Views #1208 | Intermediate (B1)


Mike explains to Erina about Mixed Martial Arts and how it is different from boxing.

Erina: Hi, Mike. I was wondering the difference between MMA and boxing? What are the differences?

Mike: Well, there's a lot of differences actually. MMA stands for mixed martial arts so I guess by the name you can tell that there are a lot of different variations of MMA. It's usually a combination of stand up fighting and ground fighting. So in contrast with boxing, boxing is only stand up, you never fight on the ground and with MMA there are many different styles and different tournaments, different kinds of rules. There's fighting standing up and there's fighting going to the ground which would also include submission and so right off the bat that's quite a big difference there.

Erina: Oh, I see. Do you like MMA better or kick boxing better because I know you used to box, right?

Mike: Yeah, I mean kick boxing is definitely, you know, heading towards MMA whereas boxing is quite a strict discipline and the rules are a lot more basic whereas MMA has different variations and stuff. It's very difficult to choose which one I like better. I really enjoy watching both and I don't compare them as if one is better than the other but they're just very different sports.

Erina: Oh, I see, I see. So you know in Japan pride and kaewan are, you know, very famous here.

Mike: Right.

Erina: What about in Canada? Is MMA big?

Mike: Well, recently in Canada as well but, you know, in America, in North America now MMA is really big. It's much bigger than boxing is now and UFC, Ultimate Fighter Championship, is the league which is by far the biggest MMA league in the world and it's been growing in popularity ever since it started and I think the reason that MMA is becoming so much bigger than boxing is because it's so much more versatile. You have people from so many different disciplines in martial arts and recently it's not enough to be just disciplined in boxing or taekwando or judo or jujitsu, you have to be disciplined in various disciplines because the guys that are the best in the UFC league they can do it all. So they can do stand up fighting, punches, kicks, they can do ground fighting so some people would say it's more interesting to watch and you get a lot more people from different places and different styles so I think the doors to MMA are open a lot wider than they are to boxing.

Erina: Wow. I would love to go watch MMA tournaments one day.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely. They're a lot of fun so please check them out.

Erina: Yeah, I will.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson



There are a lot of different variations of MMA.

When there are 'variations' between similar things, there are small, but significant, differences between the different types. Notice the following:

  1. This is a variation of a soup my grandmother used to make.
  2. Many people play this card game around the world, so there are lots of different variations.



There's fighting going to the ground, which would also include submission.

Here, 'submission' refers to the act of one opponent giving up during a wrestling match. Notice the following:

  1. The match ended with submission less than a minute into the first round.
  2. Most of his matches end with his opponent submitting.

off the bat


Right off the bat, that's quite a big difference.

'Right off the bat' is another way to say 'to start with.' Here, Mike is using the phrase to talk about one big difference the two sports. Notice the following:

  1. So predictable. I get a new white shirt and then spill something on it right off the bat.
  2. I think she knew right off the bat that they were going to get married.



MMA is becoming much bigger than boxing, because it's so versatile.

A 'versatile' fighter would be able to use a large variety of methods very well and easily switch back and forth between them. Notice the following:

  1. My favorite thing about these shoes is that they are so versatile. They're comfortable too.
  2. He's one of the best players on the team, because he's very versatile.

check them out


They're a lot of fun, so please check them out.

You tell someone to 'check something out' when you want him to see or experience it. You 'check out' things that you haven't seen or done before. Notice the following:

  1. There's a new movie that I would like to check out.
  2. Did you get a chance to check out anything interesting on your business trip?

Vocabulary Quiz

variations • submission • the bat
versatile • check out
  1. I prefer martial arts that does not include .
  2. This is the most jacket I own.
  3. I know this seems like a lot of information right off , but you will learn everything really quickly.
  4. Is there anything else in the city you would like to ?
  5. There are many different of this dance depending on what part of the country you come from.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

More Lessons

1210 Mad and Embarrassed
1210 Mad and Embarrassed
Vella talks with Daniel about her life.

1209 Mixed Emotions
1209 Mixed Emotions
Daniel talks about his emotions.

1208 MMA
1208 MMA
Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing

1207 Natural Concerns
1207 Natural Concerns
Mike talks about him doing martial arts.

1206 Boxing as a Sport
1206 Boxing as a Sport
Mike talks about how he started boxing.
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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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