Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bronx, New York, USA, North America, Earth, Milky Way
Re: 12 Rounds of Boxing vs MMA. Pretty Cool.
Struby: One: Did you watch the Cotto fight? It was superb.
Two: Stop sucking up to your co-workers. You haven't watched a minute of hockey in years.
Three: Dana White (a fine chap), personally sent me a DVD with his top 5 UFC fights of all time. (It's actually labeled like that -- people can bid for it on eBay after this debate.) By the third fight, my neighbor (an MMA fan) and I were dozing off. And it wasn't because I'm deathly ill.
Four: Let's talk about the MMA crowd at these events. Sort of like a cross between a truck-pull and the green room at the Jerry Springer show. Pure blood lust. They'd cheer if our grandmothers faced off.
Hockensmith: One: Watched the fight. It was a one-sided mauling. You said as much.
Two: You're right. I haven't watched a minute of hockey in years. But I know four of the 11 people who have. So I've got that going for me.
Three: So Dana White's picks might not have been great. Betcha, though, if you throw out the fights he listed, you would get big-time disagreement. I know one of them was Ortiz-Liddell. Not a fantastic bout, if you only watch the fight. But Liddell, at the time, hadn't been beaten in years. And Tito actually won a round and was giving Chuck a hard time. Then he went down. Hard. Factor in an awesome backstory (by the way, the UFC tells those backstories way better than boxing does these days), and people loved the fight. You didn't, but I think we all know by this point that you're predisposed to not like the sport. Plus, you're really, really, really old.
Four: I hate to say this, but I agree a little bit about the crowd. But you really are senile if you want to argue the intelligence levels of MMA crowds vs. boxing crowds. Let's just say that Mensa doesn't do much recruiting at either sport's events.
One more thing about the whole sustained drama thing. Take the mega-fight of the millennium, Mayweather-De La Hoya. I loved the fight. Thought it was great. Thought it was magnificent boxing. But most people didn't. Talk about choppy action -- they now have Mayweather's picture (sombrero and all) beside that phrase in the dictionary.
Miguel Cotto and Zab Judah
Nick Laham/Getty Images
How tough would Miguel Cotto, left, be without his gloves and in the cage with Chuck Liddell?
Struby: First of all, I'm always right. Let's get that clear
Listen, I'm not going to argue about MMA promotions. The Fertitta brothers didn't build the most profitable casino in Vegas becasue they are rubes. But 'telling the backstory better' (whatever that means) doesn't mean a good fight. And they aren't. Why? Because those goons are practicioners of many disciplines, masters of none. That's right. They're average boxers. Average wrestlers. Average kickboxers. You don't see a violin soloist at the Philharmonic playing the drums as well, do you?
I mean, you have heard of the Philharmonic, haven't you?
Hockensmith: OK, you're always right. But please, you were supposed to take your medication an hour ago.
Come on, the stories of these fighters make the fights. People want to know who they're rooting for, or rooting against. Why should we care right now about Mayweather, or Jermain Taylor, or just about any boxer? They have good stories, but nobody's hearing them.
Masters of none? Average? There are guys who are Olympic gold-medal winners in wrestling, back belts in karate, former pro boxers. That's just ridiculous.
And yes, I've heard of the Philharmonic. That's the "Saturday Night Live" guy who was also on "The Simpsons."
Struby: As for backstories -- boxing has history on its side. An MMA event might have fireworks and light shows, and TV screen and whatever else to get audiences amped up, but boxing has loads of tradition and backstory. Irish vs. Italians vs. African-Americans vs. Mexicans vs. Puerto Ricans. You name it. If you'd been at the Cotto fight, you would have seen what I mean. No laser lights needed for excitement.
Oscar De La Hoya, left.
AP Photo/Eric Jamison
Oscar De La Hoya, left, wouldn't give Floyd Mayweather Jr. a rematch, but would he give Jason MacDonald a shot?
Hockensmith: Boxing does have history. But the UFC, IFL and MMA as a whole are making history. This isn't going anywhere. Track interest in every big sport except the NFL and you'll see interest is dwindling. Reality is, MMA is exploding upward. It is. By any measure. It will be even bigger in five years, and bigger than that in 10 years, and on and on. Lots of sports people are underestimating that, and that might be why every year audiences for the so-called "major sports" dwindle. You're giving boxers too much credit for being amazing technicians. Give us a break. They punch people in the face and take punches in the face.
Struby: Sadly, an MMA fighter doesn't have the honed skills of a fighter. Never will. There are Olympic wrestlers and pro fighters but none who are both. They can't. Not the fighters' fault -- you just can't be a master of so many disciplines.
Hockensmith: There's a lot of debate going on in the "comments" section about an MMA guy vs. a boxer. We all can admit that if a boxer fights an MMA guy with MMA rules, the MMA guy wins. And if an MMA guy fights a boxer with boxing rules, the boxer wins. But tell me this: if Randy Couture fought Oleg Maskaev in both the ring and the Octagon, wouldn't any sane person agree that Couture would fare far better in the ring than Maskeav would in the Octagon? It's not even close. (Note to Tim: please don't answer that question. I said SANE person.)
Struby: Pop quiz time! What do all of these things have in common? a) hula hoops b) beanie babies c) Rubik's cube d) MMA.
Hockensmith: They're part of a dopey point that Tim Struby is trying to make!