Like a lot of people, I watched the big fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor on Saturday night. They say six gazillion people watched it. As is always the case these days, the numbers are all lies and the real numbers are vastly lower than claimed. The live gate was about what you see from a typical fight, but the PPV was probably much higher than typical. UFC fans are conditioned to view their sport through television and on-line, rather than live.
Despite the fakery, it was a big deal and even casual fans found a way to watch it. The dirty little secret of modern life is that watching these things via a pirate stream is getting easier and more difficult to police. As we saw with the music business, the video rackets are nearing that point where the cost of policing the underground feeds will exceed the value of their product. There are simply too many ways to get around the paywalls and blocking mechanisms. This fight was probably the last big pay-per-view fight will see.
That is always the problem with artificial scarcity. It works for a while as the laws of supply and demand are universal. Make something scarce, relative to demand, and the prices rise. There is another universal law of economics though. Anything that has value will be stolen or faked. That means attempts to create artificial scarcity will be met with equal efforts to get around those barriers. That is what happened to the music business and now music is just about free. That is what is happening with pay television.
Still, the fight proved something that our betters have been telling us was no longer true and than is men still like being men. Fights are never and can never be pink hat affairs, where the girls show up and pretend to be fans. Boxing and MMA are male sports aimed explicitly at men. This fight was a contest between a bigger, younger man versus the older, but vastly more skilled smaller man. Men enjoy seeing that sort of thing. We like competition, but we like comparisons and contrasts in our competition.
During the broadcast, it became clear that the on-air people were instructed to use the phrase “combat sport” rather than the more common phrases. My hunch is the promoters saw the numbers for this thing and see a chance to bring fighting back as a popular sport again. Boxing killed itself with corruption and the UFC has a bum problem, but there is a market for good fights and the UFC is great at selling their product to young males. The contrast is styles between McGregor and Mayweather made it a great show.
If they fused the two sports, dropping the wrestling and tackling stuff entirely, there is a good chance they can create fun shows like this on a regular basis. Imagine if McGregor was allowed to kick and rabbit punch. It probably would not have changed the outcome, but it would have made it a bit fairer. Change the ring to make the ropes sturdier, like the cage in UFC, and the boxer has to change his strategy. There is a middle ground where you can create fun and interesting contests that men will pay to see.
The other thing the UFC can teach boxing is how to develop its talent. Boxing was destroyed by the crack epidemic. The urban gyms that worked as feeder systems for boxing were wiped out by the crack wars. The young guys looking for a way out of the ghetto were drawn into the big money of the drug game. Those still looking to go straight were too afraid to go into the rough areas where boxing gyms tend to be located. As a result, the flow of young talent in the US evaporated and so did the fan base.
That is the thing about MMA, which boxing can adopt. Go around the country and the mixed martial arts gyms are now where the old martial arts places were located. That is in suburban shopping centers. Middle-class white women are fine letting their boys go to these places as it feels safe and their snowflake is not getting bullied by urban blacks or robbed in the parking lot. Boxing can be sold to the white middle-class again, but in has to be sold on their turf. White people with kids no longer live in cities.
That is not to say boxing can ever make a comeback, at least to the status it once enjoyed. That world is gone. We live in the age of niche sports. Even mighty football (American) is feeling the pinch. There will always be a market for men fighting one another under agreed upon rules. Boxing and MMA are just that. If the end result is some fusion of the two that is both white-ish and suburban, that is not a terrible result. Healthy cultures have ways for men to compete, as well as watch and encourage other men to compete.
As to the fight itself, it was a fun show. As I pointed out prior to the fight, boxers are vastly better conditioned than MMA guys. McGregor was sucking wind in the third round and by the sixth he was clearly gassed. Mayweather is a great boxer and he knew exactly how to take apart McGregor. That said, the Irishman had a great plan and executed it well. He showed tremendous heart. He was just beaten by the better boxer, like everyone else Mayweather has faced. Both acquitted themselves well. It was a great show.
Good work Zman for calling the fight right on the Z cast. I just listened to it today and you were pretty much spot on with the prediction.
Andre Berto TRYING to describe what its like to fight Maywether
It was a spot-on prediction…
I think it’s a shame that UFC/MMA has such a drug problem, too. Okay, it feels like most sports have drug issues nowadays, I guess, but when I see someone like Jon Jones, who had the talent to be the best mixed martial artist of all time, screw up yet again, then I just have to conclude that the guy is a total plonker.
