Whether you’re a boxing or MMA fan, you will undoubtedly know that both sports come with a bit of risk. It’s not uncommon for the champion to appear on the front pages of the latest boxing news covered in blood – but smiling with it. You can say the same about MMA news too, with mixed martial arts fighters covered in blood – more so than boxers – but seemingly unphased.
As an outsider, you might think that MMA fighting is far more dangerous because there is always a lot more blood. However, post-fight medical datainvolving 500 boxers and almost 1200 MMA fighters show that boxing is, in fact, more dangerous – even if the bloodshed is more horrific during incidents in mixed martial arts.
There are, of course, risks with both sports – especially if you were to compare them to the likes of golf or chess. You have two people fighting in a ring, and someone is bound to get hurt. However, in the likes of MMA fighting, the moves tend to focus on all areas of the body, whereas boxing focuses on the head.
Injuries in MMA, therefore, tend to consist of minor cuts, bruises, andcontusions that are visible and look painful but heal quickly and without any problems. In boxing, a lot of the fighting moves aim at the head region. It’s then not uncommon for there to not appear to be much damage, but it’s rather significant. Boxers suffer from more head trauma, concussions, broken bones, facial injuries, eye injuries, and even periods of being unconscious than an MMA fighter.
What Does the Research Say?
The boxing news sites will not outright tell you that boxing is more dangerous than MMA, or vice-versa, but the research speaks volumes. In fighters documented in a ten-year period up to 2013, the prevalence of injury was high in both MMA fighters and boxers. Close to 60 percent of MMA fighters received injuries, next to boxers at close to half.
The boxers’ injuries, however, were considerably more severe. Over seven percent of them were knocked unconscious or had a severe eye injury, whereas only around four percent of MMA fighters did. Researchers were also able to conclude that boxers received more post-bout medical suspensions than MMA fighters – showing the severity of some of the injuries they sustained.
Why is MMA Safer?
If you were to compare MMA to chess, it’s not a safe sport. But, comparing it to boxing, it is. MMA fighters use tactics to focus on several areas of the body, whereas boxers bludgeon their opponent in the face with their fist. The question mark over the safety of boxing also could explain a downward trend of the sport’s popularity too.
Both boxing and MMA have a significant following all around the world, with fighters such as Rhonda Rousey, John Cena, and Conor MacGregor proving to be leading favorites. However, it’s important to note that such sports come with risks.