At the Automotive Training Network, we are all massive fans of boxing and mixed martial arts and we were discussing recently how much has changed in the last 10 years and how the UFC has completely taken over boxing. Mark Gilbert ATN founder and CEO have long been a boxing fan and when we all used to talk about the UFC and mixed martial arts he used to always argue for the side of boxing. Even Mark however in recent years has realized that the UFC is a far superior sports company and why it has gained so much fame in recent years.
This is something that is happening all over the world as more and more boxing fans make the shift towards UFC, and there are a number of factors as to exactly why that is happening. With all of this in mind then today we are going to take a slightly deeper look into what is it about the UFC which is enduring so many ex-boxing fans, and what they are doing so well which is winning them fans all over the globe.
Finishing the Fight
Whether it was the Floyd Mayweather effect or something else I am not sure, but at some point in the early 2000s, boxing became less about finishing your opponent and more about being defensive and waiting it out for a judge’s decision. This is all well and good and it requires a great deal of ability and skill of course, but it is not exciting for the majority of fans. Having a fight card with 5 fights which results in 3 knockouts and 2 decisions is not a bad night, but when it becomes 4 decisions and 1 finish, things can get pretty boring. The UFC is not a place where this happens at all and whilst some do go to the judge’s scorecards, there is a massive incentive on fighters to either submit their opponent or knock them out. In fact, there are cash rewards for knockout of the night and fight of the night, which gives fighters that little bit of motivation to really lead everything out there.
Fighting the Best
I believe that the 12 rounds fights are because losing in boxing is almost the end of the world for some fighters, which just isn’t the same in UFC, and not taking risks will keep you around for longer. Another risk that many boxers won’t take is fighting the very best in their division, at least not until they absolutely have to. Think how long we waited to see Pacquiao and Mayweather, how long we have been waiting to see Wilder and Joshua. These fights don’t get made because of politics, money and a fear of losing, something which doesn’t happen in the UFC. What we have in the UFC however is the best fighters fighting against the very best fighters. This is because the fights are matched up by the company rather than the fighters and their management teams. The fans always get the fights that they want to see, something which cannot be said about boxing.
In the very beginning, the UFC and MMA, in general, were pretty barbaric and this is why so many couldn’t enjoy watching an event. There were many things that you could do back then which you just cannot do now, and there were also too many styles that weren’t compatible with one another. Back then you’d have a BJJ guy fighting a kickboxer, and it just didn’t look very good. These days almost every fighter has a selection of martial arts abilities which they can call on, making the fights a lot more interesting. Rule changes have also been made which ensure the fighter’s safety and things like eye-gouging or vertical elbows to the head of a floored opponent are now illegal, which is making the sport a much easier watch. These changes have helped to change the opinions of the fighters and the sport in general, which has made it far more palatable for more fans around the world.
The UFC is now creating real superstars which are also increasing the sport’s popularity. Look at the likes of Ronda Rousey and Connor McGregor for example, fighters who have become huge celebrities because of what they have done in the octagon and who have become role models for so many young fans out there. This is just another reason why the UFC has become so popular and why it will continue to do so in the future.
What do you enjoy most about the UFC? Do you think boxing will make a comeback? Let us know in the comments.