YOU MAY WANT TO RETHINK BEING A MMA FIGHTER

So you think you want to become a professional Mixed Martial Arts Fighter? No surprise there since MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world, and with its new boom of popularity people of all ages male and female are taking great interest in learning about the sport and what it takes to step into the cage. For many of those people it's a rude awakening and a reality check for them when they get their first taste of “becoming an MMA fighter”. Remember all that blood you see on T.V. May some day be gushing out from your head.

Nothing is quite so much fun as latching the door to a fenced in eight sided cage and testing your self against another person who is just as excited to hit you as you are them. Oh, what's so bad about that? Nothing really, it's the days, and months and years of dedication and hard work and injury that are the real test. So much more goes into being an MMA fighter than just being tough and liking to get hit in the face. There is no greater misconception than the idea that those fighters you see on T.V. Are just some random grunts you find in bars and alleys fighting it out, that's actually quite far from the truth. Most of the fighters that make up the body of the sport, are like any other top level athlete, spending the majority of their days, actually their lives training and preparing themselves for the fifteen adrenaline pumping minutes. Don't let appearances fool you, the sport is 10% physical ability, everything else is a blend of dedication and heart, and sheer aggression and desire to be victorious. Now I am starting to rant, so let me stop here about that and get back to the point of down sides to being a MMA fighter. Again like anything that takes years to cultivate, you're are going to have to make sacrifices and choices as to what you really want. The sport has a funny thing about it, maybe it's one of those things that really only gets talked about when your sitting down away from the mat, but doing this year after year can really take a mental tole on you. As burnt out as you can get physically, the mental aspect is the hardest part of the job. For all my time I have spent training and fighting, the people I have come to know and love in the sport are with out a doubt some of the most intelligent and eccentric individuals I have ever met. It takes a certain breed of person to want to go through it all to make it, not just any one wants to deal with all the down sides to the sport.

Have you ever broken a bone? Maybe, most likely yes, probably an arm, ankle one of those common body parts. It's not a rare sight, we are used to seeing thirteen year old boys running around with random body parts casted up. Now when you broke that bone did you know it was going to happen before you engaged in what ever foolish act that lead to its breaking? Again I am going to guess here and say NO! Where am I going with this- When ever you step on the mat and train, let alone fight, you know you are going to get hurt. As that famous cliché goes- “it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when”. I don't know of any one who has been training consistently for more than a few months that has not sustained some sort of injury, whether it's a cracked, or even worse a separated rib, to something more severe like a broken neck or back, the later examples being the exception and rare. And it's not like getting hurt is all that bad, but it's a strange addiction, training that is. Training fulfills some sort of primal need to get physical and beat some thing up. It's that urge to train that can lead you to do stupid stuff. When you're hurt, I mean hurt hurt, as in a torn A.C.L. You need to rest, and avoid straining that area, but most any fighter will share a story about how they jumped back into action too soon. Too often fighters and simply enthusiast will train through injury, which is not bad. It's making sure you know when to step away from the mat and take the necessary time to heal that really gets people in trouble. Training when you are too hurt to train leads to aggravating a moderate injury into a severe one, and time off the mat was what you were trying to avoid in the first place. Be smart, know when to ease back.

Sacrifice, everyone makes them. MMA fighters, well they make a shit load of sacrifice. Money, how much do you think an MMA fighter who does not compete in the UFC of some of the other top level shows make per fight? Let me answer that for you, cause you probably don't know. Not enough to live off of. So to be a fighter you have to make it a full time thing, but unless you make it to the top level right off bat, which no one does. You are going to be climbing through the rank of local shows like every one else, and in doing so you might be lucky if you get paid $500 for a fight. Yeah really $500. Remember for a days work not bad, but you're not fighting everyday, and nor would you want to. You would be lucky if you got a fight every month, and even luckier if you stayed healthy enough to fight that often. So here is where the problem comes into focus, if you train full time and do not work, how in the hell are you supposed to live off the money you make from your fights? If you have an answer to that one please tell me, I myself and a bunch of other fighters would love to know! When money is short things like rent, and food, and gas come first. Things like health insurance, and savings seem to be pretty far down on the list. So where does that leave some one who maybe never makes it big, and gets hurt and fizzles out? It leaves them in a pretty bad spot.

