The two most popular combat sports in the world are Boxing and MMA. The rivalry between the two has lasted for a very long time, and both martial arts have had their fair share of success in recent years. Some boxing experts have said that MMA is not an actual sport and that MMA fighters cannot be considered athletes. They even compared mixed martial arts to human cockfighting. On the other hand, MMA fans and experts believe that a boxer can’t last a minute inside the octagon and that fights between boxers vs. MMA fighters wouldn’t even be competitive. There are many questions to be answered on this topic, and in this article, we will try to compare the two combat sports and give an answer to the question: Boxing vs. MMA – Which is better? Stay tuned and enjoy the article!

Which Martial Art Is Better for Self-Defense?

When someone decides to train in any type of martial art, usually, the first thing that comes to his mind is self-defense. Martial arts training is designed to teach you valuable fighting skills and help you defend yourself when necessary. Boxing and MMA are tremendous martial arts that have proven effective in various self-defense situations. They do, however, differ significantly from one another, and each has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to self-defense.

Boxing is a combat sport that only involves punches, and to many, that is an excellent option for a self-defense situation, as it is easy to throw a punch at someone. However, street altercations can be hazardous and often involve kicks and other attacks. On top of that, clinching is quite common in street fights, and boxing doesn’t involve clinching. Another disadvantage that boxing has is that it uses gloves for sparring. These gloves are designed to protect your hand when punching, and throwing heavy punches without gloves can lead to severe injuries.

Unlike boxing, MMA combines various fighting styles, which can all occur in self-defense situations. Mixed martial arts involves punches, kicks, throws, submissions, elbows, and knees, making it quite similar to real fights on the street. Another great element of MMA is that it uses smaller gloves than boxing, which can teach you to stay cautious and not throw punches that can injure you. When it comes to self-defense, this round clearly goes to MMA, as it is a complete martial art with many more elements than boxing.

What Is Easier to Learn?

Once you start training in any martial art, you will quickly realize that you will need some time to get decent at it. For example, if you start training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you will need one to two years to get a grasp of it and understand the basic positions. When it comes to mixed martial arts vs. boxing, it is much easier to learn boxing. This is because boxing involves only punches, and a beginner can learn boxing fundamentals in less than three months. On the other hand, MMA is a lot more complex, with many elements to cover. Mixed martial arts involves striking, wrestling, and grappling techniques, and each of these can be considered a different sport. Many mixed martial arts academies also have separate classes for each of these, so a beginner might need anywhere from two to three years to become competent in all three areas of mixed martial arts. Another added difficulty of MMA training is that it requires you to be in good shape. Activities such as wrestling and grappling can be challenging if you are out of shape, as they need you to activate your whole body. MMA fighters must condition their bodies for hard training sessions to stay active. Boxing comes out on top regarding which martial art is easier for beginners to learn.

Which Martial Art Is Safer?

Many consider combat sports such as boxing and MMA dangerous and unsafe. This is due to the widespread misconception that training in combat sports can result in an injury or that you can get injured during a match. While injuries can occur in martial arts, they can also be seen in sports such as basketball, football, and others. Having that in mind, boxing and mixed martial arts can be relatively safe for beginners and hobbyists, and only professional fighters might risk getting a severe injury.

Boxing is quite safe to train, as gloves protect your hands, and not many dangerous movements can injure you. The only danger associated with boxing is sparring and getting punched in the head. Getting punched in the head over a more extended period can result in CTE, and many boxers experience that in their careers. Because of this, if you are not going to compete in boxing, you should always wear headgear and a mouthpiece when sparring.

On the other hand, mixed martial arts is a much more demanding physical activity, and there is a higher risk of injury. For example, if you are not careful when wrestling and grappling, you can easily hurt your knees, shoulders, ribs, etc. On top of that, MMA involves a lot of kicks which can also be dangerous, particularly high kicks. Ensure you always wear protective gear when training in MMA to make it as safe as possible.

When it comes to safety, boxing is definitely safer than MMA. However, in terms of professional fighting, both disciplines can be very dangerous, and professional fighters go through many injuries during their careers.

Benefits of Boxing

Now that we have answered some important questions about mixed martial arts vs. boxing, let’s discuss some benefits of these two combat sports. First, let’s take a look at boxing, which is a great physical activity with many benefits for your physical and mental health. Boxing training is a great way to get in shape and learn how to fight. In a couple of months, you will see improvements in your physical condition, lose weight, and learn the basics of boxing. Furthermore, boxing isn’t too difficult for beginners and doesn’t require you to be in exceptional shape.

