How does Bare-Knuckle Fighting differ from UFC?

February 18, 2021

Bare-Knuckle Fighting sounds like a no holds barred street fight, but it actually does have a structure and a set framework. It is fought in a ring, with a starting spot for the fighters and a designated set of strikes allowed. This is not too different for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), organized by Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

UFC is a combat sport which allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills. The sport allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques while standing on the ground. Some of the techniques which are allowed and used by competitors are Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing, TaeKwonDo, Kung Fu and Greco-Roman wrestling.

This is a major point of difference, as Bare-Knuckling Fighting only allows punches with a closed and bare fist as the only striking option. Muay Thai style clinch, and open clinch are also permitted. Fighters are allowed to tape their wrist, thumb and midhand, but no tape is allowed within one feet of the knuckles.

This makes for a fascinating technical contest with the winner decided by knockout. Knockout is when a downed boxer fails to get back to his feet within 10 seconds. Competitors get 5 rounds of 2 minutes each to achieve this. In a way, Bare-Knuckle Fighting is a last-man standing competition.

In contrast, a UFC bout can end by submission, if the competitor is knocked unconscious (knockout) or if the referee stops the contest (Technical knockout). UFC generally runs for three-to-five rounds of five minutes each. If none of the above is achieved at the end of the bout, then the final decision comes from a panel of judges.

One major point of difference is the fact that Bare-Knuckling Fighting does not allow a boxer to hit or fight with a downed fighter. Any attempt to do so results in immediate disqualification.

The ring in which bouts are fought also have some major differences. Bare-Knuckle Fighting takes place in a 22 foot diameter circular ring with three ropes. The ring also contains an 8-foot circle with two toe-lines at three feet apart, which act as the designated starting spot for the fighters.

In contrast, the UFC Octagon (also called cage) is 38 feet in diameter and 30 feet across, with the entrance gate on the opposite sides of the Octagon. The Octagon is held four feet from the ground in the centre of the arena, with the height of the fence being 5 feet 9 inches. The canvas is textured and generally, hand painted.

While on the surface the two sports might look similar, everything from the ring to the technical regulations to the route to victory are very different in Bare-Knuckle Fighting and UFC. Our take, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying both Bare-Knuckle Fighting and UFC, appreciating their differences and rejoicing their similarities.

Written By
Chirag Bhattad

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