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MMA or Boxing Training: Which is more intense?

boxing and mma training


MMA or Boxing Training: Which is more intense?

MMA or Boxing Training: Which is more intense?

Let’s start from the beginning. Boxing is the older of the two disciplines. In earlier times, boxing has been the dominant contact sport across many countries for a very long time. Boxing training was long believed to be a gold standard of fitness regiments. 

MMA has been steadily gaining on boxing as the leading contact sport since the early 2000s with the UFC chiseling a sizeable market share in combat sports. Legendary fighters like Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva helped put the UFC on map. Pioneers like Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, though, started it all.

In contrast to the past, the bulk of MMA fights were hardly ever shown or covered by the media until the early 2000s. Now, top fighters are becoming household names today, and MMA as a whole is either as popular or more so than traditional boxing in some demographics, particularly amongst younger fight fans. With the rise of YouTube and other celebrity fighters like Jake Paul, boxing is certainly back in teh public eye.

Let’s compare boxing training with that of MMA to determine which provides a more all-encompassing approach to fitness and produces better athletes.


Fighting techniques from many backgrounds are combined in MMA.

Because boxing is only striking, it has the most straightforward array of strikes in terms of fighting technique. Boxing is incredibly popular since it is a sport that fans can easily follow. 

Your stance will typically be more enabled than kickboxing or MMA because your sole targets are the head and body. Your elbows will be tightly clenched, shielding your face and keeping your body neatly in line. Your jab, cross, hooks, and uppercuts will be your key weapons in this fight. 

Let’s discuss the barrier now. The Slip is one of the most crucial and fundamental ways to react to the punch in boxing. You can practice the roll, blocks, pullbacks, and stepbacks, which all cover the footwork once you have mastered the slip. Not just boxing, but all combat sports require it.

MMA involves both stand-up and ground-work, but it also borrows heavily from boxing. In its unique MMA shorts and gloves, you use takedowns, grappling, clinch holds, judo throws, tosses, sweeps, grappling, submissions, jiu-jitsu, and everything else you can think of. 

Illegal moves

Some of the illegal moves in boxing include no hitting with an open glove, the wrist, the backhand, or the side of the hand. No hitting below the belt, hold, kick, head-butt, trip wrestle, bite, or push your opponent. Throwing a punch while holding on to the ropes to get leverage is an illegal boxing move. 

In contrast, kicking and knee-striking the head of a grounded opponent is an illegal move in MMA. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his or her head or neck, swearing or offensive language in the cage also count.

Match format

Here is how a boxing match is structured. There is a one-minute pause after each round of three minutes. Four to twelve rounds are common in professional rounds. There could be up to 50 rounds at the start. Combat in boxing and MMA differs slightly. The rounds continue. There will either be three or five rounds, each lasting five minutes, depending on whether the battle is permitted. It takes place in an octagon or a cage.

How can I win? 

The most common method of victory in combat is somewhat traditional. If you don’t get a knockout, it goes as follows:

One referee, three judges, and a 10-point must system will be used in the ring. Each round’s loser will earn the lower score, with the round winner receiving the full 10 points. In the event of an even round, there will be no fractional points awarded, and the score will be 10/10.

 But MMA matches still feature one referee and three judges. However, if your fight ends up on the ground, there are no ten counts, and you cannot recover. There are more ways to end the conflict as well. You can win via injury, doctors stoppage DQ knockout, TKO, submission, etc. 

MMA and Boxing Training 

Both the players of martial arts should be physically fit. Therefore, it is acceptable to say that each fighter has received instruction in the fundamental subjects. Exercises include running, skipping rope, shadow boxing, pad work, sparring, agility, and footwork, not to mention nutrition. The boxer focuses heavily on movement because they do not have to worry about getting kicked in the head. Both of these fighting stances are built on footwork.

In conclusion, I believe that MMA is the most physically demanding as it requires athletes to train in various disciplines and styles to be genuinely competitive in the ring. That is not to say, however, that they are in better shape. It’s just boxers have a more focused outcome.

And now that you all know a little about these specific disciplines, which do you think produces better athletes?

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Michael is the CEO of Last Word On Sports INC and is happy to be involved with Big Fight Weekend. He is credentialed with several international governing bodies. He cites the Hagler-Leonard fight as his introduction to boxing--and what an introduction that was!

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