Fighter Safety: A Closer Look At Risks In Boxing And MMA
Comparing Injury Rates, Protective Gear, and Training Methods in Combat Sports
MMA and boxing share many similarities, but they also have distinct differences. It’s common for people to have strong opinions about which sport is safer or better, but you must understand both before deciding which one is right for you.
By exploring the similarities and differences between MMA and boxing, you can make a more informed choice regarding which sport can best ensure your safety.
Notable Differences Between The Two Sports
MMA and boxing involve striking an opponent with punches, kicks, and other techniques. However, there are some notable differences between the two sports.
MMA allows fighters to use various techniques, including grappling and ground fighting, while boxing only permits strikes with the hands while standing.
The Safety Of Both Sports
In terms of safety, both sports carry risks of injury, but MMA has a higher risk of injury due to the inclusion of more techniques and the potential for ground fighting. Boxers face the risk of long-term brain damage from repeated blows to the head.
Ultimately, the decision of which sport to pursue safety reasons will depend on individual preferences and goals. It’s important to train under qualified instructors, and follow proper safety guidelines in either sport.
Any physical activity that involves combat or contact has inherent risks.
However, it’s important to note that there are measures you can take to reduce those risks. In the following article, we will explore and compare the safety of MMA and boxing and provide insight into how each sport measures up against the other. By understanding the risks and benefits of each sport, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
Gaining A Comprehensive Understanding Of The Principles And Values That Define MMA And Boxing
An accurate description of MMA as a sport is that it incorporates various fighting techniques and is organized by weight class. It’s also true that fighters may specialize in specific techniques and styles.
Mixed Martial Arts is a combat sport that involves various fighting techniques, such as wrestling, striking, grappling, and weapon usage.
Competitions in MMA are typically divided into weight classes. Fighters are recognized for their unique approaches to winning fights, with some being commended for their submission abilities, while others excel in striking or leveraging against their opponents.
However, it’s important to note that while submission and striking skills are significant in MMA, fighters are not usually classified solely based on these methods, as all aspects of fighting are necessary for success in the sport.
MMA And Boxing Training And Skills
Here is an explanation of the training and skills involved in MMA and boxing. MMA fighters are known for their versatility and ability to adapt to different fighting styles as they often cross-train in multiple disciplines.
On the other hand, boxing is a more focused sport that emphasizes punching technique and power. Both sports require extensive training and physical conditioning, and the ultimate goal is to defeat your opponent, either by knockout or a judge’s decision.
The origins of boxing can be traced back to the ancient Greek Olympics, where competitors engaged in unarmed combat until one of them submitted or was knocked out. In the modern era, boxing has evolved into a sport organized into various weight classes.
Gaining Insight Into The Training Methods Used In Mixed Martial Arts And Boxing
With an increased focus on self-defense, more and more children are getting involved in combat sports such as boxing and martial arts. However, it is recommended that you consider which sport is safer than the other.
How Rules And Regulations Impact Injury
The safety of the two sports is influenced by their respective rules and regulations, impacting the training techniques and the injuries that may result.
For instance, according to a study published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, tearing the ACL or MCL in the knee is a relatively common injury in MMA, occurring in about one out of every three MMA athletes. Such injuries are less frequent in boxing, as the sport restricts grappling techniques.
A study published in the Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy found that MMA fighters are more likely to develop shin splints caused by repetitive stress on the tibia.
On the other hand, boxers commonly suffer from a broken hand, while MMA fighters are more prone to broken feet or ankles.
MMA involves a broader range of motion than boxing, so it’s more common to experience muscle strains. Boxers rely more on their fists and rarely suffer from foot injuries.
Although a greater proportion of boxers wear headgear, head trauma is a significant concern for both sports and MMA fighters do not typically wear any protective gear other than gloves and mouthguards.
For years, the Concussion Legacy Foundation has been dedicated to studying the enduring consequences of repetitive head impacts sustained in contact sports, such as football, hockey, and boxing. Its ultimate goal is to prevent brain injuries from occurring.
According to their research, amateur boxers are the most susceptible to experiencing repetitive concussions, primarily because they do not wear protective headgear during training sessions, unlike their professional counterparts.
