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Day by day MMA/UFC is becoming more and more popular martial art in the world, so a large number of people are wondering, ‘Is MMA/UFC more popular than boxing?’
Yes, in recent years MMA/UFC has become more popular than boxing. But, not everything related to that statement is correct, so let us explain.
Without a doubt, the “Ultimate Fighting Championship” better known as the UFC, in the eyes of the younger part of the audience, represents the most attractive combat sport, which is becoming more and more popular and which is living its golden age. With the growth in popularity, the UFC has pretty much overshadowed classic boxing, and there are often debates about how much more demanding and attractive UFC actually is. The fact is that the UFC has brought some new things to the world of martial arts, but there are also a number of irrefutable facts that indicate that boxing still remains great combat sport, is very popular, and whats for some more important, boxers still earn more money then UFC/MMA fighters.
Now we will look deeper into which sport is more popular, through history, stats, views, fighters, and paychecks.
History of MMA/UFC vs Boxing
The comparison of boxing with the MMA is equal to the comparison of the American football MLS league with the MLB baseball league, which in the “New Continent” has a history woven into generations and generations of the local population, regardless of the fact that football is becoming increasingly popular. Simply put, the names of sports institutions like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, and others are too big for the MMA.
Even thou there were some big fights in UFC, boxing with its long history has seen some of the biggest rival fights in history.
Duration of matches in Boxing and MMA/UFC
Huge announcements and uplifting around one big UFC fight can be finished in just a few seconds by knockout or by tapping, and one regular UFC match has never lasted longer than 18 minutes including breaks. A boxing match, on the other hand, often lasts up to ten rounds, where spectators can clearly see all the possibilities that both fighters in the ring have.
Even thou this looks like a clear winner for boxing, I would argue that sometimes long boxing matches can become boring, and that is actually the problem in modern history. Unfortunately there are less great boxing fighters, and that often leads to long and boring fights (Mayweather vs Pacquiao).
Which Fighters Earn More Money Boxing or MMA/UFC?
As we can see, the biggest boxing fighters still earn more than UFC fighters (at least from theirs fighting sport), but on average UFC fighters probably earn more, because small professional and amateur boxers earn very little and usually have to pay everything for them selfs.
UFC and the MMA overall are rising in popularity, and soon even the best of their fighters will earn more money than the best-paid fighters in boxing.
But, UFC is not the whole MMA, so this is not the same picture for other MMA organizations and promotions.
The conclusion would be that boxers still earn more money then MMA fighters, and you can find out more details about who earns more money boxers or MMA/UFC fighters on our link.
What makes UFC/MMA more popular then Boxing
Boxing and MMA/UFC have mostly different audiences. UFC attracts young people who love to be online all the time, while boxing mostly attracts middle-aged to elderly men who were following it mostly whole their lives.
The average age of UFC/MMA viewers is somewhere between 18-34, while the average age of boxers is over 45 years.
MMA is constantly changing, there are rarely champions who can be on top of their category for decades, let alone without loosing. But there is one more very important thing.
UFC particularly, but other organizations as well, are organized pretty well. They have champions in their weight classes and they are very well known. That is one big thing boxing lacks in all its huge history.
There are four main boxing organizations and huge numbers of smaller ones. Then fighters and their representatives organize fights, so some of the biggest fighters in boxing rarely fight each other, but they fight against some much weaker fighters and in that way stay on top for decades.
In the UFC (not whole MMA) it is completely different. UFC as an organization, and many other popular MMA organizations, matchmake those fights, and usually they are oriented to fans. UFC dictates trends for the whole MMA, and they have seen that most money and popularity are gained if they follow what their fans want.
That is the main reason why MMA/UFC has become more and more popular, and what boxing lacks, they listen to the fans. Their fans are online, constantly saying who would they like to see fight next, and UFC with its head Dana White makes their wishes come true.
That also makes fights much more interesting and whole organization as well. You can’t expect one fighter to stay on top for decades when he has to fight some of the best fighters in the world all the time.
In the digital age, we live in MMA/UFC is the combat sport of the future. Their online fights streaming, constant communications with fans that are thankful for that, bonuses for fighters with big followings on social media, such as most popular UFC Instagram fighters, is something boxing doesn’t have, and why it stays behind in popularity.
I can’t see boxing gaining more popularity in the future if it continues this way, just the contrary, it’s popularity will surely fall even more as the digital age continues, and the dominance of UFC/MMA will rise even more.