When Randy Couture easily submitted former multi-weight class boxing champion James Toney in the co-main event of UFC 118, MMA fans rejoiced at the perception that their sport bested boxing. The problem is that there is blatant fallacy in such simplistic thinking. Yet, none the less the build up to this fight was not that of two supremely gifted warriors on the tell end of their respective careers. Rather, the UFC, along with fans, and some media outlets took this as a chance to trumpet the argument surrounding which sport is superior: boxing or MMA.
It’s a senseless argument given that the sports are completely different from each oher. It’s not like an argument comparing the NFC to the AFC in professional football. While there are some similarities in the basics of MMA with that of the techniques found in boxing, the sports’ similarities truly end there. MMA is a sport comprised of various aspects of combative sports: boxing, kicks, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, et cetera. Boxing is, well, boxing. To compare the two would be like comparing a basketball player to a soccer player. After all, those two sports are comprised of running and passing, right?
Sure, it’s silly to compare the sports of basketball and soccer against each other, but that type of improbable comparison is exactly what the debate between boxing and MMA is. Boxing and MMA may both be combative sports; sports were you are allowed to pummel your opponent senseless. But, just because a fighter is a boxer it does not mean that a transition into MMA would be smooth sailing. James Toney proved that this past Saturday. Likewise, an MMA fighter would struggle in the ring against skilled boxers. The differences between the sports are so great that debating which is better is lesson in futility.
Look, the argument is simple, do you as an individual prefer boxing, or is MMA your type of thing. Both sports offer up fans distinctly unique experiences. Personal preference is all that should be taken into consideration between the two sports. Boxing versus MMA is an argument that needs to be put to rest. The fact of the matter is that there is room in the world for both sports, neither is “better” than the other; it is as simple as that.