How To Start An MMA Career

Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

An MMA career begins with joining a local gym and obtaining the necessary training in the fighting style. MMA combines elements of multiple martial arts from across the world. The fighting styles are merged together into a cohesive whole, allowing for efficient and smooth brawling. Top MMA fighters are found participating in organizations such as UFC and Bellator. Also, you can check out the betting odds 2021 to get more information about pro-mma fighters. 

To have a successful MMA career, training in martial art should be conjoined with strong self-promotion online and in the media.

The sport at a glance

Currently, MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world, with 1000 professional fighters across the globe. The total number of people partaking in martial art across the world is much higher, thousands of times more. There are currently UFC gyms located in 31 different countries across the globe, with the sport having a strong presence worldwide. Joining an MMA gym and getting the right MMA gear is the first stop to a successful career, however, less than 1% of the fighters ever make it to professional leagues. Top MMA organizations include UFC, Bellator, ACB, FNG, Rizin FF, Pancrase, and others. 

Gaining basic experience

Before beginning to train in the sport, it can help to learn the basics of other combat arts. Spending a couple of years mastering boxing, jiu-jitsu, or muay thai is necessary for a successful career in MMA. Understanding grappling, punching, and fighting from other disciplines can help train a strong athlete in MMA. The founding blocks of the sport are based on other martial arts, therefore some preliminary training is required. Further, it can broaden the fighting horizon of the athlete and help them succeed in strenuous discipline. 

Spend 10,000 hours training 

A good MMA gym will feature strong coaching, good training, and competitive fights. It takes at least 10,000 hours to perfect any craft, therefore expect to dedicate a minimum of this length of time to mastering MMA. Spending 5 days a week training for 4 hours a day will yield 10,000 hours over roughly 10 years. The training should include actual MMA fights, coupled together with mental and physical routines. Gifted athletes can succeed in half the time, however, ordinary people will need complete dedication and financial resources to maintain the tough training regimen. 

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At what age should you start MMA?

The younger you begin at a sport, the better it is. This phrase applies to every activity, less MMA. Joining a gym at age 10 is not a good idea. In fact, the perfect age to start training in mixed martial arts is 15-16. At this age, the muscles of the body are developed enough to withstand the physical challenges of the sport. While the mind has a strong enough stamina to accept the challenge. The minimum age to join a professional MMA tournament is 18, therefore do not rush your child to a gym before they are at least 15-16 years of age. MMA requires strong physical endurance from sportsmen, and prior experience in fighting can greatly help in making a career in the sport. 

Take on a challenge

After spending at least 5,000 hours training to fight, a person is ready to attempt a challenge. The best way to launch a professional career is to participate in fights with rivals that are more experienced than yourself. This can greatly nurture vital aspects of the fighting style, train the necessary muscles, and help get noticed by large promoters. This does not mean fighting athletes that are heavyweight when in a featherweight category. Instead, challenging more experienced fighters, with 15,000 hours of training experience behind them. Taking on a challenge against more professional athletes can prepare the sportsmen for the real tournament held by the UFC. 

Prepare for injuries and take it as a job

A good MMA fighter will need to prepare themselves for injuries. Skull fractures, broken limbs, skin tearing are all common in UFC fights. Having the psychological strength to withstand severe beating is pivotal to making a career in the sport. Keeping the body in shape is necessary, and this requires proper nutrition and daily exercise. MMA is an extremely heavy contact sport, and the challenge is not for every person. Strong fighters maintain a good balance in their daily routines and train extensively in their free time. Being a UFC fighter is like having a full-time job. Spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week on mixed martial arts is necessary to succeed in the professional league. 

Promote yourself

Self-promotion is necessary for becoming a recognized MMA fighter. Using social media networks, online services, and digital channels can help build a successful image as a professional athlete. Self-promotion can help sportsmen become noticed in the MMA field and lead to them being recruited by top organizations. A strong athlete needs to showcase pivotal examples of their fights against more experienced contenders. They should focus on their skill set, abilities, and talent and demonstrate themselves to be ahead of their competition. Learning to promote oneself on the internet requires basic research and reading, however, the time and money invested will immediately begin to pay off. The greater the initial investment in promotion, the higher will be the eventual returns. 

