As Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor prepare to collide, we compare the differences between boxing and UFC.
Floyd Mayweather fights Conor McGregor in the Irishman’s professional boxing debut at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.
Here, Press Association Sport explores the significant differences between boxing and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Length and number of rounds
A high-level boxing match is almost always scheduled for 12 three-minute rounds. When a boxer makes his professional debut, they are often scheduled for four three-minute rounds, which is usually gradually increased to six, eight, 10 and then finally 12. In women’s boxing, two-minute rounds are largely favoured. Boxing debutant McGregor will fight over 12.
UFC rules dictate that each non-championship contest is to be scheduled for three five-minute rounds. A championship contest is for five five-minute rounds.
In both sports, there is a rest period of one minute between rounds.
The nature of the fight
Boxers are officially only allowed to attack their opponents through punching, and even excessive clenching is discouraged and monitored by the referee. If a boxer is knocked down, his opponent is not allowed to resume attacking him until he has returned to his feet and has the referee’s permission to do so.
In UFC, fighters can box, grapple, wrestle, kick-box, and continue to strike their opponent while they have been knocked down.
Size and shape of the ring
A boxing ring, within the rules of the British Boxing Board of Control, should have four ropes and be between 16-20 square feet.
A UFC ‘octagon’ must be between a minimum of 20 square feet and a maximum of 32. It is also surrounded by a fence.
Boxers regularly provide their own cuts man, and one of their choosing. The UFC, however, provide one for each corner, and that same cuts man works the same corner for every fight of each event.
Boxing has more weight divisions than the UFC, and though many of those divisions share names, their weights vary.
The weight divisions in boxing are: minimum-weight 105lbs, light-flyweight 108lbs, flyweight 112lbs, super-flyweight 115lbs, bantamweight 118lbs, super-bantamweight 122lbs, featherweight 126lbs, super-featherweight 130lbs, lightweight 135lbs, light-welterweight 140lbs, welterweight 147lbs, super-welterweight 154lbs, middleweight 160lbs, super-middleweight 168lbs, light-heavyweight 175lbs, cruiserweight 200lbs, heavyweight over 200lbs.
UFC’s weight divisions are as follows: straw-weight 115lbs, flyweight over 115lbs to 125lbs, bantamweight over 125lbs to 135lbs, featherweight over 135lbs to 145lbs, lightweight 145lbs to 155lbs, welterweight 155lbs to 170lbs, middleweight over 170lbs to 185lbs, light-heavyweight over 185lbs to 205lbs, heavyweight over 205lbs to 265lbs, and super heavyweight over 265lbs.
Unlike in boxing, UFC fighters are forbidden by their contracts to pursue their own sponsorship deals. They presently have an overall sponsorship in place with Reebok.
In boxing, a fighter must weigh in at the scheduled time and if he or she is overweight, has an hour to return and achieve the correct weight. If they remain overweight after an hour they do not receive a further chance, though the fight may still proceed.
In the UFC, on the day before a fight, a fighter has a window of four hours in which they can make weight at their own convenience.
A boxing glove covers the entire hand, and in fights between the flyweight and welterweight divisions, 8oz gloves are generally worn.
In the UFC, a fighter’s fingers remain exposed, and the glove generally weighs between 4oz and 6oz.