“Boxing can be sold to the white middle-class again, but in has to be sold on their turf.”
They’re saying “no” to football these days too in larger numbers than before. Not earth-shattering, but certainly there has been a measurable decline in youth football.
PPV didn’t help itself back in the late 80’s and early 90’s with 84 second fights that people forked over good money to watch. I saw this weekend that the NFL is now offering a non-NFLSundayTicket option for out-of-market games for $100 for the entire regular season. That’s way less than DirecTV, and the games are live-streamed.
No, I think fights like this one are the last gasps of a dying sport. Nostalgia drove sales for the fight more than the match-up. Not that the match-up was poor, but I sincerely doubt very many people actually had an opinion one way or the other about it, and if it hadn’t been so heavily promoted, it would have been a disaster.
Sports are a community for men, and also the training in and demonstration of proficiency in life skills for the participants. Both physical and cooperative life skills. The decline in organized sport (which appears real and ongoing) is a cultural loss for all of us.
The kids are watching televised/broadcasted video game competitions now. Twitchy thumbs and fingers are the new life skills and basis for a community. At least the kids will probably avoid the concussions and chronic headaches I got in high school football.
Its not simply wimpy/lazy kids. My kids don’t play school sports any more. They’re too smart, so they’ve got work to do. The “sports parents” are assholes on an epic level. The coaches want 6 days a week. My kids are not wanted because they just want to play, learn, compete. If you’re not going for a full ride Div-I scholarship and the State Championship, the attitude of that community is GTFO.
My kids all snowboard the back bowls at 12,000′. They got nothin to hang their heads about in terms of courage. But more importantly, they have a future, and we not gonna screw that up by having them waste their time on stuff that doesn’t matter.
I do make sure my son knows how to throw and catch though. When he’s 22 and in his prime, he’ll be able to play sports that his three-knee-surgery, Tommy Johns at 13, broken old man friends won’t be able to play.
Mayweather got his ass handed to him in the first Jose-Luis Castillo fight, and got a gift decision. As to the larger complaint about boxing, that it is being dragged through the ghetto and is a niche sport, both are true if your focus is America. Look at the global scene, though, and you’ll see it’s not true. Canelo Alvarez (a Mexican who looks like an Irishman) and Gennady Golovkin (Kazakh and Korean) are both gentlemen and are making the real boxing event of the year next month. What’s more is tickets for their super-fight sold out pretty quickly, while Mayweather-McGregor didn’t fill the house. Hell, Wladimir Klitschko’s swan song against Anthony Joshua in Wembley set a record, with a live attendance of 90,000.
That’s the fight I’ve been waiting for years to see. Two tough, classic, hard-hitting sportsmen at both a strong and fast weight class. Not like the pompous hypemen we saw on Saturday who probably met at the strip club afterwards.
I must be a really weird anomaly. I really enjoy sewing & repairing Civil War purses while watching blood sports…the bloodier the better. The fight was one big yawnfest. I had 5 ripped streams going and CBS was on the ball, zapping them, lost the last one at the end of the 9th, barely missing the TKO, but someone put the whole thing up on YouTube, within 15 min of it ending, so I went back & caught it. Not the biggest waste of an evening I’ve ever spent, I do that all the time, but not a highlight.
MacGregor was not prepared to go past Round 6, Mayweather just clicked back into his mode, even though he didn’t look good while doing it, he had the stamina.
No one is prepared to go beyond round six who hasn’t done it.
Try going back after 35. I could have killed the guy who talked me into it.
Yeah, what’s with the purses? :>)
I thought the outcome was bordering on the thin line of a great match and one that was almost too conveniently optimal for every party with a bank account. Yeh, I’m a skeptic, but I wonder if it was not totally rigged. Anyone could’ve called that fight.
After coming out aggressively, McGregor would be winded by the 4th/5th rounds, and Mayweather would then outbox him for a few rounds until he could start picking him off in the later rounds. Mayweather keeps 50-0, boxing remains legitimate, McGregor is given respect from all fight fans (myself included), and the UFC is not discredited as being an organization bereft of “real” athletes.
I just wanted to see an honest fight and it may have very well been. Overall I enjoyed the fight (especially as a boxing guy), and my buddies and I were ecstatic when the ref called it. I really wanted to see McGregor hit the canvas but I can always take out my hate fantasies at the gym.
