Sam Stout's knockout of Yves Edwards at UFC 131 turned heads, but was the boxing "good boxing" or just "good boxing for MMA"? (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Now I'm not showcasing this just because it's a nasty knockout, though to me a good knockout is a good knockout, and this is a pretty damn good knockout.
What I'm looking at here is the boxing behind Stout's knockout of Edwards. He lands a right to the body, gets clipped with a right from Edwards, and comes way over the top with a super loopy left hook that just clubs Edwards down. And make no mistake -- Edwards was knocked out. He was in a bad way.
But the reason I'm putting this up here is because to me, this is a great example of the difference between boxing and "boxing" in MMA. I'm not dumping on boxing in MMA -- there's so much else to worry about for those fighters that they can't really do straight up boxing the way boxers do it. They have to worry about kicks, about takedowns, about a number of things that boxers do not have to be concerned with in their fights.
Sometimes, MMA folks will talk about a fighter's great boxing skills, and I've always kind of said, "Yeah, it's good boxing for MMA." This is sort of what I mean -- Stout's boxing here is not great, but it's good for MMA and the environment of that fight. But would I look at him and say, "That guy could box"? No. This is why I don't look at Nick Diaz and assume he'd actually be successful in boxing. KJ Noons is a pretty good MMA boxer with some pro boxing experience, too, but he wasn't good enough to beat James Countryman, and Countryman never boxed again.
Again, this is not meant to crap on Stout, the knockout, or MMA. Like I said, this is an excellent example of what I mean when I say that MMA boxing doesn't necessarily translate for boxing fans -- this is good stuff, and it's exciting, and it's a hell of a knockout that will be among the nastiest of the year in either sport, and I still wouldn't look at this and wonder how Stout would translate to boxing, even though he's a kickboxer and Muay Thai guy (I rarely wonder how those guys would translate either, for the record).
Am I wrong here? Surely someone reading this knows much more about Stout than I do, and I'm open to the debate of what MMA fighters might cross over well.