How Has Boxing Influenced MMA

Boxing and MMA

With the dawning of mixed martial arts becoming so popular, we have seen an evolution in contests such as UFC, which originally started with each combatant showcasing a very specific martial art. There were no such things as MMA, just boxers, kungfu masters, ninjitsu masters and wrestlers all using their specific techniques to try and knock each other out. 

Then fighters became smart, understanding that to truly dominate the sport, they needed to change their way of thinking. And thus MMA was born. But how has boxing helped with this evolution of MMA?

 

The Evolution

Images painted on ancient Egyptian walls suggest that boxing has been with us since 3000 bc. Whether for fitness, combat or entertainment, boxing is a part of human history, and where some sports have disappeared into the ether, boxing has survived. 

In the early stages of UFC and alternate ‘cage’ style competitions, stand up fighting was all. As we stated above, those who specialised in stand up martial arts used to come out on top. That was only to last a couple of years. Once wrestling and Jujitsu started coming into the arena, the stand-up fighters were often left on the ground and being demolished by grapplers. 

Fast forward a few more years into the MMA era. Stand up fighting has once again become an essential aspect of the mixed martial arts world, and although it hasn’t gone full circle, fighters understand the importance of great striking in addition to a good ground game.

 

Boxing for MMA

With stand-up fighting becoming a necessary addition to the quiver of all martial artists, boxing brings with it important aspects to improve your MMA game. 

  • Boxing keeps you incredibly fit.
  • True combat is not about fancy kicks, it’s about finding openings and taking advantage of them, boxing helps you find those openings.
  • Punching uses a lot less energy than grappling and kicking, meaning that solid strikes cost you less, especially in the early stages of a fight.
  • Boxing trains you to strike quickly, so whether you are face to face with an opponent or throwing in punches during a grappling situation, boxing helps to drastically improve the strength of your blows. 
  • Boxing is what a lot of MMA fighters consider a base martial art. It focuses solely on the art of striking with your fists. Every mixed martial artist has to focus on their bases to become great. 
  • Jabbing as a defence. If you are in the cage with an opponent who has a strong boxing background it can be almost impossible to break their defence. One of the differences between boxing and MMA is how you defend. You cannot use your forearms to block incoming attacks as you may get caught on the flat foot and taken down. Having a strong jab can be well-utilised as a form of defence to keep your opponent at bay.

 

Training for MMA by Boxing

Grappling 

You can see when watching an MMA battle and a boxing match that the gloves they use are substantially different. An MMA glove needs to add elements of protection, much like any other glove, but also allow for grappling to take place. We have designed an MMA glove that is both well padded, professional quality and gives your hands the freedom and movement to grapple to your heart’s desire. The Cleto Reyes Grappling gloves and wraps are our go-to cage fighting pair. 

 

Bag Work

You won’t want to use the grappling gloves for all the bag work you will be doing pre-fight. You will need a good bag glove for your workouts. A strong pair of bag gloves can last a lifetime of training and the Cleto Reyes range are built with longevity in mind and the protection you require striking a heavy bag for hours on end. 

 

Sparring

Finally, there is no better training for combat than sparring. Focusing some sparring sessions on boxing alone will teach you how to guard, stay on your toes and use your punches properly. This is invaluable for your training week. The Cleto Reyes sparring gloves will ensure that both you and your sparring partner are protected while allowing you the agility and speed you need to practice your feints and ensure you can both turn up to your training session tomorrow.

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