Boxing is a hard science and mixed martial arts is crude thuggery. In the ring there are occasional ear-nibblers, in the cage it's a sanctioned street fight. One is art within rules, the other's a bar brawl. That's what my friend says yesterday after watching the Conor McGregor-Khabib Nurmagomedov riot. The aggressive glint in his eye suggested I should not disagree.
It's not sport, he insists. Neither is synchronised swimming, quips another colleague. I'd better direct him to two videos on YouTube. One of a synchro team doing pull-ups in L-position which makes you wince just to look at; another of the precision of movements needed to stand upside down and still in water.