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In the modern era, combat sports has become one of the most watchable sporting events in America, and around the world. Since the UFC was first televised in the 1990's, Martial Artists have been perfecting their all round styles of combat to cater for all different styles of combat. The days of becoming proficient in one specific style are now becoming obsolete, as the new modernised version of combat athletes will incorporate elements of striking, and grappling into their arsenal. The rise of Mixed Martial Arts platforms like the UFC, Strikeforce, and One Championship have ushered in a new era of combat sport, and combative athletes.

In the UFC there have been many iconic battles of boxing vs muay thai, wrestling versus jiu jitsu, and all round Mixed Martial Artists versus every different style of combat. The UFC has become synonymous with pitting different styles of combat against each other, as fierce battles have erupted between pure Mixed Martial Artists, Boxers, and even Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters. Picking a winner between an MMA fighter, and a boxer will always come down to how each individual trains in their respective form of combat. It is usually the more all round athlete that will become more proficient in combat sports, and will ultimately win the battle.

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Mixed Martial Arts has become one of America's most popular combative arts, with many high calibre athletes fighting in the UFC, and other lower level MMA organisations. In the beginning Mixed Martial Arts was more of a hybrid version of combat called Vale Tudo. In Brazil, Gracie Jiu Jitsu members would often fight against Luta Livre fighters in Vale Tudo matches that consisted of striking arts like boxing and martial arts like brazilian jiu jitsu, and wrestling. These matches were famous throughout Brazil, as many athletes were a part of the escalation of violence that spilled over into the streets of Brazil. Dojo storms, car park brawls, and a famous beach fight between Rickson Gracie, and Hugo Duarte saw Vale Tudo heading down a dark path. After a local Jiu Jitsu competition was invaded by Luta Livre fighters, and the violence reached a high level of escalation, the Brazilian Government put a nationwide ban on Vale Tudo practice, ending the sport in Brazil.

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This forced the Gracie clan to expand, and as they headed into America to spread their jiu jitsu, they found a brand new calling. Rorion Gracie was a prominent businessman who worked with John Milius, and Art Davie, as they created a platform where all styles of Martial Arts would be able to test out each other's ability inside of the cage. In 1993 the inaugural UFC event was held which saw boxing vs jiu jitsu, shoot fighting, savate, judo, and karate fighters all battling for supremacy, before Royce Gracie showcased his grappling skill to win the event. After the first UFC, Martial Artists from all over the world saw the importance of grappling, and this sparked a movement where they began combining elements of striking and grappling into their fighting styles. As this Martial Art platform began gaining popularity it spawned a new style of Martial Arts. The hybrid version of combat was now known as Mixed Martial Arts, and incorporated jiu jitsu, kick boxing, wrestling, and boxing principles.


In the nineteenth century boxing came to the shores of England, and the United States of America. At the time boxing was illegal, and heavily scrutinised by the public for its brutality of bare knuckle battery. Lower class citizens would take fights in underground prize fighting organisations run by dubious casino enterprises, and due to the criminal element, the authorities would often break up the events, and arrest the fighters. This form of combat became a way to make a living for the poor, as they put their lives on the line to battle in an underground combat sport. Casino organisations began match fixing, and the criminal element of gambling only further ruined the reputation of boxing. 

Many athletes began searching for legitimisation of their sport, and as they combined boxing speed vs power, their attacking style of combat began evolving into an even more deadly art form. In 1867 boxing got its big break, and the Marquess of Queensberry rules were introduced. This was a series of rules that included timed rounds, a boxing ring surrounded by ropes, and the use of sixteen ounce boxing gloves. This was a major step towards a legitimised combat sport, but there was still some push back from the government, and many of the middle and upper class citizens. For the next twenty years boxing still struggled to consolidate itself as a premier combat sport, but due to the hard work from many promoters like Tex Rickard, boxing saw its first champion under the Queensberry rules. Jim Corbett defeated John L Sullivan in 1892, and from that moment on boxing became a legitimate sport that saw many fans begin to absorb the culture of boxing.


Mixed Martial Arts has become one of the most deadliest forms of combat in the entire world. The UFC has bred some of the most dynamic champions like Jon Jones, Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman, Alexander Volkanovski, and Connor McGregor. Mixed Martial Arts is levels above most other combative forms, and this is because it combines many different art forms into one hybrid version of Martial Arts. An MMA fighter has an excellent series boxing skills, kick boxing ferocity, powerful wrestling ability, and a high level of submission skill from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. MMA fighters are extremely well conditioned, and this is due to their notorious workout regimes, where they spend week apon week in an extensive fight camp. Building up attributes in Mixed Martial Arts takes a lot of dedication to the physical aspects, and an extensive tough resolve mentally.

A pure Mixed Martial Artist has a lot of different weapons in their arsenal, and being capable of using punches, kicks, knee strikes, and elbow strikes while they are standing, and while they are grounded is an extremely valuable commodity. They will also utilise wrestling, and modified judo takedowns to bring the fight down to the mat, which is extremely advantageous against a pure striker. Once the fight is on the mat using ground and pound can be extremely vicious, and neutralising an opponent with dominant control will help them to end the fight. MMA fighters also have tremendous submission skills, which is the icing on the cake, and makes them an even more formidable fighter, as opposed to a pure striker. 