On a side note, what’s going on in the Mayweather gym? Every one of his boxers in the undercards drop the jab hand just like him.
MMA is for fighters who lack the discipline necessary for boxing.
MMA doesn’t lack discipline at all. MMA fighters don’t box in the ring because of stand up grappling, take downs, trips and leg attacks are part and parcel. It changes the dynamics.
Try to box in MMA and ignore everything else and you get your butt kicked. Do a boxers clinch on a guy who does stand up grappling, throws, etc and he’ll lock up your arms and throw your ass.
Different sports with much different requirements.
The best MMA fighters work for years to develop skills in their base martial art – be it karate, judo, jujitsu, what have you – and then years more learning styles/types of fighting which lie outside their base art. In other words, the grapplers have to learn striking, the stand-up fighters have to learn ground techniques, and so on. All of it demands tremendous self-discipline, drive and willingness to work extremely hard in relative obscurity without any guarantee of a big payday down the road.
Sure, MMA has attracted its share of thugs and punks, but boxing hasn’t? Give me a break.
I am one of those rate folks who likes both traditional boxing and MMA, and respects the best practitioners of each art. It bothers me that these sorts of comparisons always seem to devolve into the hurling of insults and the like. Whatever happened to mutual respect?
Zman, love your work, but you are kidding yourself if you think MMA would be improved as a fighting art by taking out the ground game and elements of wrestling. I’ll grant that your suggestion might make MMA more appealing to the casual fan, but removing ground techniques/wrestling would be foolhardy from the standpoint of improving the sport or making it more realistic. In the real world (as opposed to the boxing ring, etc.), hand-to-hand struggles almost always go to the ground. An individual who finds himself in a fight but lacks a ground game faces a serious disadvantage. and if MMA takes out the elements you mention, it moves closer to becoming just another variety of traditional martial arts tournament modeled on touch football.
I respect Floyd Mayweather for fighting McGregor, someone from outside the boxing world – and then being classy and magnanimous in victory. Rightly, he will enter the pantheon of all-time greats in boxing. However, Mayweather’s victory does not prove that he is a superior fighter; it proves that he is a superior boxer – the two are different things. I’d like to see a rematch, this time fighting on McGregor’s home turf. I realize that with Mayweather’s retirement, that possibility is faint – but it would make an interesting match-up, wouldn’t you agree?
Pertaining to McGregor’s conditioning (or lack of same), the larger point is not that McGregor showed up out of shape, but that he was working well outside of his normal field of endeavor. Some of the conditioning an MMA man does transfers to boxing (and vice-versa), but some does not. Mayweather has not only excellent genetics and training on his side, he was also the smaller man. He would be expected to have more stamina than McGregor on that basis alone. Taking pot-shots at the condition levels of MMA fighters is pointless and stupid. I am no boxing historian, but I could easily list plenty of matches where the pro boxers in question showed up looking they had been pulled off skid row, and not out of the gym. The best-trained and conditioned MMA fighters are at a level equivalent to the best-trained and conditioned boxers. Go try and tell George St. Pierre that he isn’t in shape and then report back on how that went!
ZMan, thanks for a well-done website. Always appreciate your work, even though it gets a bit spicy sometimes in the comments….
In the real world (as opposed to the boxing ring, etc.), hand-to-hand struggles almost always go to the ground. An individual who finds himself in a fight but lacks a ground game faces a serious disadvantage.
Thats why the key to the “real world” is to take your opponent out without/before ever going to the ground.
This is also the arc of military history; knock your opponent out with one “punch” from a distance in the shortest amount of time. We’ve been “wrestling around on the ground” in Afghanistan for 16 years now, same thing in Iraq.
WTF is that?
You can roll around on the ground all you want; but Im trying to knock you out (with a single punch if I can?) in the shortest amount of time, get paid,
Physical competition between males is an evolutionary necessity, as it advances the species development and improvement. Eliminate it, and you regress into the insect model of queens and drone males. The current PC movement to kill off these sports is one of the few existential threats that we still face as a species.
“Middle-class white women are fine letting their boys go to [MMA gyms] as it feels safe.” This kills me. Soccer Moms are absolutely hysterical about tackle football — all those concussions, plus eeewww, patriarchy! — but they’re perfectly ok letting them get their spines stretched and ACLs shredded doing some mutant variation of Gracie jiujitsu taught by a self-ordained tough guy. Not to mention the kids in the weight room throwing kettle bells around without the slightest idea what they’re doing to their rotator cuffs…. but at least they won’t suffer a helmet-to-helmet hit.
