Boxing, MMA, and Kickboxing

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by TheMightyMcClaw, May 30, 2007.

  1. TheMightyMcClaw

    TheMightyMcClaw Dashing Space Pirate

    So, I'm watching another "MMA vs Boxing" battle of talking heads [ame=]here,[/ame]
    and thinking about the primary argument that boxing is a limited sport compared to mixed martial arts, and that is why MMA will ultimately be more successful as a professional sport and form of entertainment.
    My question is, how does kickboxing fit into this dynamic? When FC was first getting popular back in the seventies and eighties, were there "boxing vs. kickboxing" media battles? Since it is a more encompassing sport, and certainly a more entertaining one (everyone likes to see a nice high kick), why didn't kickboxing outclass boxing a spectator sport? What happened to it?
  2. SteelyPhil

    SteelyPhil Messiah of Lovelamb

    Boxing has got more money in it *cough* mafia *cough*, as well as it seeming to draw celebrities etc. I think that may be why its still up and around now. MMA fights tbh i tend to find far less interesting than a standard boxing match (there are clear exceptions), i've never watched much kick boxing though.
    My opinions.
  3. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    MMA has a hell of a long way to go before it overtakes boxing. Boxing has been around a hell of alot longer (as an organized sport) than MMA has. Boxing has far more equity built up. It's got nostalgic appeal. Perhaps more importantly the big money players are involved with it... what started out as mob money is in many ways today very legit money. The mob aren't dumb... they're diversified. They're as good at moving money and not paying taxes as are any of your mega corporations. You can bet that when the time is right for them to stick their hand into the MMA pie... they will.

    Public perception has a lot to do with it. Punching people in boxing is acceptable by and large. The average non-combat sports person could look at a clip of two boxers fighting and think... yeah so what... they're boxers. That they're punching each other is accepted. It's not even questioned. That same average non-combat sports person could take a look at a clip of MMA and most likely think only three things:

    1) it's brutal
    2) it's gay
    3) it's brutal and it's gay

    Sorry... but I just don't think most people are as open and receptive to MMA as they are to boxing. I could be wrong... but at the moment I think MMA has a very long way to go before it even gets close to the popularity that boxing had/has.
  4. Hiroji

    Hiroji laugh often, love much

    Agree 100%.

    I went to the Ultimate Force cage fight two weeks ago...the cage kickboxing fights were more popular than the MMA fights.

    Most people in the crowd...who i admit will have known not much about fighting...grew bored with the fights going to ground in the MMA fights.

    Plenty of chants like "get up!" and "thats not fighting, stand up and fight you pooofs!".

    Sad, but i agree, the average joe just wont take to MMA in my opinion, boxing or stand up seems much more pleasing to the 'average non-combat sports person' ;)
  5. SteelyPhil

    SteelyPhil Messiah of Lovelamb

    Do you find groundwork that brilliant to watch? I know its very technical and skilled etc, but from an outsider point of view is it really that good to actually watch?
    I personally dislike it when a fight goes to ground for more than a minute or so.
  6. Hiroji

    Hiroji laugh often, love much

    Not really. I dont mind it, i understand its very technical and skilled...but from an entertainment point of view i much prefer standup...or like you say if they stand it up after a minute.

    Having said that, there was one MMA fight that was awesome! the guy who won got taken down pretty much straight away and was being ground and pounded for about 4 mins (5 min rounds)...everyone was saying the ref should stop it, it looked like he was going to be killed...then from out of nowhere he wrapped his legs around the other guys head and choked him out! that was good! :D
  7. Linguo

    Linguo Valued Member

    I have to say I don't agree. I don't believe all the talk about the death of boxing, but I can see MMA eventually becoming bigger than boxing, probably sooner than most people think. Although DLH/PBF set record buys, the UFC did WAY more than boxing in overall PPV buys over the past year. Most people believe that the ground game (what essentially separates MMA from other striking arts) will turn people off, but I can distinctly remember hearing the audiences at UFC events actually cheering when some fights hit the ground. A good slam is something that an audience can appreciate, especially if followed up with some good ole GnP.

    The issue to me isn't old vs. new, ground vs. standing, but who is better at marketing. In the past two years, thanks in large part to TUF, MMA in the US has exploded. The UFC has done a shrewd job of getting their programs on television. MMA has just started getting coverage on ESPN and Sports Illustrated. How many boxing events are regularly on network television? MMA is now on ION (bodog fights) and MyNetwork (IFL Battleground). Not only that, it's also featured on Spike (through various UFC events), FSN (Pride, IFL), and as of Sunday it will be on VS. (WEC). Let's not forget Showtime (Elite XC) and a potential deal between HBO and the UFC. All this exposure could build an audience that could push MMA well past boxing in terms of popularity, at least here in the US.

    We see what happens when boxing does a good job of aggressive marketing: ODH vs. PBF. Not the most exciting fight of all time, but a well-marketed event that brought plenty of exposure. People started talking about boxing again. I personally wish ESPN's Fight Nights got more exposure, especially since the matchups are generally pretty exciting.

    When it comes to Boxing, Kickboxing, and MMA, the problem isn't the product, but finding a way to sell the product to the audience. MMA is just doing a much better job lately.
  8. Timmy Boy

    Timmy Boy Man on a Mission

    In the UK the UFC isn't as popular as it is in America. The response I get when I talk to most people about it, even martial artists, is that it's just a brutal contest of strength with no skill. I think this is down to a few factors:

    1) Most people only think of the early UFCs with no weight divisions, no gloves and very few really good martial artists.

