How To Become A Professional MMA Fighter? (A 2023 Journey)

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Conor Mcgregor How To become a professional MMA fighter

How does one become a professional MMA fighter? What steps do you need to take? Can anyone be a professional MMA fighter? In this article, these questions will be answered.

MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts, is one of the most popular sports in the world, and happens to also be the fastest growing on the industry. What MMA has accomplished from its emergence is mesmerizing.

As it is widely and quickly rising, more people are aspiring to get onto the MMA world. Multiple promotions and organizations have sprouted and has given platform to brave fighters, seeking for further success and on putting an entertaining show for the audience.

If you are interested in taking on the road of becoming an MMA fighter because you want to achieve fame and fortune, or because you have a burning passion to do so, then you should look further than just fighting.

Becoming an MMA fighter is not an easy journey. You will be facing a lot of challenges, adversities, pain, and even financial problems before you get to have your own matches. Along with these, you must develop skills and talents to have better opportunities!

In fact some MMA fighters will not be earning much in the early stages. You can find out how much they earn here! If you are up to the challenge, then read on and figure out how to become a professional MMA fighter! Let's begin.

Is MMA A Safe Sport?

The usual question that is often asked by people who are interested in MMA is "Is it safe?". To be honest, all sports have their own hazards and players are susceptible to injuries, but what we are talking about is in the hurting business.

Since MMA is a full-contact and combat sport, then expect that things could get uglier than most sports. However, recent studies have found out that MMA is a lot safe compared to boxing! I have written an article about this. Read it here and you will actually be surprised about the truth it contains!

When you train, you will usually wear a headgear for protection, right? However, with the recent discoveries, this will actually increase the chances brain injuries, especially that you will be receiving repeated blows to the head!

But then again, a headgear can be really useful in some situations. It can protect your ears, nose and other facial parts. The main danger of MMA is when you start sparring heavily, as well as compete at high levels.

Apart from that, it is also not safe if you train under fake instructors. So when you are looking for gyms and instructors, find out about it first. When you are a beginner, it is most important that the fundamental skills you will develop are the correct ones!

You Must Have These Traits

1. Physical Toughness

Being an MMA fighter really requires a lot from your body, not just during your matches but also in training.

What I mean by physical toughness is all about knowing if you have overtrained yourself already. Because if you don't you will end up injuring yourself, which may lead to cancelled fights and can delay your progress as a fighter!

Always remember, that you are just a human being. You have your own limitations. Training twice a day or even more, will surely take a toll on your body. So be sure to know when to rest.

2. Physical Ability

Almost every sport really requires everyone to have exceptional physical ability to be able to overcome the challenges and outperform your competitors.

If we talk about MMA, then it really requires great physical ability. You must enhance your endurance, speed, flexibility, power, coordination and many more. Furthermore, it is essential for you to have pre-existing ability to make your muscles produce coordinated motor-patterns.

If you have past experiences in other sports, it will be very beneficial since your body has been exposed to strenuous activities.

If ever you tried other sports yet failed, then you better think again about pursuing your MMA dream because if you failed that sport, how much more this one which is a lot challenging?

3. Support

Although MMA fighters are on their own inside the octagon (with their opponent), behind the scenes, there are a lot of people who support them.

Being an MMA fighter requires a very good support to help you along your journey. Dedicated coaches and training partners can transform you into the best fighter you have dreamed of.

Apart from that, you need people who will take care of your injuries and your health condition. Your support should be very dedicated to you as well as generous of their time in helping you.

4. Mental Toughness

You should have the motivation, the drive, dedication and the tenacity to always keep moving forward. It will not be a pleasant journey, that's for sure. Even the training will be challenging.

Be sure that you have the will to go through all the pain, physical and mental. Take all of these and still be willing to continue. Let's not forget the times wherein you will be facing losses. Don't let that bring you down.

There are a lot of talented fighters who are equipped with the abilities and physique to become an elite fighter, but doesn't have that mental toughness. They give up before their dreams even become realized.

5. Intelligence

Who said that combat sports only involve the body? The mind really plays a vital role in sports. First and foremost, you should be a fast learner and be able to understand all of the techniques you need.

Furthermore, be very intelligent in using these techniques inside the octagon. You must be able to think fast and strategize whenever you are fighting your opponents. And remember, each one of them have different skills and styles. So you need to adapt.

Always use your mind along with your body. Strike and defend wisely. Intelligence is what makes fighters champions, because they are able to think of ways that will make them win.

6. Discipline

Ask yourself if you are willing to sacrifice everything for your MMA career. Are you willing to train everyday and spend most of your life in the gym? I know that you have other goals in your life.

However, in being an MMA fighter, it is necessary for you to put them on a leash first and focus on pursuing your MMA career. When you are inside the octagon, facing your opponent, forget everything except on the the match itself and how to be victorious in the end. Avoid distractions.

