Long-time UFC commentator Joe Rogan had some harsh words for boxing's pound-for-pound king, Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Talking with Inked, a magazine dedicated to all things tattoo, in their August issue, the MMA aficionado had this to say:
MMA for sure is more of a realistic contest, more of a realistic test as far as using the body in martial arts competition. Although not considered a martial art, boxing is really a martial art. It's a very limited martial art as long as you agree to just box...but in an actual physical fight against someone who's just a wrestler, you're going to get killed. Floyd Mayweather would get killed by an average college wrestler. There would be no competition. If you took Floyd Mayweather today and made him fight against your average college wrestler, that college wrestler is going to shoot on him, pick him up, drop him on his head and knock him out. There's nothing Floyd can do about it...A judo guy would do the same thing to him. A JuJitsu guy would strangle him, no question about it.
The MMA vs. boxing debate has persisted for years, and Mayweather and his outspoken handler, Leonard Ellerbe, have helped fan the flames for years. The two tend to get harsh responses from noteworthy members of the MMA community.
The most famous example of this came in 2009, when Mayweather, while talking with CBS Sports, stated (via Yahoo! Sports): “there's no white fighters in boxing that's dominating, so they had to go to something else and start something new.” That sort of story, by the way, has popped up every two or three months for the last four years.
Boxers have had a few chances to ply their trade in the cage in the past. Ray Mercer knocked out former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in just nine seconds in 2009. Truer to what Rogan discussed, in 2010, former two-division UFC champion Randy Couture dominated James Toney on the ground en route to a first-round submission victory.
Historically, when practitioners of single combat sports have met head-on, grappling-focused arts have typically beat out those that focus on striking. The original UFC, UFC 1, was dedicated to having fighters from different backgrounds square off. During the event, Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Royce Gracie would make at-the-time 29-5 boxer Art Jimmerson tap and would later beat Dutch kickboxer Gerard Gordeau.
Additionally, a substantial portion of the UFC's roster over the years have come from either college or high school wrestling backgrounds. A substantially smaller number have come from boxing backgrounds.
While Mayweather is unquestionably the best boxer in the world today, there are few observers who would disagree with Rogan's assertion. That likely matters very little to “Money," though, as he continues to rake in tens of millions of dollars each year.