why mma fighting is not as hard as boxing

why mma fighting is not as hard as boxing

When it comes to combat sports, two popular options that often come to mind are MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighting and boxing. While both sports require immense skill, technique, and physicality, there are several reasons why MMA fighting is not as hard as boxing. In this article, we will delve into various aspects of both sports to provide a comprehensive understanding of why MMA fighting may be perceived as less challenging than boxing.

1. Skillset Diversity

why mma fighting is not as hard as boxing

In MMA fighting, athletes need to excel in various disciplines such as striking, grappling, and submission techniques. This diversity allows fighters to have a broader range of skills and strategies to rely on during a match. On the other hand, boxing primarily focuses on punches and defensive maneuvers, limiting the skillset required.

2. Ground Game

One significant difference between MMA fighting and boxing is the inclusion of ground game in MMA. Fighters must be proficient in wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to effectively control and submit their opponents on the ground. This additional dimension adds complexity to the sport and requires fighters to develop a well-rounded skillset.

3. Strategy

MMA fighting offers a wider range of strategic possibilities compared to boxing. In MMA, fighters can utilize a combination of striking, takedowns, and submissions to outmaneuver their opponents. This complexity demands a higher level of strategic thinking and adaptability during a fight.

4. Conditioning

While both sports demand exceptional physical conditioning, MMA fighters often have to train for longer durations. MMA fights consist of multiple rounds, each lasting five minutes, whereas boxing matches typically have shorter rounds. The extended duration of MMA fights requires fighters to have superior endurance and stamina.

5. Defense

Boxing places a heavy emphasis on defensive techniques, such as slipping, ducking, and blocking punches. While MMA fighters also need to defend against strikes, they also have to be prepared for takedowns, clinches, and submissions. The need to defend against a wider range of attacks adds an extra layer of complexity to MMA fighting.

6. Impact on the Body

Boxing is known for its high number of head punches, which can lead to severe long-term brain damage. MMA fighting, on the other hand, allows for a more varied target area, including strikes to the body and legs. While both sports carry risks, the potential for long-term damage may be higher in boxing.

7. Training Time

Learning the fundamentals of boxing can take less time compared to MMA. The limited skillset in boxing allows fighters to focus on specific techniques, leading to a shorter learning curve. MMA fighters, however, need to invest time in multiple disciplines, which can prolong the training process.

8. Spectator Appeal

MMA fights often incorporate a mix of striking and grappling techniques, making the matches more dynamic and exciting for spectators. Boxing, with its singular focus on punches, may be perceived as less visually captivating. The broader range of techniques in MMA can attract a wider audience.


While both MMA fighting and boxing require immense dedication and skill, MMA fighting is not as hard as boxing due to its diverse skillset, inclusion of ground game, strategic complexity, conditioning demands, defensive challenges, impact on the body, training time, and spectator appeal. Each sport has its own unique challenges, and the perceived difficulty may vary depending on individual preferences and perspectives.

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