Debate: Is transitioning from boxing to MMA harder than from MMA to boxing?

Did Claressa Shields’ loss night further prove what boxers don’t want to admit, that switching from boxing to MMA is far more difficult than going from MMA to boxing? Especially, after Anderson Silva beat a former champion in his boxing debut.


An MMA fighter should already be training boxing, why would a boxer be training wrestling before deciding to make the switch? You are adding disciplines for a boxer but taking away things to worry about for the MMA fighter.


On the flip side, you can get by with good boxing in MMA, but you can’t get by in legitimate boxing with what passes for boxing in MMA.


Boxing is one of the most restricted abstractions of unarmed combat; a very small subset of fighting. A boxer going to MMA is always going to have an extremely difficult time beating anyone of merit in their first few years. There’s just too much information to learn and implement.

That being said WMMA is pretty, uh, “new” so I would expect someone who’s a truly great striker to do better until they run into the very highest levels.

The should have made the Harrison fight happen when they had the chance


Transition to boxing by far tougher.


Theres just so much more to learn in mma than boxing so mma.

Someone who is athletic, without striking experience, can be a competent boxer in a year.

No one (without previous grappling experience) can be a real purple belt in a year.

The gap between top 10 and top 3 is probably bigger in boxing, but the quantity of information you have to know for MMA is so much more vast


Well yeah. I mean you learn pretty good boxing or at least mma boxing while training mma if training boxing you’ll have a lot of various techniques you’ll need to learn. Kickboxing wrestling JJ judo lots of stuff you should learn.

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The boxing talent pool is far, far deeper than MMA is. I’d say it’d be harder for an MMA fighter to crack the Top 25 in boxing than vice versa

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Its harder to get into MMA. You can become a top 25 boxer by fighting bums.

In MMA you need to train multiple aspects, upkeep cardio in those aspects & your main aspect will most likely take a huge hit.

Also Boxers without the defense of there gloves arent as good always. In boxing you need to train one aspect thats all.

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Most MMA fighters started with 1 discipline and built around that discipline.

Plenty of wrestlers trained wrestling their whole lives and never came close to the olympics then picked up MMA in adulthood and became world champs.

Boxing is probably the 2nd most competitive combat sport behind wrestling and boxing is a huge part of MMA so I see no reason why top boxers wouldn’t be able to transition like Ngannou did. They just don’t have the incentive to do so bc the pay in MMA is so inferior.

MMA is still a young baby sport in its fetus stage. Nowhere near the competition level of boxing or wrestling. It is quickly growing though and I think in 20 years it could be the most competitive combat sport.

Hardest part about the transition from mma to boxing is when they cut your balls off.

I’d say moving from a generalist sport (MMA) to a highly specific sport (Boxing) would be harder than the flip side.

Getting “good enough” at the alternate styles (wrestling, BJJ, etc) will get you far in MMA if you have one primary, world-class weapon.

Much harder to transition to boxing. Even the best MMA strikers aren’t great strikers when compared to boxers. Boxers can learn certain aspects of MMA that help their game, and will always have advantages over their opponent in boxing aspects of MMA…MMA guys won’t have any advantages over boxers based on their prior training.

One thing to consider is that the pool of MMA is much smaller and has many more skills to learn but fewer things to specialize in. Any former jock can put on a pair of boxing gloves and flail away. Boxing at a high level is just as difficult as high level MMA but in different ways. It’s hard to grapple with a more experienced grappler and have a chance but in boxing a good athlete who can absorb a decent amount of punishment generally at least has a punchers chance.

I don’t think it’s boxing in MMA in the same way that driving to work isn’t NASCAR/Formula 1. While there are some very real similarities, the differences are big enough to drown them out.

Grappling sucks so much that elite grapplers would rather stand. Low kicks suck. Calf kicks suck. Getting held against a wall sucks. Getting strangled sucks. Having your knee shredded from eating an oblique kick sucks. 5 minute rounds of all those things thrown at you sucks.

There’s more money in boxing but more skills in MMA.


I’m not so sure about the pay being better when it comes to females.


Different ranges for sure, but I think some MMA fighters who train consistently in boxing and traini with boxers they can get somewhat good at low level boxing. But just like training in MMA will only make you so-so generally speaking in jiu jitsu, boxing is its own thing and borrows boxing. MMA rhymes with boxing, but it’s not boxing.