Any knowledgeable fan of combat sports knows that there’s a world of difference between boxing and mixed martial arts. They are, quite literally, two different sports. However, because of the fact that both involve fighting, the two sets of athletes will always be grouped together in many minds. And that grouping together often leads to crossovers.
Most of the time, those crossovers are ill-advised and turn out to be major career mistakes, with USA betting sites reaping the benefits from lost wagers.
Here’s a look at five fights that did not turn out well for the fighter trying to cross over to the other side of the combat sports street:
James Toney vs Randy Couture
Imagine the worst possible stylistic boxing vs. MMA matchup. From the boxing perspective, it would have to be counter-puncher vs. grappler. How could the counter-puncher do his thing if there are no incoming puncher to counter? That’s the dilemma multi-time world champion boxer James Toney faced against UFC legend Randy Couture at UFC 118 in 2010. Adding to Toney’s troubles was the fact that, at 42 years of age, he was at least 13 years past his prime as a boxer and fighting at least four weight classes above his optimum weight. Predictably, Toney-Couture wasn’t much of a fight at all with Toney tapping out in the first round.
Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather
Forget all the money McGregor made (reportedly upwards of $80 million) and the ten rounds the bout actually lasted, the UFC star was never really competitive. Mayweather, who had been retired for two years prior to facing McGregor and had allegedly not been taking training all that seriously, carried the brash Irishman for several rounds before systematically taking him apart piece by piece. By the end of the contest, McGregor was a beaten man, huffing and puffing for air and helpless before the future first ballot Hall of Famer.
Art Jimmerson vs Royce Gracie
Little more than a journeyman in boxing, Jimmerson achieved more notoriety for his one losing effort at UFC 1 than for anything he accomplished in the ring. Sporting just one boxing glove (with the other hand free), Jimmerson took on Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Royce Gracie in the first round of the first-ever UFC tournament PPV. Gracie would quickly take him down in the opening moments of the fight and compel him to tap out before even fully applying a submission hold.
Ray Mercer vs. Kimbo Slice
Former world heavyweight titlist, Ray Mercer, had become disgusted in failed efforts to get a high-profile boxing match, so he decided to give MMA a try. Matched against street fighting legend Kimbo Slice at Cage Fury Fighting Championship 5 in 2007, he was choked into submission in the first round. Mercer would later claim that he thought the bout was going to be contested under boxing rules and, therefore, had not prepared properly for the bout. Mercer would redeem himself to an extent two years later when he knocked out former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia just nine seconds into their bout.
Butterbean vs. Genki Sudo
Eric Esch (AKA Butterbean) was never anything more than a novelty attraction as a boxer and when he could no longer compete with even the journeymen fed to him as fall guys, he took his act to MMA circles. Weighing in at over 400 lbs., he was pitted against Japanese lightweight legend Genki Sudo at K-1 Premium Dynamite in 2003. Sudo used his edge in speed and reflexes to bring down the giant Butterbean and make him tap out early in the second round.