on their feet. Even so, boxers are not used to defending against various attacks that might be thrown at you during a street fight.

Street fighting is different from traditional MMA as well, but MMA does a better job of preparing people for what might happen during such a scenario. If you undergo MMA training, you’ll learn how to defend takedowns, how to choke people, and various striking techniques.

It should also be noted that MMA is just a sport that allows martial artists to compete with one another under a certain set of rules.

Most MMA fighters are actually being taught various martial arts disciplines. Some of these martial arts styles even have combat solutions and techniques for defending against weapons.

Boxing vs MMA | Which Sport Is More Popular?

Both boxing and MMA are very popular, but it’s actually tough to say which is the most popular. On average, big time boxing matches that feature stars, such as Floyd Mayweather, will do higher numbers than a UFC PPV. UFC does consistently good numbers, though.

Boxing is more reliant on the huge stars for bigger PPV buyrates. Cards that don’t feature a huge name such as Mayweather, usually don’t garner as much attention. This makes sense and it isn’t as if UFC doesn’t rely on their own starpower to help drive PPV sales.

UFC PPV events may have more consistent viewership than boxing matches that don’t feature a huge fight. A hyped up boxing match that features big stars usually has far more viewers than a big MMA fight.

MMA is seen as a sport that is still rising and boxing is in need of new popular fighters with men such as Floyd Mayweather going into retirement.

Boxing vs MMA | Which Sport Is More Accessible?

Honestly, both boxing and MMA have good accessibility right now. If you’re looking to get into competing in either sport, then there are many gyms in most major cities across North America. There are local boxing competitions and local MMA competitions that people enjoy being a part of.

When it comes to appreciating the sports as a fan, both sports are easy to watch. You can find both boxing matches and MMA fights on your TV most days of the week. There are many free cards that appear on normal cable television for both sports.

Both sports are also welcoming for all genders, too. There are many female MMA fighters and female boxers. It should be easy to find a path to get into the sport if you’re interested.

The training is going to be difficult for both sports. These sports are cardio-intensive and will push the physical limits of many people. Actually competing in competitions will take a huge commitment, but learning for self defense is going to be much more manageable.


Now that you have read about some of the differences between boxing and MMA, it should be easier to see which of the sports might appeal to you. They’re both great combat sports and they’re popular for a reason. Which one is better is going to come down to your personal preference.

It may not be possible to come up with a definitive answer on which sport is superior. Some will find boxing more exciting and others will be able to find the beauty in the ground-based fighting that takes place in MMA.

They’re both appealing in their own ways, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a side if you feel strongly one way or the other.

You might prefer boxing due to its long history and elegant nature. It’s possible that you might prefer MMA due to its complexity and exciting match-up possibilities.