When UFC fighter Conor McGregor took on boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in August of 2017, the MMA and boxing world were all abuzz. In April of 2018, boxer Amanda Serrano made a switch to MMA. Dozens of boxers cross over to the world of MMA fighters and vice versa.
While the differences (or similarities) of MMA and boxing has always been a hot topic of debate, boxers and MMA fighters are likely to agree that both sports provide a full-body workout in completely different ways.
In an interview, right before the fight between Mayweather and McGregor, former MMA fighter turned pro boxer, Michael Venom Page talked about his own experiences and the differences between the two sports.
“An example I always like to give is a sprinter turning into a long distance runner, they’re using exactly the same muscles but they’re using them in a different way.”
When asked about his thoughts on MMA fighters transitioning from boxing, Page explained,
“I think anybody in boxing, if they were to come over to mixed martial arts, they’d find it very difficult, it doesn’t mean either one is any fitter or less fit than the other.”
What Are The Differences Between MMA and Boxing?
Maybe you have experience in both sports, or maybe you have interest in both but don’t know which one to try first. As we mentioned, boxers and MMA fighters (as well as their respective fans) probably have some strong opinions and feelings about the other sport.
It’s safe to say that there are a few similarities, but it’s hardly fair to clump them together as the same sport. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), is a mix of “combative” sports like boxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu. Although boxing is “just” boxing, it would be unwise to say that it’s the easiest sport of the two.
Can You Transition From One Sport To The Next?
Many people wonder if one can actually happily and successfully transition from one sport to the other. McGregor did and he lost his fight with Mayweather and Page has enjoyed his transition as a boxer.
It all comes down to the work that you’re willing to put into the new sport, whether you’re switching to MMA or boxing. Yes, your previous experience may make learning some of the techniques a little easier, but it won’t be effortless.
Each sport requires hard work, hours of training, caring for your body, and finding the right balance between working out and resting. If you can take a punch and recover quickly when you box, don’t assume that you’ll react and recover the same way when fighting as an MMA fighter.
If you enter a new sport with overconfidence and the attitude that it won’t be hard (or that you don’t need to learn anything new), you probably won’t succeed or even enjoy the transition. Not sure if you want to stick with the switch? There’s no rule that says you have to, but at the very least you will gain an appreciation for the other sport.