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Frank Mir Makes a Case: MMA Safer, More Exciting Than Boxing

I don't view boxing and mixed martial arts as competitors, and I don't believe there's much point in arguing that one sport is better than the other, any more than I feel the need to argue with my friends who are baseball fans just because I personally like football better.

But it's a fact that when MMA fighters give interviews, they're going to be asked about comparisons between their own sport and boxing. And as far as those questions go, I thought Frank Mir did a good job of answering them in a recent radio interview in St. Louis.

"If you like contact sports previously like boxing, football and what not, we're just an exciting sport," Mir said on ESPN 101 when asked why boxing fans should give MMA a shot. "It's one on one. You have to sit and eliminate the boxing hat. We have such a higher finishing rate as far as fights that finish without decisions that we don't have the same controversies or the same boring, drawn-out fights. I'm also a fan of boxing. My father is from Cuba so obviously boxing was big in my household. But the last couple of years, I've personally felt kind of disappointed when I watched boxing matches that were built up with great hype and I watch a 12-round decision where neither guy really risks anything."

Mir's interview (which you can listen to here or read a transcript of at balances the right amount of respect for boxing with a good case that in the UFC, fighters try to finish fights rather than to win decisions.

Mir also noted, correctly, that the live atmosphere at a UFC event is better than the atmosphere at a boxing match -- boxing crowds just can't match the passion of UFC crowds.

And when asked about the bloodiness of MMA, Mir noted that just because boxing has more padding on its gloves and less blood on the canvas doesn't make it a safer sport. In fact, it's just the opposite.

"Boxing, because of the extra padding in the gloves, it does mean you don't get cut as much, but a cut's not detrimental to a person's long-term health," Mir said. "The repeated trauma, taking shots, we don't have a standing eight-count in our sport that I think, in boxing, Wow, you get rocked, I'm going to stand you up and then you're going to try to continue on after eight seconds? You've already been dropped -- doesn't that mean you already suffered a concussion? And you're going to keep fighting? ... That's why we have a better safety record than other combat sports."

Overall, Mir came across as a great ambassador for the sport. Quite a bit different from another recent radio interview.

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