MMA's Future: Why, If Boxing Did 'Die,' It Would Actually Hurt MMA

Matthew HemphillCorrespondent IIDecember 26, 2011

Boxing is dying and MMA is killing it.

That line has been said by many journalists and fans alike throughout the years.  Yet boxing has been around since the Grecian Olympics, where it competed side by side with wrestling.  That may not be the exact same thing as MMA, but it means that boxing is used to competition.

Some fans hope it will happen.  Others hope not, as they are a fan of both.

Some just don't care.

But everyone who is a fan of mixed martial arts should care if boxing goes under, because if it does, so does the UFC's main competitor.

Let's face it, the UFC is MMA to most casual fans and there is not one promotion that can possibly keep up with them.  Bellator may have just been bought by Viacom, but if that company doesn't turn a healthy profit fast enough, they just might decide to wash their hands of it.

That doesn't even factor in that UFC is like Google.  

When someone goes to search something they say they are going to "google" it.

When most people watch MMA they say they are going to see "UFC."

When a name or an acronym gains that much power in society, it's hard to fight it.

That means there is only one other combat organization that can keep up with the UFC, and that is boxing.  The entire sport may be rife with different promoters and fighters, but it still has clout that has been stacked over decades of being in the public eye.

This guy learned from boxing's mistakes to make the empire fans see today.
This guy learned from boxing's mistakes to make the empire fans see today.

Even though it has been tarnished in recent years, it is still a sport lots of people recognize.  

And it's also part of the reason that MMA tries so hard.  

The UFC is impressive but a lot of fans jumped ship from boxing because they were bored of seeing mismatches and having to pay through the nose to see any match that could be deemed slightly competitive.  When MMA came along, many jumped at the opportunity.

The UFC seems to have acknowledged this and has put on stacked cards from top to bottom for the most part.  But as they have pulled away from boxing and put on more events, some of those cards have started to thin.

Still, overall the UFC and MMA give fans a great product, but it is worth remembering that at one time, boxing did too.

Until it realized it didn't have to.  Boxing had no competitors for its fans and after a while it let them run the sport into the ground.

Boxing may be a niche sport now, but it is still around and because of it, MMA still has to outdo them every time out so that they can stay in first place.

And so while both sports fight for the fans' money and attention, MMA fans get to win in the end.

Now all boxing has to do is not give up and disappear.