Why are MMA fans more tolerant of fighters with losing records than Boxing fans?

Discussion in 'MMA Forum' started by monaim, Dec 21, 2023.

  1. monaim

    monaim Member Full Member

    Dec 4, 2022
    Of the current UFC p4p fighters, more than half have a lot of losses. however many P4P fighters in boxing are undefeated. I honestly envy this trend. If there was a boxer who had three losses, he would have to retire.
  2. gneall

    gneall Active Member Full Member

    Jul 22, 2022
    Because the best fight the best constantly at the UFC, so losses are more expected I guess. + knees to the face etc. are way more likely to KO you instantly regardless of how elite your skills are, so the best lose and it's expected that they do
    Rakesh and Terror like this.
  3. ForemanJab

    ForemanJab Deus Vult Full Member

    May 8, 2014
    Because boxers with high marketability potential are given low-risk handpicked opposition for most of their careers whereas UFC fighters are forced to always fight stiff competition. There's also more ways to lose in an mma fight than in boxing.
    Terror likes this.
  4. mrbigshot

    mrbigshot Active Member Full Member

    Oct 29, 2021
    mma Is way more brutal than boxing and it appears the fighters are more willing to fight each other and also risk a loss . No cherry picked bum fights there .
  5. Vic-JofreBRASIL

    Vic-JofreBRASIL having fun Full Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Basically, in MMA, you don´t have padded records, like you don´t have one guy fighting another guy just to beat the **** out of him. At least not to the extent of boxing, you won´t see in the UFC a guy fighting with a 5-12 record or something just being used as a heavybag for some prospect...
    Terror likes this.
  6. Bigcheese

    Bigcheese Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jun 7, 2015
    Different ways to lose and you are forced to fight the best. K1 was like that too, the top fighters constantly fought each other so they all had 10 plus L's. Boxers who are thought to have carefully managed careers will take more criticism than ones who take tough fights all the time.
  7. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep Active Member Full Member

    Nov 17, 2019
    There are a multitude of reasons for this. You could write an entire essay delving into it.

    First of all, in pure striking sports like boxing, kickboxing, or muay thai, they have ten counts after a knockdown. Those few precious seconds can make a tremendous difference in a fighter’s ability to recover from damage that they just sustained. In mixed-martial-arts, most knockdowns are usually succeeded by immediate follow up ground and pound. Imagine if boxing had the exact same ruleset it does now, but boxers were allowed to jump on their opponent and land additional punches on the ground after they scored a knockdown until their opponent managed to get back to their feet. I guarantee that you would have far less undefeated fighters.

    Second, mixed-martial arts by its very nature is basically composed of every single martial art and combat sport known to man. You can spend decades or the better part of a lifetime trying to master just one of these systems. The human lifespan is not anywhere near long enough for fighters to become experts (or at least more competent) in all of these systems. They have to pick and choose how much time they devote to each individual art. The equation for this training distribution is different for every fighter. As a result, you usually get a fighter who is a specialist in one particular discipline and tries to train just enough to cover up their weaknesses in other arenas (Adesanya, Damian Maia, etc). Or you get a fighter who tries to become as well-rounded as possible in many different disciplines at the expense of specializing in any of them. So, you get specialists and jack of all trade fighters.

    Either way, these fighters inevitably will have holes in some particular discipline or disciplines that is impossible to cover up. There is no such thing as a perfect mma fighter, and there never will be in the future, either. There’s always going to be certain blends of styles that are a nightmare matchup for even the greatest mma fighters. Whether they ever end up facing that particular type of fighter in their career is another story, but that stylistic blueprint for defeat always exists. This exists to an extent in every fighting sport, sure. But it’s far more pronounced in mma than it is in the other fighting sports.

    Look at Usman’s first loss to Leon Edwards for instance. Leon Edwards threw a feint right jab and then a set up left cross to get Usman to slip his head to the outside of his power punch. But that moved Usman’s skull right into the path of Edward’s follow up left head kick. Usman only had one defeat prior to this knockout. You don’t have to worry about this same problem in boxing. Traditional boxing head movement can sometimes lead you into head kicks. Jabbing to the body in mma can lead your ducked head straight into counter knees.

