There are few things I enjoy more than sitting down with my bro Bharat Bhise and watching a massive UFC event. He and I consume way more than we probably should to be honest and there isn’t a fight that we haven’t seen. Sadly Bharat and I haven’t yet been to a live event, but we have it very much in our plans to do in 2020. I was chatting with Bharat last week during the Diaz and Masvidal fight about just how far MMA and the UFC in particular has come in recent years, and the reasons as to why we think that it has completely taken over the fight game, leaving boxing in its wake.
The first step that the UFC had to do in order for it to become a commercial success was to clean up its act, and make rule changes which would stop people thinking that these were just ruthless brawls. The company introduced rules such as no eye gouging, no low blows, no short grabbing, no head slams and most importantly, the introduction of gloves. Very quickly people started to see that the UFC was actually much safer than boxing, which has had deaths throughout its history which the UUFC has never had.
In the beginning of the UFC you would have these strange clashes of styles which very often didn’t work, back then it was mixing martial arts fighters, rather than having fighters who had a mixture of martial arts skills. These days fighters do have specialities but in the main they are all proficient in a number of styles from jujitsu to wrestling, as well as being great strikers. This is a much more palatable way to present a fight.
Best Versus The Best
Part of the reason why I think so many people have fallen out of love with boxing is that it just takes too long to get the best to fight the best, through a fear of what it will do to their careers if that happens. We waited too long for Pacquiao and Mayweather, we waited too long for Wilder and Fury and we may never see Wilder and Joshua square off. The issue is that boxers make their own deals, whereas the UFC selects who will fight who. This means that if the fans want to see a certain fight, they won’t have to wait too long before they see it.
Because of the fact that the UFC has incentives such as fight of the night and knockout of the night, as well as performance of the night, it inspires fighters to put on a show. Fans want to see attacking action, they want to see blood and they want to see battles. Through their cash incentives the UFC can ensure that their fighter are constantly up for the fight and will put on the best performance that they can.