Is MMA Harder Than Boxing? What To Know

Whether you are watching them on TV or considering between different fitness classes, MMA and boxing are two different types of fitness that compete against each other for attention.

Both are fighting styles, but because of the newness, small pool of practitioners, and popularity, many people may wonder if MMA is, in fact, harder than boxing. Is it?

Is MMA Harder Than Boxing?

While both boxing and MMA are intense workouts that take practice and dedication to excel at, MMA is harder due to the fact that it is a more diverse mix of martial arts. With boxing classes or gyms, the focus is only on one particular style, where MMA can range a variety of different martial arts that require different stances and movements. 

The thing to keep in mind with every practice or style is that it brings a whole new set of rules to the table. It calls for different expectations on the body, different learned behaviors, and different mindsets for the practitioner to move around in the activity.

What is hard for one person might not be as hard for another. So why might MMA be harder than boxing, and vise versa?

Why MMA is Harder Than Boxing?

MMA is considered relatively new to the fighting circuit. While it incorporates older styles and techniques, it is still a growing and changing style that must be kept up with as opposed to boxing. Both in and outside of the octagon, MMA fighters have to be continuously learning from their opponents, gyms, and online reference sources.

The diversity of the fighting style is one of the biggest hurdles of those who devote themselves to MMA. While different gyms and different fighting practices each have different styles, MMA incorporated different fighting techniques into their own.

You’re not just practicing MMA. You are learning Muay Thai, wrestling, boxing, and more. 

The lack of a dedicated style may seem like a fault to others. However, using multiple martial arts to create a new style allows for one to find the best way to win a fight. Because of the different techniques one learns in MMA.

The mind is always thinking during a fight, allowing for optimal observation and analysis of the situation for the best solution. 

Physical conditioning is a part of every fitness regimen, but with such a flowing style as MMA, focusing on stamina and muscle endurance alone is not enough.

One must incorporate all parts of physical fitness into their regimen to ensure muscles are able to hold up for a long period, remain flexible when needed, and finish out the fight. 

Some of the Different Fighting Styles Studied in MMA

Diversity has been mentioned many times, and when it comes to MMA, it is no joke. MMA means Mixed Martial Arts, so it’s no surprise that the style is made up of many different fighting styles. What sort of styles should you expect to see? 

  • Wrestling
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Kickboxing
  • Boxing
  • Muay Thai
  • Taekwondo
  • Karate

Why Boxing is Harder Than MMA?

Boxing might be older than MMA, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of information that boxers have to learn to do it. While rules may not change as frequently as with MMA, boxing comes with its own set of techniques, moves, rules, regulations, and history. Half of being a boxer is knowing your stuff, and the other half is being ready for the fight.

In order to box, the body must have great amounts of strength, durability, and endurance. Therefore, boxers undergo rigorous conditioning in order to be able to punch hard and do so with finesse.

The key is incorporating the strength with the technique to lead the way to flawless victory in the ring. 

A key aspect of boxing is cardio, which means for those of us who do not like to run, it can feel like a non-starter. However, having the energy built up from training your muscles with cardio ensures that when power is needed, most of it is available. This is why boxers can go for so long in fights and still deliver power shots on their opponent. 

One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to boxing is the mental game. Anywhere you go, the biggest thing boxers will tell you is that you have to overcome the fear and face it head-on.

Boxers focus on the physical and mindset to ensure they are ready for whatever challenge that may come their way. 

Do Boxers Punch Harder Than MMA Fighters?

There has been a debate that has been around since the dawn of MMA on whether MMA fighters punch as hard as boxers do. After all, both sports do involve punching another individual, and MMA does incorporate boxing techniques into its own.

However, the devotion of each to their particular style leads to practitioners butting heads on the subject matter.

While certain resources, such as, state that boxers have more powerful punches because they focus on multiple shooting angles for their blow, the fact of the matter is it all comes down to the individual and the training they pursue. Yes, boxers focus on punching exclusively, so they have an edge. It all comes down to training focus.

While boxers are steadfast in their training and focus heavily on punches, MMA gives a fighter an open world to their own training. If that fighter favors knees and elbows, they may lean their training more heavily towards Muay Thai.

If another fighter grew up watching boxing and wrestling, they might have more of a fondness for those kinds of moves and techniques.

Be that as it may, if an individual puts effort into their strength and endurance training, focusing on punches as their clinching move, the chances are that that person will be able to hit hard, regardless of their particular fighting style.

Therefore, as much as one wishes to wrap up the debate, both MMA fighters and boxers can punch equally as hard. It depends on the training behind them. 

Wrapping Up Our Mitts and This Article

Despite the love lost between the two different fighting communities, both boxing and MMA are great for fitness and those looking to take up a fight-related sport. Whether you choose one or the other, you will find a close group of like-minded individuals and an activity that will help you get in fighting shape as long as you put in the time and effort.

Boxing has a wonderful history and so many different techniques that one could spend hours just reading about what can be done. The mind and body connection taught through the sport is for more than just the fight.

It can help you in your daily life as you traverse obstacles that obstruct you from reaching your life goals.

While still new, MMA is a growing sport that has brought fighting back on screens and captured the imaginations of many people. The diversity of the styles that one can learn can create a rounded regimen that helps you stay limber, fit, and ready for the next bout.

On top of that, the ability to combine different styles and techniques makes each lesson feel like something new. 

With both of these sports, it isn’t going to be easy! If you want to progress in the sport, it takes time, practice, and dedication to your fitness.

Just like with anything, the more attention you give to it, the more your skills will grow, and your journey will continue. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way and have fun, whichever sport you choose!

Interested in Boxing? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training Boxing, here is some of the gear I recommend:
Best Mouth Guard
Best Gloves
Best Headgear
Best Hand Wraps
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Wrestling, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
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