Professional boxing used to be the #1 fighting sport with boxing greats like Muhammad Ali
and Evander Holyfield. It was highly successful on cable and pay-per-view beginning with the Mike Tyson
era in the 80s. But with the success of the UFC and other Mixed martial arts organizations, MMA is quickly replacing boxing as the #1 fighting sport. Professional boxing may even be surpassed by Professional wrestling, which is a fake sport but still garners high ratings on cable and millions of viewers on pay-per-view. While MMA and boxing fans argue about which is the better fighting sport, wrestling fans are proclaiming that their sport is the best out there. This leads to the question: Which is better? Professional wrestling or boxing or MMA?
Professional boxing can be a fatal sport. Boxers step into the ring wearing only gloves to defend themselves. They don't wear protective headgear like amateur fighters, which leaves them open for punches to the head and face resulting in concussions and facial/head injuries. Professional wrestling on the other hand isn't a fatal sport. We all know it's fake, but the injuries that these wrestlers suffer in the ring are real. These wrestlers fly off the top rope or suplex and body slam each other just to entertain the fans. Sometimes these wrestling moves put a lot of stress on these wrestler's bodies and they end up seriously injured with torn muscles and lifelong back problems. Many wrestlers have died in the past from addiction to pain killers that they've used to treat those injuries. Unlike boxing and wrestling, MMA is a full contact sport. Fighters throw a variety of kicks, punches, elbows, and headbutts at their opponents. They also use different styles of martial arts and submission holds. With mixed martial arts, there are so many ways to hurt your opponent. Watching a UFC or Strikeforce match leaves you wincing in pain even though you're not the one fighting. That is why MMA is the most physical sport out there.
A big pay-per-view fight between two great boxers is always exciting to watch. Watching two boxers like Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao going head-to-head leaves you at the edge of your seat. A match like that excites you to the point where you're throwing punches in the air like you're one of the fighters. Professional wrestling is exciting when one of the top WWE superstars like John Cena
comes to the ring and beats up several wrestlers at the same time. Also, something unexpected like Vince McMahon getting hit over the head with a steel chair is always exciting to watch. WWE Raw and certain of it's pay-per-view events like WrestleMania excite fans the most. Like boxing, a mixed martial arts fight leaves you standing and cheering during a great match. Especially if it's a match between Tito Ortiz
and Chuck Liddell
. All three of these fighting sports are exciting in their own way.
Boxing and Mixed martial arts do a great job at promoting and building up their matches. On fight night, some fighters come to the ring with their own theme music. And UFC competitors like Quinton "Rampage" Jackson put on a show inside and outside the ring. The commentators are also great. But when it comes to entertainment, Professional wrestling wins hands down. It's storylines, colorful superstars, theme music, and main event matches keep audiences tuned in every week for two hours. That's why it's called World Wrestling Entertainment.
Professional wrestling remains the most popular sport on cable. The WWE has been one of the top rated shows on cable for years. It also does very well on pay-per-view. On top of that, many wrestlers have become popular in mainstream media like Hulk Hogan and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Professional boxing's popularity has declined in recent years due to a weak Heavyweight division and lack of talented fighters. There are some popular boxers like Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Ricky Hatton, but boxing itself is headed in a downward direction. Mixed martial arts on the other hand is rising in popularity. The UFC has performed well on pay-per-view, breaking pay-per-view's all-time buy-rate record in 2006. It's pay-per-view success and television show on Spike TV have turned it into a Juggernaut. Fighters like Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson have also contributed to the popularity of the UFC with their great matches and superstar status.
Mixed Martial Arts is a force to be reckoned with.
Story by Maccorley Mathieu
Starpulse contributing writer