Why do MMA fighters last so long in the sport?

Boxers are generally washed up by their mid/late 30's when they fight. However, the middleweight champion is 37,the #1 contender in light heavyweight is 41 years old and Randy Couture won the LHW title at 43 years old. It's just surprising to see that such a large amount of MMA fighters are at the top of their game at such advanced ages. And it isn't like they're barely hanging around either or not beating elite competition either.

Why is it that MMA fighters can do this?

6 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because experience is a ************ in this sport.

    Any way you can put a guy to sleep is fair game, that's why this sport is so exciting.

  • 8 years ago

    Well, for starters, I think you're looking at the exceptions rather than the rules. After all, boxing has had it's Archie Moores, it's George Foremans, and it's Bernard Hopkins's. But certain styles in MMA are very damage-limiting. Two of the three guys you've listed, for example, are high-level wrestlers. Their styles center around clinching up with the opponent and pinning them against the cage or on the ground. As such, there isn't a whole lot of room for those guys to recieve damage, as most damaging strikes need at least ten inches of space to be effective. Compare this to boxers, who take a beating in the gym and in the ring from, very often, an early age. They're going to accumulate quite a bit of damage to their body, most notably their brain, by the time they get into their 30's. If you spend part of your training and competition time grappling, you're not going to accumulate that sort of damage.

    In Anderson Silva's case, I just think he's a world-class striker who hasn't faced any world-class strikers in his MMA career. I'm not sure he'd be anything remarkable in boxing or Muay Thai because he'd be surrounded by great strikers, instead of guys like Chael Sonnen, Damien Maia, Thales Leites, and even Patrick Cote who are simply not on his level. He takes a lot less damage because he outclasses them.

  • 8 years ago

    George Foreman was in his 40's when he KO'd Michael Moorer to be the world boxing heavyweight champion. The Klitchko brothers are in their 30's, still boxing strong. However, as mentioned above, you don't see fighters keeping their hand speed much after that. So in the lighter weight classes where speed is king - champions tend to be younger for both MMA and boxing. Everyone you mentioned above, though not as big as Foreman, is around 6' 200lbs. We won't see a 40 yrl old 155 champion anytime soon because at that weight class, it' all about speed. If I were a professional fighter over age 30, I'd rather d MMA. Pure boxing is all about puching with a big glove. That padding causes the brain to slosh a bit more and requires the participant to be hit more times to be knocked out. Therefore, I see long term boxing training having a much more dangerous accumulatively concusive effect. Finally, we're seeing more older athletes in all sports because of better science around training, nutition, healthcare, pharmaceutical supplementation, and vital longevity being implemented.

  • 8 years ago

    because some or most boxers don't have the same dedication as mma fighters or even top tier boxers. i guaranteeing mayweather and pacman will be fighting into there late 30s early 40s maybe marquez bradley cotto and ortiz(if boxing lasts that long) bernard hopkins is 47 doing decent.

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  • 8 years ago

    well boxers only train in one aspect of fighting wich is just just using your hands, while on the other hand mma fighters train in boxing, kickboxing, jiu jitsu, etc. thats probably one of the reasons why, i couldnt really tell you. i was a boxer most of my life and now i do mma and i dont see much difference in my cardio

  • 8 years ago

    If you lose even a little of your hand speed it is very difficult to still be great at boxing, but MMA offers many other ways to win.

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