Being an MMA fighter most defiantly has a big “cool factor”. It's just simple fun, and that should ultimately be the reason you want to do it, let alone make a career out of it. There is really no real money, no real fame, save you the few lucky ones; and your future, well that's the most dismal aspect of it all. It may and can all work out to be a splendid gig that pays huge dividends, but be weary. The sport will take, take, take...it's up to you to make sure it gives back.

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Comments 58 comments

David Hames 8 years ago

This is all so very true, I am an aspiring MMA fighter that's having to work and train jus to make it through life. But the most important part is that you actually love this shit to do it. If you don't like this type of shit, then no way in hell or earth are you gonna get anywhere with it. You will just shrivel up and die like the rest of the weak.


aikidk01 profile image

aikidk01 8 years ago

Very well written article, and so true. Being world champion is, at best, a temporary position even for those we think are invincible.


linda 8 years ago

Very Good ! Go check out mine and let me know what you think.


Ande Moore profile image

Ande Moore 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

Good article. Being a previous pit fighter (90's before it was cool) and working some of the roughest areas in the nation, reality needs to be instilled to some before real injury results. After hours in parks or bars really isn't that glamourous either.


theking 7 years ago

im a mma fighter im never going to stop and till i get to where i want to be


footynut profile image

footynut 7 years ago

Interesting article that highlights the sacrifices and risks that have to be taken i this brutal sport. I for one will stick to watching rather than participating!


Robert Frederick 7 years ago

Awesome article! I will be 25 in a week, for which i must wait to begin training due to restrictions of parole. Fighting is all i've ever wanted and i am making sure my life revolves around training. I did serious sparing in martial arts for 9 years, and your article simply reminded me of how obsessed i am with taking it to the next level.


undrgrnd 7 years ago

i was nervos about my first fight , i wasnt for sure if i wanted to do it or not but i just jumped in there. i lost the fight but i had the most fun of my life. now im training all the time and waiting for the next fight. i dream about winning fights in my sleep i love this sport.


undrgrnd 7 years ago

i was nervos about my first fight , i wasn't for sure if i wanted to do it or not but i just jumped in there. i lost the fight but i had the most fun of my life. now im training all the time and waiting for the next fight. i dream about winning fights in my sleep i love this sport.


mma shirts 7 years ago

Well written article! The thing is these fighters are born this way! There are some things in fighting or mma that no one can teach you.


fan mma 7 years ago

I wanted to become some type MMA fighter. But to tell you the truth, i just don't want cauliflower ear. People say wear earguards, but like u said, its not if, its when. I'll just practice my muay thai!


Jordan "Heartless" Gonzales 7 years ago

This I find very helpful. I got two more years until I start competing in local shows. But, I train everyday from the time i'm get out of school until the place closes. I dedicate my heart and soul into this. To me this is more than just a sport its a life style.


Tomek 7 years ago

Article has a very good point. Physical ability is only 10% of becoming a successful fighter. Dedication, desire, discipline, drive and determination are essential components of being a good fighter. Also you need to have some kind of ugliness in you.


Travis 7 years ago

Well, I think local fighters in my area(Spokane,WA) are into combining sport fighting with drugs.Meth, in particular.


Travis 7 years ago

Address in Spokane,WA is 1212 N. Pines RD. they have a cage too, and mats and dummy fighters for practice.They also hit the bags.


Tyson 7 years ago

Since local fighters can't make enough money with $500.00 per fight, they should look into a government grant.Sometimes a person can receive 10,000.00$ without having to pay back the government and during that time, if you get a grant, there are rules and laws such as apartment managers cannot deny you housing.I have seen the unemployment rate and times are hard.Make sure you mention with your job application that you are on a grant.Most employers will accept you.(Spokane,WA)


offset 7 years ago

It's a long and tough journey. These professionals dedicate their lives to the sport. Excellent and timely article.


Dino 6 years ago

Yeah Ive been training with team valdez in whittier ca. I gotta say Im tired of all these kids wanting to step into my octogon cage and think they can take on me Dean "the mean machine" Ochoa. Ive been training long and hard to get where I am and I guess you can say Ima take it to the next level. I like to call it SUPER EXTREME MMA FIGHTING CAGE MATCH 2010 copyright 2010. So yeah That's what Im working on.