A Mixed Martial Artist has an extremely tough training regime that they will incorporate into their repertoire. MMA circuit training is notorious throughout the industry as being one of the most toughest, and gruelling forms of training in combat sports. Athletes will put themselves through a rigorous series of functional strength and conditioning movements that will enhance their level of all attributes needed when they are inside of their cage. One of the most important aspects for an MMA fighter is mobility, and rest, and knowing when to balance out their tough training with adequate rest for their body is critical in recovering, and being able to soldier on into their next training session. MMA fighters will also use full contact sparring as a way to bolster their experience, and this includes striking, wrestling, and jiu jitsu.


Boxing is a highly dynamic, and effective form of striking that incorporates many different aspects. One of the most important features in becoming a skillful boxer is improving their skills in footwork. All athletes need to have a formidable boxing stance, and athletes will commonly switch between boxing southpaw vs orthodox stances, and this is a common occurrence in the art of boxing. Working on different footwork drills like lateral shuffling, forward, backwards, and diagonal shuffling will help athletes cut off the angle of their opponent, which will trap them in the pocket, giving a boxing athlete a better opportunity at landing attacking formations. Engaging in shadow boxing drills is another good way of practising an athlete's foot speed, their balance and coordination, and the cohesion between moving in and out of range, while still throwing punching combinations. Boxing is also a good way to build up an athlete's cardiorespiratory endurance, which is highly recommended for becoming a successful boxing athlete.

All boxers need to work extensively on their punching combinations, and there are multiple ways that they can do this. The first way is by engaging in drill sessions on the focus mitts, which is where a boxing trainer will hold the pads, and the athlete will throw various combinations that their trainer will call out. This is a really good drill, because a boxing trainer will throw counter punches at the athlete, forcing them to use their evasive skills to duck under, slip the punch, and attack with counter punches. This is a good way to build up an athlete's power in their punching, their fluency of motion, their accuracy, and the timing of their punches. All high level boxers will use the focus mitts as a way to sharpen up their punching ability, and also build up a rigorous strength and conditioning level within their body. 

Hitting the boxing bags is also highly recommended to a boxing athlete, as they will gain significant attributes from this type of drill. There are different boxing bags that can help athletes with different aspects of the game. The heavy bag is designed for athletes to work extensively on their power, but all athletes need to proceed with caution, and wrap their hands first with hand wraps, before pulling on their boxing gloves. This is how an athlete can protect their hands from getting broken during their training sessions. The double ended bag is a lighter, and smaller bag held together from top and bottom by elastic, and this is used for athletes to work on their evasive skills, and their counter punching. An athlete will commonly throw combination punches, and when the bag flings back at them they will slip to either side, before throwing hooks, and straight punches. The speed bag is used to work on an athlete's timing, and of course their speed, and even though this is an extremely difficult bag to master, an athlete needs to utilise this concept in order to produce fast hands.

Coach Chuck Martinez has joined DynamicStriking.com to share THE ART OF MMA and it's available here!

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Aside from all of the boxing skills that an athlete must incorporate to become exceptional at boxing, they will also need to build up a significant strength and conditioning level. Building strength by lifting weights is one way, and athletes can simply use kettlebells to execute lunges, shoulder raises, swings, and deadlifts, or they can use resistance bands as a way to build up functional strength without putting too much impact on their body. Using traditional strength exercises like old school push ups, sit ups, chin ups, and squats is a good way to achieve a high level of strength without putting too much strain on the body. Athletes will need to also work on their cardiovascular ability by running, swimming, skipping, shadow boxing, and  any other cardio exercise that pushes their limitations beyond their normal parameters.


There are many different factors to consider when picking a winner between these two iconic styles of combat. A boxer is a professional on their feet, as they will commonly use evasive footwork, incorporating fast feet, and head movement to move in and out of range of their opponent, before landing proficient and powerful striking combinations. A Mixed Martial Artist on the other hand has a different mentality, and this is because of the all round mentality that MMA possesses. A Mixed Martial Artist has to worry about being taken down to the mat, and worry about getting submitted. This means they need to build up a proficient style of grappling, wrestling, as well as a sufficient striking form. Boxing is usually taught to most Mixed Martial Artists, as well as kick boxing, which makes them an extremely deadly adversary.

Picking a winner of this match comes down to which athlete is more capable within their own proficiencies. A boxer will always have a chance of winning, and this is because of their hustle, and their powerful presence inside of the fight arena. Boxing athletes have an extremely well conditioned body, and an incredible amount of resilience, which is what they will need for going up against a Mixed Martial Artist. A pure MMA fighter has a wide variety of balanced skills, as they will have proficiency in boxing, kick boxing, wrestling, and jiu jitsu. Even though they may not possess the same skill level in striking that a boxer has, the one thing they do have is knowledge of the combined striking, and grappling game. An MMA fighter is better equipped to deal with all aspects of Martial Arts, which makes them a hard match up for a boxer. The MMA athlete will win this battle on paper, and nine out of ten times in a real situation, but you can never count out a boxer. 

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