The Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) boom is ongoing, and it’s no surprise. This is a great way of getting your exercise in, a fantastic sport for competition, and a method of improving your skills across the board while keeping fit. For many people, MMA is the perfect choice of fighting sport; it’s skilful, energetic and requires a great deal of discipline if you’re to get it right – and nothing satisfies more than beating the other guy!

Boxing is also a great sport, and one that requires similar discipline and application to MMA. It’s measured and sometimes restrained, and uses set techniques to achieve the goal, and is satisfactory as both exercise and training. Popular for many years, boxing has also been given a boost lately with both men and women enjoying a resurgence in what is an age-old discipline, and many boxers are also choosing to cross over from standard boxing to MMA.

What do you need to know if you are to make a successful transition between the two? We had a look and came up with five areas that you need to concentrate on, so that’s five handy tips that will help you make the jump from boxing to MMA – so here goes:

Study the Best

The first thing we recommend you do, even if you are an experienced boxer with limited experience in MMA, is study those who are at the top of the game. When you were training in boxing you most likely watched others and learned; it’s the same with MMA, but there is much more to learn. MMA is far more varied than boxing so you will need to take a new approach – although it should be said that experience in boxing is a perfect platform from which to start your switch to MMA. Watch, pay attention, and learn – you may find you take in a lot more than you think!

Prepare to Struggle

At first, you will find it difficult to switch to MMA; note that we said will, not might. It’s a different game – we’ll come to some of the major differences in a moment – so you will find the environment alien. Prepare to find things hard to begin with, and adjust to the mental attitude of accepting you’re not going to be great straight away. Of course, mental attitude will have been part of your boxing training, so you’re half way there.

Be Ready for the Difference

There is a big difference between MMA and boxing, not least in what is permitted! This is going to be the most important aspect of your learning curve; you’ll need to be ready to accept kicks and strikes from elbows and knees, which will be very strange to you at first, but once you loosen up your approach and accept that this is part of the sport, you’ll soon get used to the way of things. Take it easy at first and start to get your place, and you will soon feel you are making progress.

Enhanced Footwork

Evasion is very much part of the sport in MMA, as it is in boxing. The difference lies in how to evade in each discipline. In boxing, the tendency is to use cover from the hands – blocking techniques – to aid evasion and avoid hits. This is very effective in the ring. In MMA, the emphasis is more on footwork, as you need to be able to be well placed to respond. Your footwork technique from boxing will come in very handy here, but you will need to do some serious work to get it right.


Our final point to consider is the importance of feinting, which of course is important in boxing. As with all things MMA, it is much more prevalent in this discipline as it keeps your opponent on their toes, so to speak. As there are many more areas in which an attack can come in MMA, it pays to be able to enhance the feinting aspect of your fighting; this will give you the advantage of confusion, and help to make sure you maintain an advantage.

Naturally, the route to successful MMA fighting for boxers lies in quality training, and although we think the above tips will help, you need to take instruction and advice from someone who has experience in MMA, and who can work with you to perfect your approach. We’d like to thank the guys at for their help and advice in this article, and wish you all the best in getting to grips with the fabulous world of MMA.


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The MMA Corner Staff

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