    You could be the greatest striker who ever lived. But if you can’t stop a world class grappler who can feint his way into a takedown attempt, mount you with ease and then put you in an armbar, what good will it do you? Every fighter in mma has holes in their game because there’s just too many things that you can do in the sport. That’s just the nature of the game.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2023
  8. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep Active Member Full Member

    Nov 17, 2019
    And that leads us to another reason. All else being equal in terms of a fighter’s individual athleticism, most kicks are inherently more powerful than punches. Do you remember Vitali Klitschko getting flattened by Pele Reid’s spinning hook kick? Roundhouse kicks, spinning elbows, spinning back kicks, spinning wheel/hook kicks, side kicks, etc, can be very unforgiving. It’s not a guaranteed knockout by any means, but they can do a lot of damage in a single strike. Obviously, a world class boxer can do a lot of damage in a single punch, too. But when you add kicks into the equation, you don’t necessarily have to have explosive power in order to knock somebody out with a single shot.

    Here's another reason. If you have a bad chin in boxing, muay thai or kickboxing, you’re probably going to get weeded out of the ranks pretty quickly in your career even if you’re a skilled fighter. There are some exceptions to some degree of course like Amir Khan. But, if you have a horrendous chin, you’re not going to get to a world class level. However, in mma, you can compensate for having a bad chin if you’re an excellent grappler who can keep the fight in your own domain. Think about how many few times that Khabib got hit with clean shots in his career. It happened pretty rarely even though he was a poor striker because he was able to force the fight into the clinch and then onto the floor very easily due to his otherworldly grappling. Not saying that Khabib had a bad chin because I don’t think that he did. But you get my point. He never really had to rely on it the way he would have been forced to in a boxing ring.

    Then, there’s the reason that everybody else gave already. There is far less record padding in mma. In boxing, at least in the olden days, they would give you at least twenty fights before they even thought about you challenging for a title. They would face you up with every possible stylistic matchup before fighting world class opposition so you would be ready once you faced them. And even after you got the top, you wouldn’t necessarily be fighting the best possible guy time in and time out. It’s pretty rare when you have a guy like Pacquaio who almost always challenged himself at every available opportunity.

    Look at it this way. Let’s say you’re a very good boxer who has a lot of promise. But you get knocked out in a very competitive but brutal title fight. In your next fight, are they going to put you up against a top four guy in the division? Very rarely will something like that happen. You will probably fight the number tenth or eleventh ranked guy in the world if that. Hell, a lot of the recent champions like Fury or Wilder were regularly fighting guys like this whenever they could.

    Boxers know that so much of their marketability is based off of being undefeated or at least limiting their potential losses that they often avoid these challenges in favor of a safe bet. Sure, Joshua could have earned more money for fighting Wilder than he did fighting an old Povetkin. But if he lost to Wilder, his drawing power might have been cut in half, so it was better to bleed the cow over a long time even if you had to sacrifice a few legs. Modern mma is more like boxing in the past. A few losses doesn’t necessarily end your career in the same way. The sports are also just marketed in a different way as well.
    kostya by ko likes this.
  9. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep Active Member Full Member

    Nov 17, 2019
    In the UFC, they throw you to the wolves. You are basically forced to fight the best possible guy around your current ranking or position or at least somebody in that range. This approach has both positives and negatives for the sport. I won’t get into all that right now, but the point is that if you’re always fighting the best possible guys, you’re going to lose more fights than if you have a hard fight followed by a couple of cherry picks.

    Another factor is the composition of weight classes. Boxing has far more weight classes than mma does. The difference in weight between the weight classes in mma is much bigger. For example, lightweight is 155 but then the next available weight class is 170 at welterweight. That’s a huge difference. This disparity in weight will sometimes disadvantage skilled fighters who would otherwise beat similarly skilled opponents who were closer to their size.

    Finally, there’s the talent pool equation. Boxing does have a much longer tradition, a much higher pay structure (at the top level), and has a much broader geographical participation. Mma is a global sport, too, to be fair. But because there’s more money and more participation across more countries, you are generally going to get better athletes in boxing than you will in mma. Of course, this can be relative as the athletic skillsets favorable to boxing and mma are quite a bit different, but you get the point. So, better athletes are obviously going to have a better chance of staying undefeated just based on their inherent ability.

