Once Thought To Be Rivals, Boxing and MMA Seem to Get Along!
With UFC 146 right around the corner, headlined by super-striker, Junios dos Santos, I wanted to dive into the relationship between Mixed Martial Arts and the Sweet Science, better know as boxing. For years, many die hard fans of both sports seemingly swore off the other, doing their best to point out the negatives in each respective sport.
However, this has seemingly cooled off over the years with the emergence of UFC super stars such as Junior dos Santos, Dominick Cruz, and both Nate and Nick Diaz. While all of these fighters are fantastic in specific areas, they are often noted for their dangerous boxing skill set.
When the world of MMA was evolving, all of the elite fights (Royce Gracie, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, etc.) all stood out in a specific field whether it was their striking, BJJ, wrestling, or what have you. More modern day MMA, as strange as that term may sound, fighters have to be a well-rounded fighter if they want to succeed.
Having a good boxing background is critical for MMA fighters. Having good kicks, sharp elbows and brutal knees are always a plus, but if you watch an MMA fight, a majority of the fights start out with punches.
Basic boxing technique teaches you many valuable tools. Some of the most vital points are it shows you how important little movements such as tucking your chin and keeping your non-punching hand up. Both of these serve an important purpose which is to avoid getting knocked out!
For example, one MMA fighter that uses both of these techniques rather well is UFC icon Dan Henderson. Known for his outstanding wrestling, Hendo brings a polished striking game to the table as well. In any given broadcast you will hear the announcers praise his iron chin, which he always keeps tucked, and how his right hand is seemingly locked and loaded, ready to end the fight at the drop of a hat.
Boxers and MMA fighters alike jump rope…a lot! This improves not only your cardio, but your foot work as well. Boxing gives you a wonderful basis on how to transfer your body weight while throwing combinations, but also being light enough to jump in-and-out of the pocket and make your opponent follow you.
Here at Black Diamond Mixed Martial Arts, we understand the importance of having a solid understanding of boxing. Whether it is protecting your chin, turning into your punches with your hips, or just throwing a basic jab-cross, we make sure our students get a grasp for it in our MMA 101 class.
For instance, at the start of every class we begin with a few rounds of shadow boxing, allowing the students to get a feel for striking. Before you know it you will be throwing out stiff jabs, crisp hooks and your foot work will make you look like you’re on the dance floor!
If you want a prime example of how important boxing is becoming in MMA, taking a quick look at the video below of UFC champ, Junior dos Santos. Sometimes, I’m convinced he sneaks hammers into his gloves because his hands are heavy!
Warning: The following clip contatins super quick boxing. Blink at your own risk!