1700s fighting techniques are used in modern MMA!
Long before the Marquis of Queensbury rules came into effect, bare-knuckle boxing was how it was done and, believe it or not, there are actually some similarities between the old bare-knuckle boxing of the 1700s and modern MMA, particularly with certain fighters.
In this video from fightTIPS, Shane goes over some of the differences in strategy and punching techniques as well as some similarities that a few elite level, modern MMA fighters have with the old style of bare-knuckle boxing.
Conor McGregor, for instance, is one such fighter who has a similar style to the old school bare knuckle boxers. Instead of throwing wide, looping shots that may damage your hand if they don’t land right, Conor throws straight, accurate punches that the old bare-knuckle boxers used to prefer and are much less likely of breaking your hands.
Nick Diaz is another modern MMA fighter with the same kind of bare-knuckle style. In his fights, he often doesn’t throw with 100% power behind his punches. He throws much more ‘popping’ type shots which, again, is much less likely to injure your hands and would carry over to bare-knuckle boxing much better.
There is also an argument to be made, much like UFC commentator Joe Rogan often likes to point out, that having no gloves may actually be safer. Much like the argument in professional football where fewer pads may be safer on average. Bare-knuckle MMA may look more brutal and may result in more surface damage (cuts, bruises, etc.) but it could very well be safer in terms of head trauma as you couldn’t blast someone with crazy haymakers like you normally do with gloves as you’d break your hands.
Oftentimes, though, in many of the modern ‘bare-knuckle’ fights you see today online and such, the combatants are wearing hand wraps which kind of defeats the purpose as the wraps strengthen and reinforce the hand but do nothing to protect the person you are hitting and may hurt them even more.