Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) are undoubtedly two very different combat sports and fighting systems. To completely adopt a traditional boxing stance, or rely only on boxing as a fighter in the sport of MMA, would definitely not be the best approach. It would make you susceptible to takedowns, elbows, and most of all, those paralyzing Muay Thai legs kicks; which are arguably a boxer’s greatest weakness in the cage.
However, that doesn’t mean that the techniques and concepts used heavily in the sweet science can’t be beneficial in the sport of MMA.
As fighters like former UFC Champions Georges St. Pierre and Junior Dos Santos have shown, a simple, well-executed jab can make all the difference – even against some of the best the sport has to offer. And in more recent years, fighters like two-weight UFC Champion Conor McGregor and UFC stars Doo Ho Choi, Nate Diaz, and many more have shown that excellent boxing knowledge, can many times, give a fighter a significant advantage over an opponent. They prove that boxing can effectively break their opponents down shot by shot and ultimately, finish them off. While the sport of MMA is less limited as a fighting system compared to boxing (allowing for takedowns, kicks, knees, elbows, submissions, and lesser limitations in the clinch), the majority of the finishes in MMA occur due to strikes. And of all those finishes from strikes, most of them come by way of punches.
Being well-versed in boxing techniques can not only improve your ability to punch harder, faster, and transition between different upper and lower body strikes better, it can also help improve your ability to land a punch, counter-attack, or even avoid strikes altogether. And while many MMA fighters may not care for the sweet science, none of them can deny that boxing can indeed improve a fighter’s reflexes, reaction time, and overall athleticism. There are countless other reasons why boxing techniques can be beneficial in the complex sport of MMA but the reasons stated above should be enough to convince any MMA fighter to invest at least a small portion of their training in the sweet science of boxing
Bruce Lang Certified licensed Pro-Boxing Trainer with over 30 years Boxing experience and in-fight training using the sweet science.
He has trained several champions from MMA to Amateur and Pro-Boxing circuits including UFC, Bellator to note a few!