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marcoaltenburg 6 years ago

I like to see my own blood, that's mainly the reason i fight


Kimmy 6 years ago

I've ruptured my ACL from a leg sweep, we were recording our training sessions and to watch them back and see where we could improve. The thing I was most disappointed about at the time was how unimpressive it looked on the footage. It was the first time I had been stopped dead. Normally I'd injure myself and like you say ignore the pain and finish off the fight. This time I stood back up, went for a kick and my leg just buckled and I ended up on the floor again.

I'm from Britian and had to get it done on the NHS which made me wait over a year for the surgery. I finally had it done just before Xmas just gone. But let me tell you, it's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I've never employ much will power when it comes to listening to my body, I continued playing rugby and training in Muay Thai with my ruptured ACL dispite it frequently giving way, popping, or greatly swelling up. Post surgery I'm trying my hardest to listen to advise and not rush things - but the injury has just fed me with more passion an I know I'd ruin my future if I did anything stupid.

If you go into fighting you have to expect to gt injured. You can't bitch and moan about it, you are putting yourself in that situation, you are choosing that path and the only REAL reason for you to do so is for the love of going toe to toe.


mmasquad 6 years ago

This is exactly why Coal Akida of http://www.fearnopunch.com is being so high lighted in the MMA world, Coal akida claims that after 18 thousand hours of combat training that he has found some of the missing links for the MMA . We our doing mainstream research on Coal and his new training ideas.


MMA pound for pound 6 years ago

these fighters are really strong and they do lots of training to be able to bear all these pain during a fight.


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TheMMAZone 6 years ago from Kansas

Very well put article and thumbs up. A lot of people don't consider this side when wanting to fight in the UFC!


mmagladiador 6 years ago

this article is very right i mean i love this this is all i noe fighting its all ive ever done in my life sence very young these assholes just have to pay us more i mean do u see how much boxers get paide they get millions in one fight look at oscar de lahoya last fight he made i think it was like 22 millions or something and boxers don't do nore risk a fraction of what an mma fighter puts on the line boxer in my oppinion they box not fight we fight cus we are fighters and we don't even get a fraction fraction of how much they make they will make more cash i one fight than eny ufc fighter will in there hole life wether is chuck or anderson silva this is just frikin stupid


brandon 6 years ago

this is very true im planning to join the army for 3 years make some money and come back get a small job and train part-full time i would like to know if this seems like a decent plan


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captainchris 6 years ago

Very informative! Thanks for taking the time to write this article!


daniel 6 years ago

Wow what a great article, but if you want to really get into fighting right now and you happen to live close to the NJ/NY/CT/PA area, you can go to and Martial max MMA gym and get a free training class. It's pretty sweet, here is some more info on the promotion.

http://yovia.com/blogs/teterboromma/sponsor/ ?utm_source=yovia1677%2B&utm_medium=yovia%2B&utm_campaign=yovia%2B


dan 6 years ago

Great article that's very informative. The consequences of mma does take a toll on the body. Fighting is good for a while but quickly your body will break down.


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FransieEvans 6 years ago from Manhattan, New York

i have specially put up a mixed martial arts website that has descriptions and history of all the different types of fighting styles so that people can learn more about the origins and maybe make their own unique combinations! http://m-m-a.yolasite.com/


advice 6 years ago

Joining the army is a bad plan if u want to be a fighter.

If u get hit, u will not die, but u wont be able to train as a cripple.


TAPOUTMMA 6 years ago

I hate to agree on your blog but everything you have said is true. If you really love this sports you have to be prepared mentally & physically. Conditioning is very important as well as proper nourishment. You have to win yourself first before winning others, 100% discipline. No smoking, no alcohol, sleep enough, good food and train hard.


jimjam 6 years ago

Yes I agree but you could be talking about any sport!! Soccer, Rugby...you name a sport and you could get badly hurt!