It is ridiculous. Northern Virginia has become a strange hotbed of youth hockey. The single moms wants a sport for their boys, but not one where snowflake will get hurt. So they pick hockey. Hilarious.
The real issue, of course, is blacks. Football is full of blacks. The local MMA gym is whites and Asians. But, no one is allowed to mention this so they find other ways of stating it.
Yep. Which is why I’m probably wrong, and lacrosse IS the coming thing. Don’t you have to legally change your name to something like “T. Jackington van Pelt IV” to be allowed on the field? 🙂
The ultimate lax bro:
The single moms wants a sport for their boys, but not one where snowflake will get hurt. So they pick hockey. Hilarious.
Isn’t that the same thing the British did when they invented boxing?
Boxing and Western Civilization have a lot in common; rules, rules, rules, referees (policemen) and judges. These rules were designed to give the civilized white man the edge over his more primitive undisciplined nonwhite opponent.
But it all fell apart because the nonwhites began to innovate.
Now that nonwhites know the rules, and attend the finest boxing schools in existence; MMA is the white man going back to undisciplined, primitive fighting.
When my son was five we took him to a hockey game. A fight broke out that lasted twenty minutes. It was the best sporting event he saw live. He talked about it for years.
isn’t that the old joke though?
“I went to see a fight and a hockey match broke out”
Also the fear of brain damage is real. A damaged rotator cuff or something is bad but it doesn’t stop a normal enough life
With TBI you are screwed.
I help coach grade-school football at our private school. It is dying a not-so-slow death brought about by mothers pulling their boys out of football (and their wimp fathers allowing it even if the kid still wants to play) after their baby gets knocked down a couple of times and the kids starting to specialize at 8-10 years old and playing on travel teams year-round in other sports.
Lots of requirements put on the dads actually coaching 10-12 hrs/week by parents on sports committees (meet once a month) who won’t actually coach teams themselves. For instance, now we have to try and have equal playing time between 3rd graders just learning the tackle game and 4th graders who know enough to keep their head on a swivel until the whistle blows.
Don’t have a son but I’d never let my kids play football. The risk of permanent brain injury from modern football is far too high.
Beyond that I’m so detached from the culture of the sport and as a parent I couldn’t contribute meaningfully
And agreed that MMA and Hockey have risks, MMA at least provides defensive skills and hockey is whiter than sour cream as far as sports go
I don’t think it was that Mayweather was better conditioned as much as that he was vastly more efficient. Conor was throwing punches like there was no tomorrow early in the fight. He was pushing Mayweather away repeatedly, even his strange guard with the right hand extended and used to push Mayweather away must be exhausting compared to the normal boxer’s guard with elbows tucked into ribs.
Still, this should have been modeled in McGregor’s camp. It’s probably hard to get to the real adrenaline levels and calorie burn in a training situation, though.
It was a decent match. McGregor seemed to have a very good understanding of his own abilities and limitations, and thus executed his plan to the best of his limits. Mayweather is merely in a class of his own, as it comes to boxing. It was pretty clear his game plan involved toying with McGregor the first 3-4 rounds, as he was barely throwing any punches, but once he decided to turn on his offense, the match was over in short order. They both kept the theatrics to a minimum, so when either would engage in some (McGregor’s [brief] hands behind the back posturing, for example) they were much more entertaining. Both fighters have a very good understanding of how to extract maximum entertainment value from the venue, without making it cartoonish.
That said, there is no question in my mind that if the same two fighters fought in an MMA ring with MMA rules, McGregor would have easily defeated Mayweather.
I thought it was going to be an mma fight when I first heard of it. No matter what McGregor’s skill he was still an amateur boxer. How does an untested amateur get a shot? Then I heard it was a boxing match and I knew the fix was in.
Mayweather carried him for half the fight. But they’ll be looking for a rematch soon.
I’m not sure about easily. The funny thing about the fight is that McGregor was surprised by the power of Mayweather. No one on MMA hits like a boxer, not even close. Mayweather is a big puncher by MMA standards, but he is a pitty-pat puncher by boxing standards.
