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Ultimate Fighting vs. Boxing

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  • Pages: 5
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  • Category: Boxing

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Ultimate Fighting

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts (MMA) organization (Wikipedia, 2006). Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a combat sport which uses interdisciplinary forms of fighting (ie. Judo, jiu-jitsu, karate, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, etc…).  The object of the game is to defeat your enemy by overpowering him or causing him to give up the fight (submission).

When it was just beginning, ultimate fighting had no set of organized and unified rules. In fact, UFC’s tagline used to be “there are no rules!”. Fighters over 300 pounds could be challenged by others who are just 170 pounds in weight. Many of the moves prohibited today like head-butts or attacks on the groin used to be allowed. But because of network issues, the organizers were forced to set down strict rules of combat for the fighters.

What started out as an exhibition of fighting techniques was forced to become an organized sport. Today, ultimate fighting has to conform to solid sporting rules. Fighters are allowed to fight only those in the same weight class or division, the length of the matches, the rounds and the rest periods in between are strictly timed and the number of moves or techniques prohibited in the game has increased tremendously.


  1. Butting with the head.
  2. Eye gouging of any kind.
  3. Biting.
  4. Hair pulling.
  5. Fish hooking.
  6. Groin attacks of any kind.
  7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent.
  8. Small joint manipulation.
  9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head.
  10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow.
  11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
  12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.
  13. Grabbing the clavicle.
  14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
  15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.
  16. Stomping a grounded opponent.
  17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel.
  18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck.
  19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.
  20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent.
  21. Spitting at an opponent.
  22. Engaging in an unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent.
  23. Holding the ropes or the fence.
  24. Using abusive language in the ring or fenced area.
  25. Attacking an opponent on or during the break.
  26. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.
  27. Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat.
  28. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.
  29. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury.
  30. Interference by the corner.
  31. Throwing in the towel during competition.

Ways of Winning

1. Submission by:

  1. Physical tap out.
  2. Verbal tap out.
  3. Technical knockout by the referee stopping the contest.
    3. Decision via the scorecards, including:
  4. Unanimous decision.
  5. Split decision.
  6. Majority decision.
  7. Draw, including:
  8. Unanimous draw.
  9. Majority draw.
  10. Split draw.
  11. Technical decision.
    5. Technical draw.
    6. Disqualification.
    7. Forfeit.
    8. No contest.

Note: The referee may stop the fight if the fighters reach a stalemate and do not work to improve position or finish.


Boxing, also called pugilism or prizefighting, is a sport where two participants of similar weight fight each other with their gloved fists in a series of one to three-minute intervals called “rounds”. The object of the game is to avoid or block the opponent’s punches while landing as many punches of your own as possible. Points are awarded for clean, solid blows to the legal area on the front of the opponent’s body above the waistline, with hits to the head and torso being especially valuable. The fighter with the most points after the scheduled number of rounds is declared the winner. Victory may also be achieved if the opponent is knocked down and unable to get up before the referee counts to ten (Knock Out) or if the opponent is deemed too injured to continue (Technical Knock Out). (Wikipedia, 2006).

Contrasting the two sports

Both sports are the same insofar as they are considered combat sports. They involve only two players per match and they are joined by a referee to make sure that the fight goes on by the rules. They are also the same in the way fighters are matched up against other fighters from the same weight class or division.

The objectives of the two sports are practically the same: to defeat your opponent by being the one who remains standing. Also today, the scoring technique used by ultimate fighting or mixed martial arts is borrowed from that used in boxing. At the start of every round, each fighter has a perfect score of ten and at the end of the round; the judges will deduct points from the fighter who they think lost the round. Points may also be deducted from the fighter who commits a foul move.

The difference with the two lies in the rules, the gear and the combat techniques used. In ultimate fighting, the contestants are allowed to use any martial art discipline or move, outside the list of those prohibited, to defeat his enemy. They can use kicks, punches, grapples, and other techniques to stop the other fighter from continuing. In boxing, a fighter is allowed to use only his fists to legally inflict damage on his opponent and any other form of deliberate attack will be considered a foul.

In ultimate fighting, the number or rounds is less but the length of each round is longer. In boxing, the rounds are shorting but the entire fight may last longer than a full-length ultimate fighting match.

As to the gear, ultimate fighting contestants have to wear approved shorts and light gloves that allow grappling. In boxing, the fighters are required to wear heavy gloves and in case of amateur fights, they have to wear headgear. It has been said that ultimate fighting gear might inflict more pain but in the long run, boxing gloves inflict more damage to the body and to the brain.

Obviously, boxing is the earlier sport and many people see ultimate fighting as a mere attempt to commercialize combat sports by arbitrarily mixing martial arts, wrestling and boxing all into one.  People consider ultimate fighting undisciplined and too brutal unlike boxing which is actually an Olympic sport. It is arguments like these that have pushed ultimate fighting to reconstruct itself as an acceptable sport much different from how it was when it was first conceived.

On the other hand, ultimate fighting fans see boxing as a dying and archaic sport that has lost its glamour and excitement. Many of these combat sport fans are always looking for new and greater highs. In an age of reality TV, people want to see more blood, more violence and more broken bones. Ultimate fighting gives them that chance because it seems less controlled by rules and any fighter can practically do whatever he wants however he wants. If it’s more violent, it just seems more real.

In the end, it is really all about what the audience wants to see. Whether it be a traditional and well-accepted sport like boxing or an innovative exhibition of different techniques in mixed martial arts, one thing is for sure: People want to see the best man win. Combat sports have not disappeared since the time of the Roman gladiators and they probably never will. They have just become less dangerous and more organized.




Wikipedia. (2006). Ultimate fighting. Wikimedia Foundation.

Retrieved July 24, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Fighting

Wikipedia. (2006). Boxing. Wikimedia Foundation.

Retrieved July 24, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing

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