I am a fight fan. I love the fights. As a kid I boxed, then got into martial arts which I practice to this day, many, many years later. There are not many fights that counted in the past couple of decades that I did not watch boxing contests, mma fights, even tough man contests. Remember K1?. I have watched a them all.
I watch fights with the enthusiasm of a fan and the also very much the eye of a fighter. I try to study them, I try to understand their techniques and I try to understand what they do and why and how they do what they do. And I enjoy the fights. A lot. What I have found over the years is that boxers use more of the arrows in their quivers so to speak, while MMA fighters use far less of the arrows in their quiver.
A good boxer will throw 500 punches in a fight, each with a lot of skill, each studied, quick measured, looking for something specific, going for something specific. Watch Floyd Mayweather or the Pac man work. Watch film of Delahoya or Sugar Shane, Roy Jones, the great ones like Hagler, Ray. The greatest of them all, Ali, smoking Joe. It is fascinating and I think it is this quality that allows the best fighters to make obscene amounts of money. On the other hand, MMA for all their skill often disappoint. Most MMA fighters are accomplished martial arts black belts. A good black belt has so many arrows in the quiver, one would think that watching one fight should be spellbinding. What we see more often than not is a pair of fighter stuck in what looks like a mediocre grappling contest. Why did grappling become so dominant in MMA? Or a pair of fighters with the second rate boxing skills swinging wildly. True, there have been exceptions. Chuck was awfully entertaining with a limited set of skills. When Anderson Silva decides to fights, he has a lot of good stuff. And GPS is always good for an exciting night. But not very many more. For example, I have always believed that nothing can beat a well executed kick. If that kick is a spinning back kick, it can be lethal because we all know how much damage it can do. There are only probably 2 or 3 fighters that I have seen use it effectively. Why? And that is just one example.
Boxers are badass. MMA fighters are badass. Why don’t MMA fighters expose all their badassitude in every single fight, using what they have and know, flawlessly?