    2) Most people don't understand grappling, especially groundfighting, and for these people even the modern UFC just looks like one muscular man rugby tackling another one to the floor, rolling around with him and then punching him in the face repeatedly until he's knocked out. They don't see the skill in grappling so they assume it must be strength.

    3) Following on from the previous point, real fighting looks very different to what people expect to see in a fight between two martial artists. They expect to see high kicks and kung fu and what they get is a mixture of mostly combat sports with basic techniques so they assume there is no skill. This is because most martial arts clubs don't use live training so the only skill that's appreciated is aesthetically pleasing performance of techniques, so the skill and difficulty involved in being able to actually use techniques is overlooked. If they knew how hard it was to perform techniques on a resisting opponent they'd appreciate the skill more.

    4) MMA fighters have to train to fight in all three ranges which detracts from training time to concentrate on mastery of any one area. This means that the standup fighting of MMA is mostly sloppy compared to comparable athletes in other combat sports like boxing, and as this is the only area of fighting that most English people have a clue about there is a tendency to assume that the fighters are simply less skilled.

    As for which I find more interesting, I think I'm going to go with MMA. I do like boxing but like Joe Rogan the comparatively vast amount of possibilities in MMA makes it more interesting for me. It's not that I just love to see pain and seeing one guy knee another in the face repeatedly quenches my bloodlust, but allowing knees to the face adds the science of clinchwork to the fighting.

    In England I'd say there are two types of MMA fans: young adult men who like the raw violence of the early UFC, and modern MMA fans who appreciate the skill of the sport. The former is far more prevalent in the UK I'd say, but the situation is improving with TUF and UFC being shown on Bravo regularly. When people come to appreciate the skill involved in grappling MMA will become more popular and although I don't see it eclipsing boxing for a long time I wouldn't be surprised if it eventually happened.
    Last edited: May 30, 2007
  9. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    The major hurdle in MMA getting anywhere near the exposure of boxing is the limited venue options. Like it or not, most states have yet to sanction MMA bouts, so right now we've got California, Nevada, and New Jersey as the major venue areas. We need more than three places in the US!
  10. BigBoss

    BigBoss This is me, seriously.

    I personally think this is one of the biggest reasons. People want to see Jackie Chan style stuff they see on movies, they think that is what 2 really good MAist fighting look like. The thing I have heard so many times when showing MMA fights to non MA friends is "thats not martial arts, thats street fighting". Changing the damage done by years of ninja and sholin BS will be long and slow!
  11. MercWithAMouth6

    MercWithAMouth6 New Member

    I honestly couldn't vouch for your guys' parts of the world, but here in Florida UFC/MMA fights are HUGE. Far past the popularity of boxing, just for the sheer fact on a general stand point, most seem to find MMA/UFC fights more interesting or from what I've seen anyways. Majority of the time when comparing boxing to MMA style events, it comes down to the fact that in a single PPV event MMA/UFC offers a lot more fights than a standard boxing PPV with most of the time each fight having a lot more action. I grew up on boxing, but I can gladly say that now I turn my attention and devotion to UFC/MMA style events.
  12. TheMightyMcClaw

    TheMightyMcClaw Dashing Space Pirate

    I'm still wondering, though, how does kickboxing fight into this dynamic?
    Many people are pushed away from MMA because of the groundwork.... you don't have groundwork in kickboxing, but you still have more being dynamics puts on the table (kicks, knees) than in a boxing match. At the beginning of the interview, the reporter said something about kickboxing having lost it's initial popularity.... since kickboxing's heyday seemed to be before I was born or when I was but a wee lad, I'd like to know what happened.
  13. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    It just kinda died in the early 90's. Not sure why. All the good female kickboxers went over to women's boxing, and all the guys seemed to have splintered off into MMA or K1...
  14. mai tai

    mai tai Valued Member

    while this is true. i have fought at alot of fights at indian reservation. first at there little meeting halls then at bigger casinos.

    once the states relize how much money is being lost by them they will do much the same as gambling.

    my big fear is that as the sport gets more popular. more and more red tape to fighting will evolve(lisencing ,sactioning bodies, making it less than profitable to have a show, and therby rub out the ham and eggers like me.

    in a nutshell im afraid there will be less calling for average (or below) fighters
  15. mai tai

    mai tai Valued Member

    yeah its also huge in hawaii, iowa...... medium in kansas, olklhoma texas...and pretty rare in new york.
  16. Hiroji

    Hiroji laugh often, love much


    Most of the big time fighters and fights are now in k1.

    The rules are a little different from old school kickboxing...with clinch and leg most kickboxing now is more light con, with a few kickboxing clubs now becoming more thai based style wise with the low kicks etc.

    Thats my take on it anyway. Could be wrong.
  17. mai tai

    mai tai Valued Member

    i would say your spot on.
  18. Oversoul

    Oversoul Valued Member

    Doesn't the whole PRIDE/yakuza thing count?
  19. Linguo

    Linguo Valued Member

    I was thinking that too.
  20. tekkengod

    tekkengod the MAP MP

    where do you live slip? in america, thats far,FAR from the truth, mma has all but raped and buried boxing, you should look at the PPV stats from last year. And this year has been astounding! with all the upsets and new bloods. The melding of zuffa and pride is as much a sports milestone as when the afc and nfc created the superbowl way back when. the recption ahs changed dramatically even in the last few years, even in the last 3 years, i used to be the odd one out, the "fan" now i can't name anyone i know who isn't intrested on some level.

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