There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding UFC 103 this weekend because it’s another showdown between the worlds of mixed martial arts and boxing as the Rich Franklin-Vitor Belfort pay per view goes up against the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez fight. This is a big story line for some of the media covering the event, but is this really still a debate?
This boxing vs. MMA debate was relevant two years ago. MMA has passed boxing as the premier combat sport and there’s little question about it. There are too few great boxers left and boxing promotion is a joke.
Say what you will about the UFC and Fedor and everything but, for the most part, the UFC gives the fans fights they want to see. They put together exciting cards with big fights and they do it on a regular basis. Boxing can’t keep up and produce that consistently.
Take this debate out of the hands of boxing and MMA people. Ask a random Ravens fan which combat sport is more popular. Ask a baseball fan. Ask a college football fan. They will all say the UFC. You don’t even need to get into Spike’s TV ratings against the other major sports.
The boxing show could outdraw UFC 103 this weekend but it’s clear that the future is in the Octagon. It’s an ADD-society, one that responds more to the complexities and multitude of styles in MMA rather than the punch-punch-clinch style of boxing. MMA is simply the evolution of boxing.
I’m sure there will always be people who like boxing better. That’s fine. There are people that like horse racing more than the NFL but it’s clear which one is more important on the national stage.
Is this a story line that any MMA fans find interesting for this weekend? Is this really a big deal to fans?
I’m still interested in the whole “is MMA mainstream debate” but could not care less about this fictional rivalry with boxing. Am I wrong on this, is this really what’s on the radar of MMA fans this week?