MMA has a reputation for being one of the most brutal and bloody of all contact sports, which it is and part of the reason it was the fastest growing sport in the world. But the reality is boxing proven to have a greater risk of serious injury, according to research from the University of Alberta.
Researchers at the university reviewed 10 years’ worth of data from medical examinations following mixed martial arts and boxing matches and found that MMA fighters face a slightly higher risk of minor injuries. But boxers, however, are more likely to experience serious harm from concussions and other head trauma, loss of consciousness, eye injuries, smashed noses and broken bones.
We see way more blood in MMA over boxing. That’s because in boxing when it looks like the blood is running into your eye, the referee calls the doctor in to check it out, we’ve seen some MMA fights where the faces are that red they look like a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie. Which makes it look worse than it is.
You’re still more likely to get injured if you’re training in mixed martial arts, there’s just way more things that can go wrong, but the injury severity is less overall than boxing.
The research shows a glimpse into the dangers of the two combat sports in Canada. They reviewed post-fight records from 1,181 MMA fighters and 550 boxers who fought matches in between 2003 and 2013.
They found that 59.4% of MMA fighters suffered some form of injury in their bouts – significantly higher than the injury rate of 49.8% for boxers.
Most of these injuries were bruises and contusions. But boxers were more likely to experience loss of consciousness during the bout (7.1% compared with 4.2% for MMA fighters) or serious eye injuries.
Boxers were also significantly more likely to receive medical suspensions due to injuries suffered during bouts.
This doesn’t mean boxers are tougher than MMA fighters, or any crazier, to get in a ring or a cage with one another and try and knock each other tells you how crazy/stupid we all are.