Undefeated World Boxing Association welterweight champion Adrien Broner did not endear himself to the MMA community when he gave his opinion on the sport in a recent interview.
In a quick interview with FightHype.com, "The Problem" said the skills and athleticism necessary to excel in boxing are far greater than what it takes to be a world champion in mixed martial arts (via Bloody Elbow):
"I'm really not too big on MMA. I really don't look at it as a real sport because anybody can come into MMA and learn that. You can learn that," Broner said. "Listen, you can't just come in to boxing and be a world champion. You've got to be born with it ... Like you," he said to the interviewer, "Right now, you can go into MMA, learn all the submission moves and be a world champion. It doesn't matter how long it takes. I don't give a f*** what you do, you can try to come over to boxing, and you won't ever be a world champion. I'm not disrespecting you, but I'm just saying, that's how it works."
There is no questioning that Broner knows a thing or two about boxing. He boasts a 27-0 record (with 22 knockouts) at just 24 years old.
However, his uninformed opinion about MMA is going to earn the three-time world champion a fair share of criticism from the fight community.
It looks like he needs to educate himself on some of the finer points of grappling. Earning a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu takes about eight years, on average, so no one is going to take up BJJ and become a submission specialist overnight (via RenzoGracie.com).
As a matter of fact, the MMA community have seen many high-level grapplers such as UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson, UFC welterweights Jake Ellenberger and Johny Hendricks and UFC light heavyweight Dan Henderson develop serious knockout power in their hands after just a couple of years of training in striking.
Of course, striking in an MMA fight and a boxing match are two different things, but many fighters have expressed in the past that it is easier to develop striking as opposed to grappling.