Under: Boxing, MMA
26 Jan 2014

When I was a kid we debated about who would win in a fight – the boxer or karate guy. I would point out that the karate guy could kick the boxer in the nuts. My friends would call kicking sissy fighting and for girls. I don’t know if we ever settled that debate but since then the definition of fighting as expanded to include wrestling, judo, jiu-jitsu, muay thai, kung-fu and so on.


We followed boxing because that was the most popular. Later in life karate (PKA, WKA) tried to mimic but it never really took off. In the 1990’s after the toughman contests – the ultimate fighting challenge  started changing how we watched fighting. My father’s generation did not think much of MMA but the baby-boomers and beyond loved it!


So here is the question – does boxing or MMA really demonstrate who would win in a fight? You know that age old question kids argue about. In this article I will argue for No – MMA is just another flavor of boxing in this regard. But it is fun to watch and argue about who is the best fighter. :)

Boxing is a great way to get into shape and develop some hand-eye coordination. As for fighting – it is one of the better fighting methods evidenced by the fact that other types of fighting tend to incorporate boxing skills. I did for instance when training for kick-boxing. A boxer would hold his own against almost any other kind of fighter in a real fight so long as he fought smart. A boxer certainly would win against an untrained fighter (as would most trained fighters in any fighting discipline).


What I used to argue as a kid was there were too many rules. The rules say you can only use your fists. You cannot punch below the belt and just when you knocked a buy down on the ground – you cannot jump on him and finish the fight! Do these rules make sense in a real fight? Could the boxer do these illegal moves in a real fight? These are the questions but as it stands in a real fight – there are no rules if a bad guy does not care about the laws.


So would a boxer win in a bar fight? Certainly if he is not too drunk, knows who he is fighting, and the attackers do not have too many weapons – the boxer could take the day because he is in great shape and understands fighting. But to win he has to break all of the rules. If he sticks to the rules he will lose many times because the bad guy have no inhibitions against smashing a pool ball against his skull from behind.


What about an MMA guy in a similar situation? I mean surely the MMA guy is used to using all of his weapons and could take any inexperienced guy down to the ground and choke him out – right? I mean MMA contests like the UFC say that this is the ultimate in fighting! True that MMA contestants are in great shape like boxers and know more kinds of fighting than just boxing with their hands. One would think that all of this would be a great advantage in a bar fight – right? Maybe.


The mma guy would face the same challenges as the boxer. The mma guy would have to (like the boxer) break all of the rules and resist the temptation of taking the fight to the ground – to win the fight. Let me explain. Fighting has no rules if one does not care about the laws. And in a bar fight – most of the time you don’t know who is going to jump in and gang up on you. So if you are a mma guy and have to take out someone in a bar – it is probable that you can take one guy (like the boxer) but unless you use all of the tools (like you cannot in mma) – your odds decrease dramatically.


In a real fight – you are fighting for your life and limb (or what business do you have getting into it?). So the only rules you should fight by is doing everything reasonably possible until you defeat your attackers (without overkill – so you don’t run afoul with your local law).


So forward muay thai stances? Out – Groin kicks – In

Wrestling/jiu-jitsu/judo on the mat? – Out – Standing fighting methods – In

Rules – Out – Punching/kicking/elbows/knees/pokes/throwing cue balls – In


The above comments are not inclusive but probable in a bar fight if you want to win. Why not ground fight? Because wrestling around on the ground is not real smart fighting (it is more for prize fighting in a one-on-one match). Once you are on the ground – any 10-year-old could knock you out with a kick.  If a boxer or mma fighter tried to stand in a forward stance in a real fight – anyone could smash their nuts in record time with a wimpy flip kick. Fight over with any decent followup.


So here is my evaluation – any contest that has rules is not realistic. If you want to learn how to fight a boxer or mma fighter – you only have watch the fouls to see how vulnerable they are to fighting methods.


So to my question about boxers or MMA contest winners meaning they would win in a real fight? Who knows but I do know they could not fight by those rules and expect to win!


If I had my druthers I like to see a hybrid fighting contest that favored real fighting truths such as bringing back the 10 second rule for a down opponent (popular in karate in the 80’s) or allowing one groin kick every minute (to get away from those unrealistic forward stances that would not work in a real fight). You get the gist – that way if someone won a championship – you could also say they really were a great real fighter!


What is your opinion?

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3 Responses to “Does Boxing or MMA Rules Show Who Would Win In A Fight?”

  1. Dr. J Says:

    I’ve hit people in lots of places! knocked several down. But the only times I’ve ended a fight then and there with a strike, I “broke the rules,” lol!

    In watching Jose Aldo yesterday in UFC 169 I was thinking that he is such a good boxer that he would hold his own against any boxer, and he avoids take downs so the same with ground styles. He also raises his knees well with low kicks to defend the groin if he needs to. He is formidable rules or no rules.

    I refer to your last article for the best way to fight Aldo :-)

  2. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hey Dr. J! You make a great point about some fighters – they would do good no matter what.

    About ufc 169 – the one guy that I like a lot is Faber. But he is susceptible to those low kicks (like Aldo did to him in the WEC). :)

  3. B.warrior Says:

    like Previously, it depends on the martial artist, not the martial art it self.

    that being said, a good portion of the moves used In the ufc have modified versions of them designed for self defense. For example many Judo throws are met to keep you on your feet while only throwing your opponent to the ground.