Now, the ground game is where MMA guys own a boxer. If McGregor was a guy who had a strong ground game, then it would be over in minutes. Boxer have no defense against being tackled. Once on the ground, their skills are useless. Still, McGregor would win, but it would not be easy. He would have to take some leather getting to Mayweather in order to get him to the ground.
The guys who are primarily boxers and who win championships in MMA have very good takedown defense, often referred to as “sprawl”. As they progress in their careers they work more on wrestling and the ability to work off their backs as inevitably they get caught off guard occasionally.
the UFC is great at selling their product to young males
With McGregor being far and away their best salesman. Love him or hate him, he’s done more to publicise his sport than anyone.
Conor’s “sport” is a step or two up from cock fighting and dog fighting. ‘Tis profitable amusement for louts and refuse described ridiculously as men by our host.
“Boxing and MMA are male sports aimed explicitly at men. ”
I don’t follow boxing or MMA, but wasn’t Rousey the biggest name in the game for a couple of years?
“Imagine if McGregor was allowed to kick and rabbit punch… Change the ring to make the ropes more sturdy, like the cage in UFC, and the boxer has to change his strategy. ”
What if we give one guy a trident and like a net and the other guy a spear and buckler?
Girl fights do not draw girl fans though. They are freak shows that have limited appeal, like midget wrestling.
Nobody without brain damage believed the hype but Rousey was trying to promote a couple of movie deals plus keep her name out there. If the Roadhouse remake goes forward expect something similar before distribution time. There’ll be morons who will eat it up then too.
Ronda Rousey was something unique and special that you won’t get very often. She had 3 things going for her:
1.> Attractive. She’s a pretty girl, and has that all-american look. A little bit buff, but doesn’t look like a ‘roided out freak (see Cris Cyborg or Gabi Garcia for examples to the contrary).
2.> Good and flashy fighter. Yes, she has her flaws (will get to that in point 3). But she was well credentialed in Judo before coming in and a legit competitor that would end fights in an exciting fashion. I rolled my eyes when Dana White proclaimed she’d beat other men that weighed the same as her, but she’s a legit talent nonetheless with her Judo.
3.> Timing. Ronda came in at a time when Women’s MMA was still in it’s nascent stages. She got away with being one-dimensional with her gameplan (run in face first, eat some shots, and then use her Judo to get her opponent to the mat and then finish) as there just weren’t other good competitors out there yet. Once Holly Holm and the Jackson MMA coaches figured out the blueprint for beating her… she was pretty much done.
I’ve never saw her as pretty even as a younger woman. Gina Carano is more my taste.
Zman insists on calling Division 1 wrestlers and world class Jiu Jitsu grapplers and Muay Thai kickboxers bums.
Like a leftist who hopes continually calling Trump a Nazi actually makes Trump a Nazi, calling top tier MMA fighters bums means they are actually bums.
Zman doesn’t “get” MMA. That’s fine. You don’t like wrestling/grappling, which means no one likes it or gets it. Wrong.
Boxers are only vastly better conditioned than MMA fighters IN A BOXING MATCH. Not in a 5 round MMA. I’ve watched Golden Gloves level guys try to wrestle/grapple for the first time and it exhausts them.
Living in Baltimore means Zman will probably never meet, let alone train with, an Olympic level wrestler or world class Jiu Jitsu grappler.
I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again, I’ve trained with many guys like that, and they are not “bums”.
I feel embarrassed for you when you keep saying that, Zman. It’s demonstrably not true.
Come to NYC and visit Renzo’s or Marcelo Garcia’s place for an open mat workout, or visit the New York Athletic Club on Monday through Thursday in the basement and watch Olympic level wrestlers train.
Open your eyes to reality.
The skill required for bjj or Olympic wrestling is great but to the uninitiated it can be brutally boring. It looks like a ‘bum fight’. Visually, unless you enjoy wrestling which not many do it’s a good excuse to make a sandwich and come back to find them in exactly the same position five minutes later.
Not even wrestlers try to sell wrestling in its purest form. Lucha underground is most people’s speed. And it’s damn fine tv.
I’ve got a black lab named after him, RIP.
black labs matter
I agree. Sitting through those undercard snooze fests only reinforced the perception that boxing is a dying sport. The rules are archaic and far too strict. As rough as it can be toe-to-toe, they confine ‘fighting’ into an unrealistic standup jab fest that usually ends with both guys grabbing each other and swaying around like a couple of drunks on the dance floor.