Talking about how to become a professional MMA fighter, discipline is a big factor. It takes a lot of dedication and focus to learn the techniques and hone your body to make it capable of such. 

7. Mean Streak

No matter what you believe in or your values, be ready to really hurt someone. After all, that is somewhat the goal here. You strike your opponent, inflict pain, until he/she can't go on anymore.

Reality is, MMA is a sport where you win by hurting your opponent. If you can't deal with that, then just don't delve with MMA or any combat sports. It goes both ways too, when you fight you risk yourself getting hurt.

If you're afraid to get punched or kicked, why would you want to know how to become a professional MMA fighter in the first place?

8. Great Background in Martial Arts

Although it is not a requirement for you to have a background in martial arts before starting, when you do, it will be a huge advantage. Having at least one martial arts can make your life easier.

That martial arts can serve as your specialty since you have been practicing it for years in the past. You can really utilize it inside the octagon, along with a few of other styles.

Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling. These are just a few of the best backgrounds for martial arts. In the following sections, we will be discussing them.

When Is The Best Time To Start?

Honestly, there is no such as the best age to start training for MMA. In other sports, usually they are seen as "the earlier, the better". It is not the same in MMA.

However, studies have found out that the best age to start training for MMA is between 15 to 16 years old. This is the time wherein your body is fully, if not, almost developed. Furthermore, in this range, you will have a lot of time to train, develop and enhance your body as well as your skills.

Having a few amateur fights before 18 years old is also excellent to give you a taste of experience of what it is like. Besides, MMA organizations such as UFC, do not sign fighters who are under 18.

If you are in your 20s, do not worry! It is not too late for you to start training and pursue your MMA dream to be a professional. The world of MMA is rapidly growing, giving more space and opportunities to people like you.

If you are in your 30s, you can still train MMA for your self-defense which serves very useful in different real-life scenarios. All kinds of martial arts are for everyone. That's the beauty of MMA. No one can judge you.

Which Martial Arts To Choose?

MMA is short for Mixed Martial Arts. Fighters are well-decorated in various forms of martial arts. For beginners, it is normal for you to be clueless about which martial arts to train first. Furthermore, knowing that all martial arts are not the same, you should know which is the most important and useful one.

If you really aim at becoming a professional fighter, then I suggest to train in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Moreover, Boxing and Wrestling are useful.

I chose these because both Muay Thai and Boxing can help you with your strikes, footwork and head movement. BJJ and Wrestling are really efficient in giving you the techniques and skills in grapples, submissions and even groundwork.

Always remember that MMA fighters should be well-rounded. Do not just depend on one martial arts. After all, this is called Mixed Martial Arts for a reason.

If you are only looking to train for fun or for self-defense, Muay Thai is great too. It can help in improving your physical and mental condition. If not, you can also try our Boxing, Krav Maga, BJJ and a whole lot more.

Choosing A Gym

One of the important factor in becoming an MMA fighter is of course, the gym, along with the instructors and trainers. They are the ones who can greatly help you transform!

With that being said, it is very advantageous to train with excellent and experienced instructors. You can look for gyms that offer lessons of the martial arts of your choice.

There are also MMA gyms that already offers different styles. I suggest that you should check out the gyms around you first. Compare all of them; the prices, the offers, instructors and even the equipment and gear.

The average cost of MMA gym membership is $100 per month. That doesn't include the gear you will be using such as gloves, guards and other equipment.

Gear And Equipment

The next important thing that you will take care of is your gear and equipment. Other than the reason that it is unsafe for you to train without these, MMA gyms do not allow their fighters and clients to train without them.

They are really strict about safety when training, and especially during sparring sessions. There are a lot of various options of gear and equipment for different martial arts such as Boxing and Muay Thai.

Furthermore, there are options that are for men and for women also. I suggest that you look for product reviews of these to make sure you get the best! Do not take this for granted because your gear and equipment play important roles in your training.

Training Schedule Issues

This is one of the most common thing that people face when training in the gym. Either they have a conflict in their work/school schedule, it can be an issue to fit your training schedule.

Aside from the fact that you can find ways to adjust or you make a deal with the gym instructors, you can create your own MMA gym at your home.

You can actually save a lot. Plus, working in your home can be great since you will have your own time and freedom. And do not worry about the workout since there are MMA workouts for you to do at home.

But then again, it is always better to have an expert to help you out. To keep track of your progress and hold you accountable. But if you are still on the beginner level, you can do it at your own house.

Bottom Line

Well, there you have it! That is how to become a professional MMA fighter. Always remember to take your time and hone your skills before engaging into matches. You are not racing against time.

Furthermore, when training, safety is a priority. Always warm up before doing your workouts and do not forget your gear and equipment. 

Becoming an MMA fighter is a long and difficult journey. So you better prepare your body, mind and heart to take everything that will be thrown at you!

Thank you so much for reading my "How To Become A Professional MMA Fighter" guide! If you have comments or questions, please feel free to leave them on the comment section below!

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