The big debate surging through the world of professional fighting right now is whether the traditional Boxing Ring, or the more recently developed MMA Cage, is a better space – in terms of size, layout, visibility, safety and practicality – to stage or train for a professional fight.
The truth is, there are advantages to both, and it really depends on the fighting discipline you practice, and the way you want the fight to be staged. In this article, we’ll go through all the most important factors and considerations, the history of both stages, and the crucial specifications, so that you can invest in the right ring or cage for your fighting needs.
But ultimately, whatever your circumstances, the most important thing is that you use an industry-standard ring or cage, made from high-quality materials, designed by an expert manufacturer – like Payantog Sports. This will ensure the safety, quality and world-class standards of your fighting practice.
History of the Boxing Ring
A modern boxing ring consists of a square raised platform with a post at each corner. Four ropes are attached to the posts and pulled parallel under tension with turnbuckles, to form the boundary of the competition area.
Construction of the ring environment extends to maximization of lighting in the ring, minimization of heat of the lighting, and a complete as possible cut-off of illumination at the ringside. This is to improve the visibility of the ring for the fighters and the audience, so the details of the fight are clear.
The name “ring” is a relic from when contests were fought in a roughly drawn circle on the ground. The first square ring was introduced in 1838 and was specified as 24 feet (7.3 m) square, and bound by two ropes. Modern boxing rings are slightly smaller than this, and construction materials have drastically improved to ensure safety and practicality.
History of the MMA Cage
Though MMA has been a discipline in professional fighting across the world for centuries, the practice has only been globally standardized in the last few decades. So the standard MMA Cage is a fairly recent development.
A UFC MMA Cage is typically an octagonal structure with walls of metal chain-link fence coated with black vinyl. The standard octagon has a diameter of about 30 ft (9.1 m) with a 6 ft (1.8 m) high fence. The cage sits atop a platform, raising it 4 ft (1.2 m) from the ground. MMA cages could also be a hexagon or even a circle.
The UFC helped legitimize the sport when it was founded in the early 1990s and created modern MMA as we know it, which included the introduction of the Octagon. The Octagon was created with both safety and fairness in mind. Its walls and padded surfaces protect fighters from falling – or getting thrown – out, whilst the wide angles prevent fighters from getting stuck in a corner with no way out.
Pros of Boxing Ring
The boxing ring is the traditional symbol of fighting, with boxers using it for hundreds of years. Many MMA organisations still use the ring so they can put on multi-faceted events that include MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai. The ring provides a familiar look to fights that new fans of the sport will recognize.
The boxing ring also provides a clear view to all the fans and judges watching, with no risk of a fighter getting pressed up against it, making it hard to see what is happening. The ring stops fighters practising what many fans see as boring ‘wall and stall’ tactics, where a fighter holds his opponent against the wall to run down the clock.
The ring ropes act as a barrier. But with a certain amount of give, providing a “softer boundary” than the cage. This allows fighters to move more freely without being stuck against a wall, but it also means they can fall or be thrown through the rope barrier.
Because the ring tends to be on a raised podium from which injury could occur, fighters and referees will work to avoid competitors being thrown through the ropes. This encourages a slightly different kind of fighting and movement through the space.
Pros of MMA Cage
There are many benefits to having a solid cage surrounding the fight, the most obvious one being the physical barrier. The inclusion of a cage means it’s impossible for fighters to fall out of the fighting arena causing a stop to the action or even injury. This means fighters can fight without having to worry about their parameters.
The cage also allows control of who enters the arena before, during and after the fight. Most big boxing fights end with masses of media, corner men and family members rushing into the ring after the final bell with no barrier. A cage normally has just one or two entrances – this allows the promoters to verify everyone who enters the cage.
Another benefit of the cage is it allows a complete new aspect to the fighting game. The cage gives fighters another surface to fight on, besides the mat, which can give fighters control their opponents while in the clinch, or to defend and complete takedowns.
The cage is a major aspect in some fighters’ games, especially wrestlers, who can use the cage to hold their opponent in place and grind on them wearing them down for the rest of the fight. Although not known as the most exciting style of fighting, ‘wall and stall’ grappling is extremely effective and has won fights for many highly regarded competitors.
Sizes of Boxing Ring
A standard boxing ring is between 16 and 20 feet (4.9 and 6.1 m) to a side between the ropes with another 2 feet (0.61 m) outside. The platform of the ring is generally 3 to 4 feet (0.91 to 1.22 m) from the ground and is covered by about 1 inch (25 mm) of padding topped by stretched canvas.
Sizes of MMA Cage
MMA Cages are much more varied in size. The 750 square foot Octagon UFC measures 9m (30 feet) across, and 1,85m (6 feet) high, manufactured with the highest-grade steel and padded with top quality foam products. A standard catwalk is 1m (4 feet) all the way around.
Materials of the Boxing Ring and the MMA Ring
It is absolutely crucial that the Boxing Ring or MMA Ring you use is made from the highest-quality materials: heavy-duty steel, quality timber, industry-standard foam padding, and canvas covering.
This not only ensures the aesthetic look of the fighting space, and the practicalities of the fight, it also profoundly improves safety for fighters, coaches, referees and audiences alike. So it is important to purchase your ring or cage from an experienced, established, and reliable manufacturer like Payantog Sports.