MMA is the future, offering a more complete and entertaining fight experience. In a cage, McGregor would drop take Mayweather within a round or two. Conor was completely out of his element and could only use a very limited number of weapons in his striking repertoire. Mayweather opened himself up so many times you could see Conor actually check himself and hold back throwing a knee or elbow. He wasn’t even allowed to strike a backhand. The entire event was a staged catwalk for Mayweather to waltz out a winner with a bag of money under his arm.
I don’t remember his name, but currently there is an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling competing in the UFC. He’s a top guy, but not the champ at his weight level. No problems with his conditioning.
The black guy beat the arrogant honkey so everyone is happy.
It sounded to me like Mayweather was carrying McGregor. There’s no way an undefeated fighter with his skill couldn’t hit McGregor at will after McGregor was gassed. I figure they both want the money from a rematch.
McGregor is a much bigger man. He has freakishly long arms and he was making sure to keep Floyd at a distance. Initially, Mayweather tried to shorten the distance, but McGregor got off some quick short counters. You could see Mayweather recalculating his attack from there. In round four, he started to close ground. I had it an even fight going ton the ninth, but it was just a matter of time before Mayweather took him out.
counter intuitively, the heavier gloves used in boxing actually contribute to its fighters getting brain injuries. mma gloves are too thin to allow hard hand strikes to the head.
That’s the sort of thing a new sport could consider. I think MMA did a lot of smart thing, but they missed the mark on the wrestling stuff. No one wants to see guys rolling around on the ground. It’s boring. It also encourages bum fighting. Smaller gloves would also encourage more body work and less head hunting. Boring fights are often the ones between two head hunters.
The whole point with mma was that different martial arts competed directly with each other with a minimal rule set. Brazilian jujitsu did well because it was effective and designed that rule set. Any size, Any system no protection, except a cup.
Grappling was essential to that. To change it you could allow grips, takedowns and throws but reset if it goes to the ground for say five seconds. Eliminate the gloves and footwear. It would speed up the fights.
Proof that no one wants to watch wrestling is the NCAA wrestling championships. Some of the best wrestlers in the world are competing. Yet, it gets scant coverage. Keep in mind that I wrestled for 12 years. I love the sport, but I have to be honest about its appeal.
I think the only way you can make it work with wrestling is to have the ring larger and lose the cage. Go outside the boundary and it resets. That way, fighters can dodge the attack and use some basic skills to eliminate the take down as an effective weapon. Otherwise, mediocre wrestlers can get the opponent on the ground. But, I’d just eliminate the ground game entirely. If your knee or glove touches the mat, you are knocked down and get an eight count.
I like to see good takedowns. Not the ground game so much I started in judo when I was eight and wrestled in high school but even knowing what’s going on its boring for me.
Like all real American men I love combat sports. It’s in our blood. Both my grandfather’s boxed. Both my grandmother’s disapproved. But I’d rather watch sumo than straight up wrestling.
The NCAA’s get scant attention because ESPN type producers are obsessed with sportsball. The championships are generally sold out for 3 days wherever they’re held.
And the U.S. is unique in it’s disinterest for real wrestling.
Olympic wrestling is huge in Russia, Eastern Europe, Asia and many muslim countries with ancient wrestling traditions like Iran and Turkey. Wrestlers are as well known in those countries as NBA/NFL players are here, and financially compensated for their output.
By the way, not that you care, but the Men’s U.S. Freestyle team just won the World team title for the 1st time in 22 years this weekend. It was an amazing achievement.
Generally either Russia or Iran takes the team title, as they are the dominant powers in Olympic wrestling, with a few former Soviet republics coming in 3rd and 4th.
The “ground game” is boring as hell and it is why I don’t watch MMA. Booooooorrrrrriiiiinnnnng.
And you are right, (great) boxers are in much better cardio shape than MMA fighters. I still spend some time occasionally on a heavy bag, and at my age I wind pretty quickly. But it still is awesome to pound on the bag, and the pups raise a brow while I’m doing it.
I lost interest in MMA when the wrestling went out the window. It’s basically kick-boxing now with some grappling when guys get tires.
The sport you’re describing is K-1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-1#Rules
It has not shown to be popular in the US
That’s the thing that turned me off watching UFC when it first appeared,there would be a furious exchange of blows both with hands and feet which was great but at some point the fight would go to the ground,but as one who has done competition Judo I know personally how hard ground fighting is and how much skill it takes, its dull as shit to watch.