    There’s are just a few reasons for why mma fighters acquire more losses in their careers than boxing. I’m sure there are some other factors that I didn’t consider off the top of my head, but this gives you a pretty good idea of why.
  10. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep Active Member Full Member

    Nov 17, 2019
    I just thought of another reason. Short notice fights and fighters missing weight. In boxing, when an opponent pulls out of a fight from an injury close to the fight date, the fight is usually cancelled. And for good reason. Having to change your entire stylistic approach and mindset on very short notice can be a recipe for disaster in combat sports. We all saw what happened to Anthony Joshua against Andy Ruiz in their first fight for example. Conor McGregor's loss in his first fight against Nate Diaz is another example of this. The money is just too big to be taking unnecessary risks like this. In mma, most fighters don't get paid enough to sit on the sidelines and wait for the next fight, though. They need to keep making money at every available opportunity while they still can. And, as a result, they have to take more risks. If I remember correctly, Jon Jones pulled out of a fight against Chael Sonnen (a fight that he could have and eventually did win quite easily) because it was on super short notice. Dana White was absolutely pissed about this and flamed Jon in the media. But Jon Jones was one of the few stars that was big enough and wealthy enough to get away with doing something like this, and Dana had to put up with it. But if a Joe Blow tried to do the same thing, he would probably get cut or at the very least end up on the company's bad side.

    If their opponent comes in overweight for instance, they are likely to still take that fight even if it puts them at a disadvantage because they need the money. You will see that happen sometimes in boxing (Marques vs Mayweather), but it's less common as well. The B-side will take that risk if it's a major payday, but the A side rarely will. But in mma, this kind of thing happens all the time. ****, in the old days of mma, fighters would sometimes get lied to about an opponent's size and end up fighting a guy 20 pounds heavier than they expected him to be. Dan Henderson recently told a story about getting an offer from PRIDE to fight against Nogueira, a heavyweight, Dan Henderson didn't want to do it, but he was told that if he didn't accept the fight, the company couldn't guarantee his continued employment there. So, basically, if you don't take this fight, you might not get another one. It's definitely gotten somewhat better than that in modern mma, but this kind of stuff still happens to varying degrees.
  11. Terror

    Terror free smoke Full Member

    Mar 22, 2010
    Matchmaking. That's it. There is one belt in MMA recognized as the true championship. There have only been a few instances where there were different valid claims to the true championship. Fedor in PRIDE when Arlovski was champ, Aoki/Melendez were both better than Sean Sherk. You could argue DJ is still the best 125'er. But it's rare.

    I would say on average once every few years there is a fighter in another organization who is arguably the best in that division. But even then UFC has most of the real champs. At least 80%. This means if you make the big leagues, you're fighting the top guys every fight. Losses will happen.

    MMA fans care about quality fights, personalities, and have evolved as fans watching fight cards. Which means the middle class of MMA is a lot bigger than boxing and there are more ways to market yourself aside from 28 wins consecutive against cardboard cutouts. You are really watching 5 fights closely as an MMA fan, whereas a boxing card with 3 good fights on it feels really rare. You don't need the 0 to make decent money and there's more money in getting it in and seeing what's what than hiding out in a small organization.
  12. outtieDrake

    outtieDrake Well-Known Member Full Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    I wrote a whole statement about this in the joseph parker vs wilder debate.

    When i use to bet on mma or boxing, i always remove the cans or can beaters from both fighters' records and then compare what their real record is.

    This is the top hw rankings look like when you remove cans and can beaters who have padded records too. give or take with some debate.

    Usyk 11-0
    Joshua 13-3
    Parker 23-3
    Fury 23-0
    Wilder 13-3

    Wilder is the biggest abuser of padded record, fury being a close 2nd. this is why i debated with people on these fights. Things are not always what it seems. And when a boxer fights with this much padding, it can be a massive shock to fans and also a false ego boost to boxers that walk in to matches thinking they are better than they are.

    This is why Francis came close or near won against Fury, he was 18-3 and maybe only had 3 or 4 fights against cans, he had fought Overeem in hi 10th fight who had far more experience, and Rozenstruke, Gane, and Stipe were all high level combat athletes. Im not saying the top boxers aren't but Francis has already dealt with higher experience killers before, Fury was nothing new for him.