Boxing & MMA: A Comparison
By Jonny Duggan
On Saturday evening, I spent the evening at the famous Hammersmith Apollo watching Cage Warriors 106 – Night of Champions.
The card was billed as the biggest and most stacked card in the franchises’ history.
It was a warm and sticky one as temperatures soared into the late twenties, even early thirties across the capital. The fans were in great form, many drinking in the bars and pubs that surround The Apollo.
As a newbie to MMA and the various live events put on by different organisations around the globe, I was impressed with the initial setup of Cage Warriors. A well organised team led me into the box office to collect my media pass and a young gentleman led me to the media area, where several journalists were already set up.
Onto the arena, where the cage looked bigger than I thought it might.
The prelims started just after quarter past four and the arena was stilling filling up, very similar to the early undercard fights on a boxing card.
Prior to that, there was a lightshow to the ‘Greatest Showman’ theme track, a slightly odd choice of song for a gladiatorial sport but it kind of worked.
No sooner had one fight finished, the next two warriors were making their way to the cage.
That impressed me as a novice MMA fan. Usually at boxing events, there are delays of fifteen to thirty minutes sometimes between bouts. This can ruin the atmosphere that simply cannot build with the ‘stop start’ nature of the event.
One thing that struck me was the competitive matchmaking of the event. So many times, I have sat ringside at boxing shows of varying levels and seen a complete nobody in with a prospect, who either knocks them out in a matter of seconds or systematically breaks them down with very little coming back.
Not one fight I saw was a mismatch, perhaps a certain style was better than another, but the fights were still competitive.
I was surprised at how much the duration of fights were spent on foot, essentially boxing. Fighters seemed to box on the backfoot often, I can only assume to mobilise the legs for various kicks to the opponent.
Not having the technical knowledge of the sport, it was difficult to get excited about fights that ended up on the deck, wrestling, grappling and putting fighters into submission. That being said, all of the above is incredibly skilful.
Having to master a number of disciplines such as boxing, kickboxing and Jiu jitsu is certainly more difficult than just mastering boxing. There is something attractive about the gladiatorial nature of the sport, the blood, the sweat and the knockout blows.
Modestas Bukauskas really impressed me, the London born Lithuanian, who came to the ring to an urban medley which really got the crowd going. His performance was even more impressive, winning his title fight by stoppage.
The main event had it all, a real blood and guts affair as Ross Houston and Nicolas Dalby left it all in the cage. A fight that will go down in Cage Warriors history no doubt.
The rematch will surely be called for over the coming weeks after no winner was decided on Saturday night.
The event has whetted my appetite so to speak, and I’d certainly like to go to bigger events such as the UFC to compare the levels in MMA.