Fighting, Boxing, and Combat Sports

Sports Illustrated just did a cover story about the UFC and Mixed Martial Arts fighting. For the last six months of so I have heard main stream sports writers talk about MMA. Most of them talk like it is a joke sport. They put it at the bottom of the sports landscape, some where around Arena Football or indoor lacrosse.

At the same time most of these members of the sports media were looking forward to the Oscar De La Hoya v. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight. The fight that picked up the name, "the fight that'll save boxing." Now after the fight it is clear that it did not save boxing. Many people said that it was a boring fight. Floyd Mayweather got a head and kept from being knocked out. It looks like it will be the last super fight for a while. Who knows what the state of boxing will be next.

I have been watching the UFC while it has been on SpikeTV. I am not about to spend my money on buying a UFC pay-per-view. The big difference between boxing and UFC to me is the length and pace of the fight. UFC fights are either 3 or 5 rounds. The rounds are 5 minutes in length. The average boxing match is 8 three minutes rounds. UFC fighters have to be more aggressive. They cannot sit back for long to see how the fight is going. They cannot get ahead and fight not to lose. They cannot dance and try to stay away from the other fighter. They do not have the time for that. What I hate the most about boxing is when boxers stall. I have seen very little stalling in the UFC.

My one problem with the UFC and the other MMA promotions is that all seem to have different rules. The fighters are exclusive to one promotion or another. This makes the fights feel manipulated. It is clear to see that the match making in the UFC is about what fights are the most entertaining, not the most competitive. I think this is something that could keep MMA from being the next NASCAR.


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