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Remain fluid and dynamic

To succeed in MMA it is pivotal to stay ahead of the curve. Learning multiple fighting tactics and molding them into a coherent whole can help win matches. Being quick with your mind allows formulating coherent tactics and strategies to be used against tougher opponents. Agility and smoothness of fighting can help win major competitions and get noticed. MMA is very dynamic, therefore it is important to pick a training gym with the best coaching available. Spend at least a few thousand hours practicing MMA at the gym, and then try taking on a challenge of a stronger athlete. Remember to promote yourself on social media and try to receive attention from the fans of MMA. The sport is very dynamic, and adopting a correct fighting style for each opponent is necessary. Never remain static and stick to just one strategy, instead shift tactics on the fly for peak efficiency. 

Can you start MMA with no experience?

It is possible to begin practicing MMA with no prior martial arts experience. Although it is advised to spend 2-3 years learning other combat sports, a good MMA gym will let in novices and teach them how to fight. The sport is very challenging to learn, but spending 1,000 hours training each year can help build a strong fighter within ten years. The optimum age to begin MMA is 15-16, however, it is also possible to start at 18-19. Just make sure your muscles and body are developed enough, and try to lose weight before commencing. Good MMA gyms will allow participants to begin training even if it is their first sport. However, having no experience in martial arts will make MMA more challenging to learn and will require additional dedication from the athlete. 

What age is too late for MMA?

40 is the cut-off age for MMA, although beginning at the age of 30 is already too late to make a career in the sport. The majority of top MMA sportsmen are twenty-somethings, and while there are those that have begun at 30 and succeeded, they are naturally gifted and have had extensive prior martial arts experience. The athlete’s body should be in a good shape and ready to absorb damage from multiple hits. At age 25 the body fully stops developing, and at age 30 it begins to age. At 40, the physical body enters a latent phase, and the aging rate increases rapidly. And while it is theoretically possible to master MMA at 35-40 and succeed, making a successful career at the sport is highly unlikely. In fact, many UFC champions have begun practicing the sport at an early age, and have had plenty of prior martial arts experience. Any contact sport is challenging, and being a twenty-something is ideal for MMA. Further, it will take 10,000 hours to become a professional, which translates to roughly 5-10 years of continuous training. So add at least 5 years to the initial starting date to see the final age. 

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How do you start a career in UFC?

To begin a career at the UFC, it is important to have a professional fighting resume. Combined with prior experience, significant training behind you, and a strong history of success. On the UFC webpage, click the “Apply to be a Fighter” link, and then head for the TalentBid. There it will be possible to create a personal UFC profile, listing important information about yourself. These details need to include prior fighting history, health status, videos, photos, and a reason why you want to become a fighter. Any professional sports organization will require prior experience, and UFC is no different. List some fights you have won against more experienced athletes, fighting accomplishments you might have, strong aspects of your body and health, and photographic evidence of successes. A career in the UFC is very challenging, mentally demanding, but financially rewarding. 

The importance of mental stamina

Every new contender for the MMA should remember that mental stamina is pivotal for the sport. There will be many fights that an athlete will lose, sometimes sequentially. After training for months and spending all the money on MMA, being knocked out can severely damage one’s self-esteem. MMA is very competitive, and being able to withstand heavy competition is essential. Mental stamina and desire to succeed in the long run are necessary for a successful career in the sport. There will always be someone stronger than yourself, so remember not to take any loss personally. Just because you have practiced for 10,000 hours does not mean that you will win every fight. Maintaining a lead over opponents can be challenging, and when in financial distress, stressful. Every aspiring cage fighter should remember that top professionals in the league all have endured sequential losses. This should not demotivate the athlete, and they should keep on fighting in spite of it.