Improved Endurance

The first thing you will notice after a couple of months of boxing training is that your endurance has tremendously increased since you started. Boxing is a very dynamic activity, and practitioners can burn up to 800 calories in a one-hour training session. Whether working on a heavy bag or hitting pads, you must constantly focus and create combinations. As a beginner, you will also need to learn proper footwork, making you continuously move. As for sparring, boxing rounds usually last three minutes, but they can sometimes feel much longer. Overall, boxing is an excellent way to improve your endurance and become healthier.

Weight Loss

Physical activity is vital if you want to lose weight and get your body in good shape. While diets and a healthier lifestyle may help you, you still have to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. As mentioned, boxing can burn up to 800 calories per hour, making it one of the most high-intensity activities. For this reason, many people choose boxing as their primary activity when trying to lose weight and get in shape. Boxing will also activate your whole body, making you sweat and shed those unnecessary pounds. Whenever you look at professional boxers, you can see that many of them are in great physical condition. This is because boxing requires you to have a solid body to absorb punches. It is common for boxing training to involve a lot of strength and conditioning, making fighters much more durable and physically fit. All of these combined make boxing one of the best physical activities for weight loss, and if you want to lose weight quickly and in the right way, boxing should be your option!

Easy to Learn, but Hard to Master

When you look at boxing as a spectator, it seems relatively straightforward. Only punches are involved, and you can learn most of them quickly. This makes it easy for a beginner to learn fundamental boxing skills. Most practitioners won’t even need to learn more than that if they are hobbyists and don’t want to fight professionally. Nonetheless, if you wish to compete professionally in boxing and advance your skills, boxing is extremely difficult to master. This is because boxing has many different combinations to learn, and when two skilled boxers start throwing punches, it can be incredibly dynamic and fast. On top of that, a professional boxer must learn how to dodge and block punches, which is a surprisingly difficult skill to master. This is why boxing is often called “sweet science” and is one of the most challenging sports in the world.

Benefits of Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martial arts is a great activity with many mental and physical benefits. Firstly, it is undoubtedly one of the best martial arts for self-defense, incorporating elements of boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu. Another added benefit of MMA is that it is an enjoyable activity that mentally and physically challenges you. There is always something new to learn in mixed martial arts, and you can improve in all aspects of the game. Mixed martial arts training will also make you stronger and more durable. Wrestling and grappling will make you use your whole body, and you have to be strong to become good at these areas of the sport.

Best Martial Art for Self-Defense

MMA combines various fighting styles, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, Muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing, and more. Originally, mixed martial arts tournaments were competitions between martial artists to determine the best style. However, all these martial arts merged throughout the years and created MMA, which is by far the best fighting style. Mixed martial arts is great for self-defense, as it will teach you how to grapple, wrestle, and throw punches and kicks, all of which can happen in a street altercation. Training in mixed martial arts will also teach you how to stay calm and address harmful situations, which is a valuable skill.

Very Fun and Challenging

Although training mixed martial arts can be quite challenging for beginners, it is also incredibly fun. The reason for this is that during MMA training, you will cover many areas of fighting. You will learn how to wrestle, strike, and grapple simultaneously, and most importantly, you will learn how to combine these skills. It often happens that someone starts with MMA training and later falls in love with grappling or wrestling. Another reason why MMA is very fun is that it is constantly evolving, and coaches worldwide are finding new ways to make their fighters more successful. Because of this, you will always have something new to learn, making you entertained and interested.

An Excellent Way to Gain Strength and Improve Endurance

Many believe going to the gym is the best way to gain strength. Nonetheless, mixed martial arts training involves a lot of activities that will increase your strength tremendously. This type of strength can’t be developed in the gym and is often referred to as “functional strength.” You will develop functional strength after months and years of training with other people, and your body will naturally adapt and become stronger. In addition, a demanding physical activity like mixed martial arts will also improve your endurance and make you a better athlete.

Boxing vs. MMA – Who Would Win?

The last part of this article will answer a common question asked in the martial arts world: Boxing vs. MMA – who wins? Boxing and MMA are both excellent combat sports, but they have huge differences, and we cannot neglect that. Mixed martial arts is a complete fighting style with many more elements than boxing, and a decent MMA fighter would easily win against a great boxer. Boxers vs. MMA fighters have debated this for a long time, but many practitioners of both styles realize that MMA is a superior fighting style. However, boxing also has its benefits, and it is one of the most demanding sports in the world. We should stop comparing these two martial arts and enjoy them because they are both excellent.


In this article, we have talked about the two most popular martial arts and the topic of mixed martial arts vs. boxing. Both of these martial arts are great physical activities, and we should enjoy both of them. However, with all of the above-mentioned advantages and disadvantages, I will give a slight edge to mixed martial arts and pick it as a superior fighting style! Thank you for reading!