For many years I was a huge boxing fan but all of that changed at college when I started to watch more and more MMA. I was actually turned on to the sport by founder and CEO who back then was my roommate, and someone who was a long way from being the successful leader that he is right now. Back then MMA events were pretty savage and lawless, something which has changed drastically since . The biggest MMA company is of course the UFC and such has been their success that this sport, and this company is now bigger than the world of boxing, and here is why that has happened.
The first reason why this sport has grown so much is of course because of the regulations which the UFC implemented to make the sport more palatable. Glove designs were improved, new rules were brought in to stop things like eye gouging and more emphasis was put on the safety of the sport. Another big difference was the combination of styles which fighters began to use, in the past you’d get a kick boxer versus a jujitsu specialist, which never quite worked out well. These days fighters are experts in a number of martial arts.
Back in the day boxers would fight 2 or 3 times a year, sometimes more. As the sport tried to protect fighters this was reduced to twice per year at most, but many boxers wouldn’t even do that. Boxers were so desperate to protect their legacies that they would win a fight and then milk it for a year or so until another lucrative opportunity came their way, frustrating the fans of many of the fighters. The UFC on the other hand rarely allows this to happen and if you don’t fight when they want you to, they’ll just tear up your contract.
In boxing the fights are put together by management teams who need to reach an agreement on when and were the fight will be held. In UFC however the fights are made by the organization and that means that we get the biggest fights between the best fighters when the organization decides. This is why the sport is growing so quickly, people want to see the best take on the best and that is exactly what the UFC are able to deliver.
For me people like Floyd Mayweather Jnr, for all his riches and incredible success, have killed the sport of boxing. The defensive style which wins fights on points is not what the public was to see, they want action. In the UFC this is exactly what they get, real action, real knockouts and plenty of blood and thunder. Nobody wants to sit through 12 round of bob and weave and the UFC perfectly understands that and incentivizes their fighters to leave it all out there in the octagon.
This is why the UFC has grown bigger than boxing.