FanPost

Picture perfect boxing in the MMA

Every so often you see these kind of articles posted. Typically they are posted by writers with some boxing experience who attach still action photos to "prove" their point that fighter X has holes in their boxing; they drop their hands, display poor footwork, they "bob" when they should "weave", and the list goes on. Essentially, according to the writer/boxing expert, the fighter is showing less than perfect boxing form in some way.

While I am not suggesting that the writer's points don't have merit, I think readers should understand a couple of things beyond the still frames and the writer's conclusions.

First, it goes without saying that there are huge differences between boxing and MMA: the number of rounds, the length of the rounds, the glove differences, and the MMA fighters concerns over stopping takedowns and checking low kicks, just to name a few. As for picture perfect technique, I can not stress enough that picture-perfect technique is far-down on the list of "nice to haves" in the fan's imaginary checklist of the ideal fighter. Competent overall skills, physical conditioning, a fighter's "heart", superior reflexes and overall athleticism, are only a few examples that are much more important fighter traits than text book form.

Watch the footage of some of the greatest boxers in history including Rocky Marciano and Aaron Pryor, for example. Theres probably hundreds of still shots showing them throwing a punch off balance, from the wrong foot, looking just like a beginner. How many still shots do you think could be found of (the Greatest) Muhammed Ali boxing with his hands dangling by his sides?

But hey man, it's a fight, not a choreographed karate kata. History has shown that the best boxers like Marciano, Pryor, and Ali were first and foremost, superior athletes. They had the power and the conditioning to throw volumes of punches from a variety of angles, with outstanding timing. It didn't always look pretty, either.

Its not just about boxing and MMA either. Take a look at how often the tennis star, Raphael Nadal breaks all the "textbook rules" concerning proper swing and follow through, yet his overall athleticism overshadows the "beautiful form" of Rodger Federer most of the time.

In conclusion, given the choice of the MMA fighter with classic boxing form or one with the overall championship traits of Ben Henderson, I"ll take the latter every time.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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