USA Boxing, the sport’s governing body, has implemented new regulations to safeguard the well-being of fighters. As of now, all levels of competition, including local tournaments and the Olympics, necessitate competitors to wear headgear during sparring.
Additionally, the regulations surrounding mixed martial arts (MMA) have been revised in recent years.
Furthermore, fighters must undergo blood testing to detect indications of brain damage that may have resulted from repeated head blows.
Dr. Charles Bernick, a neurologist researching concussions at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada, states that there is no safe way to experience a blow to the brain. However, he acknowledges that significant advances have been made in enhancing the safety of contact sports.
When assessing each sport, it is crucial to consider the likelihood of sustaining injuries. This is particularly true for contact sports such as MMA and boxing.
Which Of These Combat Sports Is Safer?
MMA is often perceived as a brutal sport, and the incidence of injuries in MMA certainly is higher than in many other sports. However, it’s worth asking if the injury rate is significantly greater than that of boxing.
Let’s start by examining the injury rates for both sports before we delve into specific injuries for each.
According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, there were 462 documented cases of “catastrophic” injuries in boxing between 1990 and 2005, which translates to roughly 5.7 injuries per 100,000 participants per year. It’s important to note that this data includes injuries sustained by amateur boxers, although most of the injuries were reported in professional fights.
In boxing, injuries are frequently caused by direct blows to the head. Despite using helmets in amateur matches and mouthpieces among professionals, severe head injuries can still occur. In fact, the risk of brain damage escalates when a fighter sustains repeated head blows without headgear.
According to a study in the Neurology Journal, boxing trainees face a greater risk of brain damage than trainees in other combat sports. Moreover, boxers who receive more hits during a match are significantly more prone to developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the future.
Boxers often wear hand wraps to prevent injuries such as cuts, swelling, and sprains. However, if their hands aren’t wrapped firmly, injuries can occur. When boxers land strong punches, the bones in their hands can fracture or chip, causing severe pain and long-lasting damage.
A study involving 60 MMA fighters revealed that only 1 percent sustained head trauma, and 6 percent experienced brain trauma during training. The figures were considerably higher for boxers: 19 percent endured head trauma, and 27 percent suffered brain trauma during training.
The gap is similarly wide between the two styles during fights. A survey of doctors who were present ringside for over 100 MMA events discovered that only 1 percent of bouts resulted in head injury. In contrast, 20 percent of boxing matches resulted in head injuries.
MMA and boxing can be extremely hazardous if not approached with caution, despite their differing safety measures and attire.
The dispute over which combat sport is safer, MMA or boxing, remains fiercely debated. This is because both sports come with their own set of hazards and benefits. Therefore, when selecting a sport to concentrate on, it’s critical to consider your personal objectives.
While the regulations may make MMA riskier than boxing, the amount of padding provided by each sport should also be considered. MMA fighters wear gloves with exposed fingers, whereas boxers wear cushioned gloves that safeguard their forearms from injury and their hands from fractures caused by direct blows.
Despite the variation in protection, both sports can be dangerous if caution is not exercised. In both sports, competitors attempt to knock out their opponents or compel them to surrender by exerting tremendous pressure on their necks and joints, resulting in frequent injuries.
Although both boxing and MMA have faced criticism for fighter safety concerns, it is evident that the two sports are not identical. Both sides have valid arguments, but ultimately, you must determine the level of risk you are willing to undertake when gearing up for the competition.
More Notable Differences Between Mma And Boxing
One significant difference between MMA and boxing is the scoring system. In boxing, the winner of a fight is determined based on the number of punches landed, and the judges assign points to each strike based on its quality and impact.
On the other hand, MMA judges consider several factors when determining the winner, including the number of successful strikes and takedowns, the amount of time spent controlling the opponent, and the number of submission attempts.
Another notable difference is the use of different fighting stances. In boxing, fighters typically use a squared-off stance, which allows for quick and powerful punches but can leave them vulnerable to takedowns. In contrast, MMA fighters tend to use a more sideways stance, which provides more balance and makes it easier to defend against takedowns.
Overall, both sports require extensive training, discipline, and physical conditioning to be successful, and each has its unique set of risks and benefits.
NOTE: Please note that the information presented here is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for professional guidance on insurance or medical advice.