Bbaaahhh 5 years ago

You don't soppos to get hurt


Nick Evans 5 years ago

shut up bbaaahhh that's something everyone knows, im not a mma fighter... yet im only 15 but i do shor n ryu its a japanese mixed martial arts im pretty experienced in martial arts this my third one im only a white belt but still there are many times we train or have class or spar and people do get get hurt but the matter is are you willing to get up or just sit there and cry


chris 5 years ago

this page is so stupid


name 5 years ago

will really be since im still in school/early teen years i plan to wrestle all the way through high school and try to find a camp eathier now/soon or then after high school i workout and lift weight got into a few fights at school i know that doesn't mean much but does anyone have any tips on how to achieve my goal and wear camps are i plan on someday going to the ufc and yeah i jst don't want to be and am not a trash talking fan who thinks its easy and runs through the guys that he can knockout


jackson 5 years ago

i was hit by an mma trained fighter in a local pub 2 of my mates with him them and i were talking and he arked up and said have u got a problem then plunged farward and right hooked me putting my tooth thru my lip and badly bruising me i then stumbled backwards a bit tripping over my thongs he then started kicking in to me i was after a pleasant evening no intensions of fighting at all im severely injured what can i do about it want to put him up 4 assault charge tho dont want to be a dog


jackson 5 years ago

i was hit by an mma trained fighter in a local pub 2 of my mates with him them and i were talking and he arked up and said have u got a problem then plunged farward and right hooked me putting my tooth thru my lip and badly bruising me i then stumbled backwards a bit tripping over my thongs he then started kicking in to me i was after a pleasant evening no intensions of fighting at all im severely injured what can i do about it want to put him up 4 assault charge tho don't want to be a dog


Tj 5 years ago

Jackson in the pub. There was probably a reason u got ur ass kicked people that press charges are bitches. I just beat a guys ass at walmart last week and he whips out a cellphone and threatens to call police? What ever happened to real men ?


Tj 5 years ago

I think there's lots of stupid ppl out there wanting to b mma fighters that have no heart or real skill, just becuz u know how to do an amrbar and walk around wearing affliction tees don't mean shit, it takes unwavering determination, outstanding heart, and great skill to fight and win, u have to make it your life not just a weekend hobby.


callum mcintyre 5 years ago

i want to fight and be really fit and big and be the best i can be i will be the bets and will train 12 hours a day i am willing to do anything to be an mma fighter and want to start asap


CHANDAN KALITA 5 years ago

Its informative but one thing which I am not able to understand whether you are encouraging people or you are trying to stop them . MMA or WBC is always a brutal & deadly game we all know that . If you don't have the guts U should not step inside the ring there are Pple around the world wanting to become a fighter because they think they can do only thing in life "Fight". MMA is not like Gulf any bump can play just for fun its real man's game. Its not just about money or fame its about Love for the game, a burning desire to be best fighter in the world its about to do what you actually want to do.but it can always be dangerous for the people those who do not have the patience to train & workhard for 5 or 6 years continously before stepping inside the ring. There is no shortcut .......


Benjamin 5 years ago

I got a question. I have never really been into a fight but Ive taken a lot of crap from people where there was times I should have fought. I feel like i have what it takes to be a fighter. I guess I want to know if it's possible to be a good fighter without having any experience.


HeadHunter Reasor 5 years ago

i just recently started the MMA and im going unbeatin. and but its different in the real world. i have a wife in twin girls lol. i work two jobs MMA and police oficer.


light 4 years ago

Good article. I'm 15 and currently training for almost a year now. I feel like the article is really discouraging fighters. No it's not about the money, we all know that. No it's not about the fame. It's about your passion for the sport. Your mental strength, your heart, your will to move forward and overcome an obstacle. I study, and I train hard. That's my determination, and I will believe to become a great martial artist. Though I might not become a champion, but in my gym, I will definitely be the best.


soul staker 4 years ago

Ludacrous article when considering that your mind is to become a realized consciousness. How are you to experience the potetiality of union in God, if your brains are scrambled?

