Boxing vs MMA Popularity | Which One is More Popular?

Although MMA has surged in popularity, Boxing has been around for a much longer time which begs the question. In Boxing vs MMA, which one is more popular?

In this page we'll cover the top Pay Per view events of all time, and how each sport stacks up in history.

boxing vs mma popularity

Table of Contents

Pay Per View History Results

In the top 55 best selling PPV events of all time, three sports make the cut, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, and Professional Wrestling (WWE).

1. Boxing Pay Per View

Boxing holds the top 29 spots and even the top two spots.

The top spot is held by Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao with 4.6 million pay per view buys.


Mayweather and Pacquiao were considered some of the greatest boxers of their generation, if not ever.

They had repeated back and forths for 6 years before the bout was finally made.

Unfortunately many fans think that it was 6 years too late as Pacquiao was never able to get much going, as Mayweather maintained his famous defensive style to win on a decision.

Pacquiao also revealed after the fight that he was dealing with a shoulder injury.

2. Mixed Martial Arts Pay Per View

Mixed Martial arts hold 16 spots and also holds the number two spot.

The second spot is none other than Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor at 4.3 million buys.

mixed martial arts fighting

This is one of the most unique bouts in the history of sports.

Conor McGregor was coming off of a never before seen run in MMA, where he was undefeated in the featherweight division, winning the championship in 13 seconds against a fighter who hadn't lost in 10 years.

Then he moves up a weight class and displays a master class vs the current champ Eddie Alvaraez, to become the first simultaneous 'Double Champ' or 'Champ Champ' in the UFC.

mixed martial arts

Floyd Mayweather's credentials include being an undefeated fighter at 49-0, and making any extraordinary fighter, look completely ordinary.

The thought by fans was that although Floyd has beaten all boxers, he had never faced a Mixed Martial artist, with the movement and power that McGregor possessed.

Eventually they faced off, and although McGregor did much better than most experts expected (one made headlines for saying McGregor wouldn't land a punch), Mayweather would still win via a 10th round TKO.

3. Professional Wrestling

The rest of the spots are held by professional wrestling, with their top spot landing at 27.


The 27th spot is held by Wrestlemania XXVIII where The Rock and John Cena faced off in Miami Gardens, near where the Rock played collegiate football.

The Future of Boxing vs MMA

Although the top PPV spots of all time are currently held by boxing, the MMA organizations, particularly the UFC is in a great spot to catch up and surpass them in the future.

Boxing has many issues that haven't been fixed, where the UFC is miles ahead.

mixed martial arts

The Best Not Fighting the Best

One of the biggest critiques in the boxing community is that the best don't fight the best, and when they finally do, one of the fighters are no longer in their prime.

The best example of this is Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao which ironically ended up being the most sold pay per view event in history.

boxing wraps

If you look at the boxing landscape, there are many undefeated professional fighters who are padding their records with fighters who even have losing records!

Promoters try to shield their fighters and minimize risk until they can fight for the title.

On top of that, there are multiple champs in the same weight class but in different promotions. So nobody really knows who the real champ is.

Too Many Weight Classes

Have you ever seen a boxer win a fight and then hold 7 belts? You're not the only one.

There are so many weight classes, and so many belts, that it's hard for a casual fan to keep up with.

weight class options

In the UFC, there are a set amount of weight classes, everybody knows who the champ of that weight class is, and they'll hold that belt and have to defend it vs the best.

On rare occasions, a current champion is able to challenge for a second belt such as how Conor Mcgregor, Daniel Cormier, and Amanda Nunes have done.

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