Cross combat sports fights were always a pretty big deal even if we go decades back to something like Inoki vs Ali or the first UFC events that were basically one martial art vs the other. People were always interested but outside of the octagon, they were pretty rare.
In the last year or so, beggining from the fabled Conor vs Floyd boxing fight, more and more MMA fighters want to taste their hands in boxing superfights and a lot of big time boxers seem to react favourably.
Besides the Conor vs Floyd thing, we have UFC hw champ Stipe Miocic looking to fight new boxing superstar Anthony Joshua and so does former UFC champ Junior Dos Santos.
Nate Diaz wants to box, Jose Aldo wants to box , Anderson Silva wants to box with Roy jones Jr, Cub Swanson wants paul Malignaggi and from the other side, Jean Pascal wants to fight Nick Diaz, David Haye wants to box with Manuwa and every week a new name will pop up.
Whay the big interest now?
The NOW has to do with the UFC seeming to loosen up its grip on its fighters starting with Conor. For those who dont know, the MMA promotions used to strictly forbid from its fighters to fight any other kind of professional combat sport and even WWE. Anderson Silva used to be the biggest star and the UFC wouldnt let him box Roy Jones Jr for years.
No, with Dana White softening his stance for the Conor vs Floyd fight, other fighters got their hopes up too especially if the UFC needs to fill the rest of the card with other MMA vs Boxer fights. And MMA fighters see an opportunity.
But what is so important in cross combat fight?
First of all, its the money of course.
Boxing as a sport pays the star fighter a much bigger cut from the money that the fight made. A UFC event can sell as many PPVs as a Joshua boxing even, at the same price, but the main event of the UFC will get less money than Joshua will cause the UFC takes a big chunk out of it.
Aldo, as any crosspromotion fight, if you have a boxing champion fighting an MMA champion the hype will be much bigger. There is something special in those type of fights since the winner will have massive bragging rights, the baddest dude in the world etc. also since its something that doesnt happen ofter at all, even the casual fans want to see it to not miss the opportunity. Such events have a spacial alure for everyone involed and more hupe means more PPV buys and more money.
Another big reason is the chance to win over a new crowd and new fans.
An MMA fighter can loose to a boxer in a boxing fight but if he does better than expected he can grab some extra fans who will follow him back to his regular sport.
In the same way, a boxer who knocks out or outperforms a famous mma fighter might bring some MMA fans in his next fights back to HIS sport.
Actually even more important that that is the fact that the risk is small compered to the reward for both of them.
An MMA fighter loosing a boxing fight is just a bump in the road, he can always go back to his sport and continue like it never happened and with his pockers lined with hot cash. Conor might have to suffer some insults on instagram and twitter for a couple of months but i but those millions he will make will trump that.
A boxer has of course much more to loose if he failed to win a boxing fight against an MMA fighter but everyone knows that is extremely hard to happen. MMA fighters can be great strikers but they wont be great boxers. For someone like Joshua to fight someone like Miocic, the boxing skill he will have to face will be, at best, like his oppenents early in his career. So he will get paid well to fight an overmatched opponent. Win Win.
Why dont we see Boxers want to try MMA then? i mean beside Lomachenko calling out Conor as a joke.
Its simple, its easier for an MMA fighter to cross over to box, especially if he is a striker. He wont be a great boxer but he knows how to use his hands he just has less tools than usual. And if he trains hard for like a year and still looses he can go back to MMA with some new sharp hands.
A boxer will have to devote a whole year to learn the ground game and he will still be like a fish out of water when he gets there with an MMA fighter, even a striker. And i m not talking about leg kicks, thai clinch, using the cage etc. Even if he spens a lot of time and gets some results in training, the skill will be uselless to him if he goes back to boxing after.
So tell fight squard, do you want to see Conor vs Floyd? Are there other Cross Sport fights you want to see? Maybe MMA fighter vs Kickboxer? Let me now down in the comments and leave us a subscription if you like the video.