Listen, I once was a promising light heavy in the 70-80's for six years. I boxed at the 5th street gym, Miami beach. I became a Golden Glove,& Sunshine Stae champion, so I am not talking out of turn. I went to a place in nature where I fell in love with the Creator and my ego vanished; thus, leaving me in a celibration - where no words can describe. For you who reads this, perhaps it is you and only you who will see what I prescribe here. Dump that idiotic thing you call a sport and join the celebration that IS.


zach 4 years ago

This is an awesome article. I have trained traditional Martial Arts for over 19 years. I enlisted in the Army at 18, and eight years later I am a disabled veteran (ruptured discs and torn ligaments in my spine and shoulder). Through the pain, I began training MMA as a way to find the ultimate test in my Martial Arts journey. Three months into my training, I fractured my right hand. I now have a titanium plate, four screws and a pin holding my hand together. I was told that striking wasn't an option two months later, I was training with my injured hand wrapped and slid into a glove. Four months later, I tore my medial meniscus. Six months of recovery, wanting every day to jump back in. Now i am fully healed. I write this just to say one thing. NEVER sell yourself short. My own Father told me just this evening, "Give up. You aren't good enough". My response? "We'll see". I look to go Pro, not because it' s 'cool'. Not to be the tough guy on the block. But to prove to myself that I CAN. Pain is temporary, but PRIDE is forever.


JacksonTellerSOA NOMAD 4 years ago

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Boytitan 4 years ago

Been training a year or 2 no broken bones here. Stoped reading after that non sense. If you breaking bones in training your in a bad camp or out of shape.


ShinoMachida 4 years ago

I'm 16 and training for around 1 year, my base is Karate which i train in club and MMA which I train on my own, at least stuff i can do on my own :S Since there are no MMA clubs in my town. I'm training around 2 hours/day everyday of week. Atm I don't even think about letting it go


REDFIST profile image

REDFIST 4 years ago from suriname

well i'm 14 and treaning efry submision choke holds locks and wrestling moves and other styles i train muay thai judo theakwondo karate capoeira i cant train wrestling becous in mi town ther are no wrestling gyms and i'm sparing with my cussin


anthony u 4 years ago

I am 14 and I have been training mma for about a year and a half and I just simply stopped training. I am going back into it seriously thinking of doing to become a pro that's my dream


REDFIST 4 years ago

that's my dream as well man no boddy cant take this away from ad first i thought dansing was for me but its not fighting is i wil train and train realy hard zo that i can be the light heafy weight champion i wil train add the Jackson's Gym the man that i want to be like is jon jones yea man he is my hero man


Wesley 4 years ago

I'm going to be a pro one day. I don't hope or dream to be one. I will be one. Then I'll become better than every one. But the thing I know I'll be looking for is that one person who will rival if not surpass me in every thing. And will make me fight to a new level of strenth. That no one else has ever reached. Then I'll be known as the best that has ever lived and will live.


mohamed 4 years ago

i can be a great fighter if i had a chance


michael bones craig 3 years ago

idk what you are doing if you have never had an injury i am a mma fighter have been for about 2 1/2 years i am going pro in january have 16 mma fight and 3 kickboxing matches i will have my 4th next weekend but honestly don't understand how you can say this article is bogus i have trained with world ranked guys and they also have had injuries fighting takes a tole on your body and i aint saying that because i have a losing record actually it is quite opposite i am 11-5 mma and 2-1 kick boxing i am a 145 fighter but have had 3 mma and 3 kickboxing at 170 i even beat a wec vet in kickboxing so i have alot of knowledge of what you go through and if you are training hard everyday 12 hours a day you are bound to mess up something so you are full of it and are at the wrong camp not to mention people in the ufc and other organizations are getting injured i mean some are even #one fighters in the world but i guess they are at the wrong camps hhhmmmmm i believe your theory is incorrect but just my oppinion


aaron 3 years ago

hello i really in joy your artacile but Fighting is in my blood i am 19 years old and in my final year of high school and i plan to join the marine corps and my friends and i have started our own mma group since we do not have the money to pay for a gym right now my friend is trained by his ex-spicale forces father and i am trained on my own learning what i can. every time i spar someone one who is in a martal arts mostly black belts i lose but they always tell me i have something and that i need to keep working on it so i plan to work as hard as i can to join both the marine corps and MMA and become the best i can be


FaithKeeper 2 years ago

First let me start off by saying awesome informative article. People need to understand both sides of the fence. Second, to those who are trying to disprove his words, he is only trying to give information not stop you from pursuing your dream. If it's your dream you shouldn't let anything anyone says stop you...it's YOUR dream. Third, to those who think joining the military gives you an advantage, I am a former Marine and I loved my job but please understand the difference between military fighting and MMA. Also there is more to the military than the martial arts experience, so please don't join just to try to start a MMA career because that's not what it's about.

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