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UFC and Boxing: Which Is The Better Sport?

Updated on August 31, 2014
UFC or Boxing
UFC or Boxing | Source

Boxing and UFC: History Comparison

Boxing History

Since boxing is the oldest combat sport compared to UFC, let me begin with the history of boxing. Boxing is one of the most popular games, especially in Europe and America. The earliest boxing record found was in third millennium Egypt and Mesopotamia. The first record of a “prizefight” occurs during the funeral games for Patroklus as recorded in the Iliad. Back then, boxing was a brutal sport where there were no rounds, no ring, no weight classes, no rest periods, no point system. In ancient Rome, Gladiators fought until death.

As time goes on, bare-knuckled fights became obsolete in boxing history. Boxing became less brutal. In the year 1866, the Marquess of Queensberry established rules which included limited number of 3-minute rounds. It banned gouging and wrestling during the match and made gloves mandatory. In 1892, James Corbett set this rule straight by defeating the bare-fisted boxer John Sullivan with the new established rules.

During the 19th century, British boxing enthusiast also wanted to expand their horizons by bringing the sweet science to the States seeking other opportunities to fight. Bare knuckled showdowns, often between British and Irish immigrants or between American Indians and the Irish slowly attracted lots of people. John L. Sullivan was Americas' popular boxer. He was called the "Boston Strong boy". He was the bare knuckle boxing’s last champion and the first heavyweight champion by the new Queensberry rules.

Modern day boxing created more rules and established weight divisions and sanctioning bodies and each had their own champions. Boxers like Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Marvin Hagler, Mike Tyson were some of the best boxing greats that emerged in boxing history.

UFC History

We will now discuss the history of UFC. What is UFC? UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, currently recognized as the largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion in the world. Art Davie and Rorion Gracie under WOW promotions formed the first UFC event held on November 12, 1993 in Denver, Colorado called "The War of the Worlds". It was an 8-men single elimination tournament with no weight and time limit. Its main purpose was to find out who would be the best martial arts discipline in the world. Fighters with different styles like Sambo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Karate, Judo, Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu would test their Art to see how their skill set would match against each other. Royce Gracie from Brazil won the first UFC championship. UFC was initially known as "No holds barred fighting". It was considered to be brutal by viewers with only rules of no biting or eye gouging. UFC tried to prove which style was best but instead faced an accusations of brutality. Politicians led by Senator John McCain criticized UFC and led writing campaigns and eventually made UFC underground. Pay-per-view providers dropped UFC programs nearly abolishing UFC's public viewing. UFC turned into their survival mode and cooperated with the State Athletic Commissions by removing controversial rules and replacing it with less brutal elements retaining grappling and striking.

After the long battle to get sanctioned. SEG sold UFC to Zuffa, LLC, executives Frank and Lorenzo Ferttita, and boxing promoter Dana White in 2001. Zuffa took control of the secured sanctioning by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in 2001 and UFC returned to PPV cable television. Under Zuffa, LLC, UFC became popular all across the continents and would now be considered close to popularity like Boxing.

UFC vs. Boxing
UFC vs. Boxing | Source

UFC and Boxing Payday

Boxing and UFC: Salary Comparison

There is no doubt that Boxers get paid more than UFC fighters. The reason is because boxing has been around for centuries and has set a foundation of sponsors, UFC is a privately-owned organization that has only been around since November 1993.This is a big part of why UFC fighters don’t earn as much per fight as boxers. It is basic common sense that the older sport will get the bigger fan base which entails bigger revenue.

Another factor that inhibits UFC fighters to earn less than boxers is UFC won't allow it's fighters to compete across promotions unless MMA fighters sign with the UFC. If more organizations can make it to bigger levels in the public eye, there will be increase in fighters' pay. It
has a set pay structure for entry level fighters.

run company. However, Rashad Evans' website stated that he has earned almost $800,000 from January to September 2013.

On the other hand in boxing, Floyd Mayweather recently earned $41.5 million for a single match which came from individual fight promoters staging the event. Pay-per-view sales also play a role in the earnings as the fighters normally earn a part of what the event is marketed for.

Royce Gracie

The first ever UFC Ultimate Fighting Champion Royce Gracie from Rio de Janeiro Brazil. He is one of the most prolific and influential MMA fighters in history from the legendary Gracie Family. He was an underdog hero fighting opponents almost twice larger than him while changing the landscape of combat sports and revolutionizing martial arts forever after winning the first UFC Tournaments UFC1, UFC2, and UFC4.

John L. Sullivan

John L. Sullivan is considered by historians to have been the first heavyweight champion of the world. He was also known as the "Boston Strong Boy". He was recognized as the first Heavyweight Champion of gloved boxing from February 7, 1882, to 1892, and is generally recognized as the last heavyweight champion of bare-knuckle boxing under the London Prize Ring Rules.

UFC vs Boxing Video

Boxing and UFC: Which Is The Better Sport?

I have been a boxing fan since I was 6 years old and has been also a UFC fan since it was founded in 1993. The question as to which is the better sport of the two relies on individual likeness of each sport. Boxing and UFC have different taste and uniqueness that may have tickled every fan's adrenalin during live or pay-per-view bouts. Boxing has only striking while UFC has both striking and grappling. Boxing is boxing while UFC has different martial arts discipline that fighters can showcase. Some boxing fans see UFC fights as boring when they go to the ground grapple. While UFC some UFC fans see boxing as a single one dimensional art. I am a fan of both maybe because I am familiar with both striking and grappling techniques. To be able to enjoy watching both sports, I think one must have a knowledge of what specific moves a fighter executes against an opponent to be able to get the full flavor of each sport. The only difference I see in UFC and boxing is the amount of fighters they have. Boxing surely has more entertaining fighters than UFC maybe because boxing is just a bigger fish tank in the sports industry. I still cannot make a choice between UFC or Boxing. In my opinion, neither is the better sport, both are considered better or yet best for me.

Boxing or UFC: Which is The Better Sport?

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    • UFCBettingClub profile image


      4 years ago from Ireland

      UFC is a promotion. MMA is by a long mile. boxing is slipping into the shadows. UFC is now one of richest sport industries in the world. It's only going to grow an grow.


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