why is mma more popular than boxing

why is mma more popular than boxing

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and boxing are two combat sports that have gained immense popularity worldwide. However, in recent years, MMA has seen a significant surge in popularity, surpassing boxing in terms of fanbase and global reach. This article aims to explore the reasons why MMA has become more popular than boxing.

1. Diverse Fighting Techniques

MMA incorporates a wide range of fighting techniques from various martial arts disciplines, including striking, grappling, and submissions. This diversity appeals to fans who enjoy watching different styles of combat and creates a more dynamic and unpredictable experience compared to the limited techniques used in boxing.

2. Exciting Knockouts

MMA fights often feature spectacular knockouts due to the inclusion of striking techniques from disciplines like Muay Thai and kickboxing. These high-impact knockouts generate buzz and excitement among fans, making MMA fights more thrilling to watch compared to boxing matches, which primarily focus on punches.

3. Ground Game and Submissions

why is mma more popular than boxing

MMA allows fighters to utilize ground-based techniques such as wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, enabling them to submit opponents through chokes, joint locks, and other submission holds. The inclusion of these techniques adds an extra layer of excitement and strategy to MMA fights, attracting fans who appreciate the technical aspect of combat sports.

4. UFC’s Global Reach

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the premier MMA organization, has successfully expanded its reach globally. With events held in different countries and a diverse roster of fighters from around the world, the UFC has effectively captured the attention of international audiences, contributing to the growing popularity of MMA.

5. Cross-Over Athletes

MMA has attracted athletes from various combat sports backgrounds, including boxing. Notable boxers like Conor McGregor and Holly Holm have transitioned to MMA, bringing their fanbase and creating a buzz around their fights. This cross-over appeal has helped MMA gain more attention and attract fans from different combat sports disciplines.

6. Reality Television

Reality television shows like “The Ultimate Fighter” have played a significant role in popularizing MMA. These shows provide behind-the-scenes access, showcase the training and personal lives of fighters, and create emotional connections between the audience and the athletes. The combination of drama and raw athleticism has contributed to the rise of MMA’s popularity.

7. Youth Appeal

MMA’s fast-paced and action-packed nature appeals to younger audiences who seek instant gratification and excitement. The sport’s dynamic nature, coupled with its connection to popular culture through video games and social media, has made MMA more relatable and appealing to the younger generation.

8. Female Athletes

MMA has embraced female athletes and provided them with equal opportunities to compete and showcase their skills. The rise of successful female fighters like Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes has helped break down gender barriers in combat sports and attracted a new demographic of fans who appreciate the athleticism and tenacity of these women.


There are several reasons why MMA has become more popular than boxing. The sport’s diverse fighting techniques, exciting knockouts, ground game, global reach, cross-over athletes, reality television, youth appeal, and inclusion of female athletes have all contributed to its rise in popularity. As MMA continues to evolve and captivate audiences worldwide, its popularity is likely to continue growing in the future.

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