How to become an MMA fighter

The journey to becoming a successful MMA fighter can be easy and challenging at the same time. It is considered as one of the booming sport in our world today, and yet the most challenging. According to numerous internet sources, there are over 5,000 professional MMA fighters. With at least 13% of this number having being contracted by The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Even though the MMA fight is a real fight, a defined set of rules is followed, like any other sport. Also, one can do hunting as a sport. One can check details at opticsvilla.

 Millions of people, both male and female, desire to participate in this sport to earn a fortune. However, it is only a few of them that make it to become successful MMA fighters. So, what do you need to be among the few? Is hiring an instructor and enrolling in a gym enough to become an MMA fighter? Here is what you need to know about MMA and how to become an MMA fighter.

What is MMA?

MMA is a shortened form of Mixed Martial Arts. The sport is sometimes referred to as cage fighting. MMA is a fighting sport that combines combat techniques from diverse martial arts disciplines, including Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, boxing, and Thai-boxing. As a sport, it takes place in a designated area, which could be a cage or a simple boxing ring.

The main players are two fighters called MMA fighters. Each player aims to get dominion over their partner by using three basic strategies: finishing holds, striking, and control. The fight is won when one of you submits, gets a knock-out or when the officiating referee deems it fit to stop the match. A match doctor may also assist the center referee in stopping the fight, and a winner is announced.

Just like any other sport, MMA fights are guided by some rules. Breaking any of the rules may lead to disqualification of the match regardless of who seems to be winning. However, before a disqualification, when a foul is committed, the referee can choose to penalize the offender by deducting them a point or some points. In most cases, disqualification of MMA fights occurs when one of the fighters has been incapacitated or when either player commits an intentional foul.

How do you become an MMA fighter?

Nobody was born as an MMA fighter. Even though some physical attributes from birth may help you become an MMA fighter, you need to be determined to be the best. Other factors such as age, personality traits, and resources are paramount considerations when looking to become an MMA fighter. Here is a brief discussion about these factors.

What Is the right age to join MMA training?

July 19, 2020; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil secures a rear choke submission against Joseph Benavidez in their UFC flyweight championship bout during UFC Fight Night at the Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports

In sports like football and basketball, you should start practicing early; actually, they say the earlier, the better. This is, however, not the case with MMA training. To become a professional MMA fighter, begin your MMA training when you are at 15- 16 years. Your body is almost fully developed at this age bracket, and you can take control of your physique by observing your diet and exercising. To fight in MMA, you need to be physically fit. 

Joining this sport at an early age equips you with superior fighting techniques since you started acquiring the skills early. As a teenager below the age of 18, you will have an opportunity to train and participate in amateur fights. Amateur fights will give you the best experience of becoming an MMA fighter.

To become a professional MMA fighter, you must attain the age of 18 years. At 18 years and above, you can be contracted by the big MMA organizations like the UFC. You can join MMA as a fighter even when you are in your 20s. You aren’t too late! Even in your 40s, you can still start training for MMA. However, at this age, you are better off training for self-defense or as a work-out; it’s a great sport anyway.

Is MMA fighting gender-selective? Even though MMA fights were earlier on dominated by men, things started changing in 1995. The first women MMA fight was on 18th July 1995; women’s MMA tournaments have been on the rise since then. Whether you are male or female, you can take part in MMA fights. Some of the MMA organizations like UFC also allow transgender professionals to showcase their MMA skills. While UFC has allowed transgender MMA fighters, this has not been easy on the organization; it has received criticism from different angles.

Traits to have as an MMA fighter

As you are looking to become an MMA fighter, there are particular traits that you need to be identified with. They include;

  • Physical toughness: MMA training is vigorous. You may be required to train twice a day. These trainings are likely to cause straining of your muscles, ligaments, and entire body. Can your body put up with this? Due to MMA training’s seriousness, your body should be able to detect when you are over-trained; this will save you from suffering injuries. Your body needs to be tough for you to progress from training to a fighter.
  • Mental strength: you need to have the motivation, the drive that pushes you to the next level of training. MMA training requires a lot of determination to persevere the pain and exhaustion and still be there tomorrow.
  • Discipline is vital: you should be ready to do what it takes to be a successful MMA fighter. Devote your time in the gym without expecting any monetary benefits as a beginner till you get to a level where you will be paid to fight. Dedicate all your resources and energy to pursuing the goal of becoming a great MMA fighter. Any resource or energy used outside your journey to becoming a good MMA fighter is a set back to your goals.
  • Be a mean streak: In the MMA cage, you will either be the anvil or the hammer. You should be ready to hurt your opponent, or you be their victim.
  • Have the physical ability: To be a professional MMA fighter, you need to have strength, good speed, endurance, and good coordination. Improve your physical abilities before starting up as a trainee.

Get the appropriate gears and equipment

Before joining any MMA training, you need to have the right gears. Besides the fact that most MMA gyms will not allow you to join them without the appropriate gear, training without the apparatus can lead to severe injuries. Some of these gears include;

  • A quality gi: It is the best gear when you are learning BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). It is a tailored Japanese kimono-shaped dress ideal for this sport.
  • Boxing gloves: They are appropriate when you are training amateur boxing and Muay Thai. For Muay Thai, you can get customized shorts that are appropriate for training Muay Thai.
  • MMA gloves: When you get to a professional MMA fighter level, you will require them.
  • MMA headgear: A headgear is paramount when at an amateur and professional MMA level. The gear will protect your head from injuries during your training.

How Do You Become A Strong Fighter?

June 27, 2020; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khama Worthy (blue gloves) punches Luis Pena (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the UFC APEX. Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports

There are two key areas that you should major in;

  1. Stand-up fighting: Sharpen your skills in Muay Thai or boxing.
  2. Work on your ground fighting techniques: You can improve your wrestling and BJJ skills.

While it is not easy to become an expert in the areas above, it is essential to defend both of the two areas. To take part in MMA heavyweight tournaments, start training with BJJ and Muay Thai. The combination of the two will give you reliable striking and defensive abilities.

Enroll in A Credible MMA Gym

To become a successful MMA fighter, you should join a reliable gym club. The gym should have a certified MMA instructor, nutritionist, and physicist. The three make up a good support team to your journey to a great MMA fighter.  Remember, this is where you will build your fighting skills, create time to attend the sessions. If you are attending a full-time job, you will need to get the right balance when attending the gym and when to work.

Start Networking and Promote Yourself

To reach the greater heights of an MMA fighter, you need to have useful links. If you are below 18 years, start with local amateur fights to boost your skills. When you attain 18 years, proceed to lower-division fights. Win the fights, and your reputation will put you on top.  

Come up with your website where you can showcase your MMA fighting skills. Share the link to your website on different online platforms, and you may get yourself a link to feature in the UFC.