Is UFC Boxing or MMA? | Easily Explained

In this page, we will go over whether the UFC is Boxing or MMA, if Boxers can fight in the UFC, and whether MMA and the UFC are the same thing.

question mark

Table of Contents

Is UFC Boxing or MMA?

UFC is Mixed Martial Arts, where as Boxing is Boxing. In Boxing, fighters are only allowed to use their fists while standing up, and the goal is to knock out their opponent. In the UFC, fighters are able to fight from every position including the ground, standing up, and even in the clinch.


In the UFC or MMA in general, the goal for fighters is to 'finish' their opponent. This can be through way of knockout, or a submission as well.

Additionally, in MMA fighters can use more than just their hands, they can use their elbows, knees, feet, shins, and even shoulders to strike their opponent.


We've created a What is Mixed Martial Arts guide that covers every detail of MMA including its history, the different styles used, rules, judging, weight classes, the several MMA professional organizations, equipment needed, and even the notable famous fighters.

what is mixed martial arts

Can Boxers Fight in the UFC?

Boxers can fight in the UFC but if they want to have any type of success, they will need to learn other martial arts, or their lack of skill on the ground or clinch can immediately be exploited.

James Toney was a 3 division Boxing champion who decided to transition to MMA while having no MMA experience leading up to the bout.

take down

He would be faced against Randy Couture, a Greco Roman Olympian alternate, and Division 1 wrestler.

Couture was easily able to exploit Toney's lack of ground game by effortlessly taking him down, and toying with him on the ground before submitting him with an arm triangle choke.

Is MMA and UFC the Same Thing?

MMA and the UFC are not the same thing, as the UFC is an organization under the Mixed Martial Arts umbrella. Other organizations such as ONE FC, Bellator and PFL are all MMA as well. The UFC is the biggest MMA brand, which is why this question is commonly asked.