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How to become an MMA UFC fighter
How to become an MMA UFC fighter
So how does one go about becoming a Mixed Martial Arts or UFC fighter?
There are many ways to becoming one. If your Brock Lesner its easy, name recognition, but for the rest of you mortals, who have little to no experience in combat sports, chances are you wont be getting a title shot anytime soon.
So how do you do it? Most American MMA fighters start off at having a single base fighting technique. Most experts agree that having a good wrestling background is a great way to getting into MMA. UFC fighters usually start out in college with wrestling, wrestling develops strength and conditioning. From wrestling the fighters will then transition into stand up fighting like boxing and kickboxing, and then work on there submission defense with judo and jujitsu.
Being a good fighter in the gym and fighting in front of thousands of fans, where the pressure is intensified, are totally different things. First you need experience, that is where NCAA college wrestling comes in hand, most college wrestlers are used to fighting in front of big crowds and dealing with pressure. MMA fighters coming from Boxing and Kickboxing backgrounds are also usually well experienced with fighting in front of crowds. Others, in the United States at least, with judo and jujitsu backgrounds don't have the same atmosphere of crowds that college wrestling or boxing have, but those disciplines do teach a person to stay calm and work on your opponents weaknesses.
What if you don't have a wrestling background or have never really taken any jujitsu lessons or fought in front of crowds? Let's just say your a person who doesn't have any experience at all but you still think you have it in you to make it into the UFC or other MMA promotions. For starters you need to start training, there are multiple MMA gyms in almost every city in America, and usually the guy running the gym has fought for a major promotion. Once you get into the gym and have at least a year of training, then your next step would be to remove all your wisdom teeth, yes I said remove all your wisdom teeth, why you ask? Well for one removing your wisdom teeth gives you a better chance of NOT being knocked out when hit in the face with those small MMA gloves, I'm not sure why but its something Quinton "Rampage" Jackson told me. After the healing is done, from a visit to the dentist, seek out the small time promotions in your area, in California there are numerous small MMA promotions looking for up and coming fighters, they don't pay much but the experience is worth it. After 4 or 5 fights you are ready for the big time. Some guys I know try out for the UFC realty show Ultimate Fighter, most don't get on the show and the ones that do only a hand full are good enough to step into the octagon. Getting on the Ultimate Fighter also means you have to have a personality on camera and if your not willing to sing and dance on camera for the UFC boss, Dana White, then its not for you.
Your next step would be to get an agent or if you don't want to give up that ten percent then keep fighting in small promotions until someone notices you. If that doesn't work and your still not signed with the UFC try Strikeforce and if that fails, your next step should be moving to Japan. Mixed Martial Arts, was at one time, big in Japan, not so much lately but still relevant. The Japanese based Pride fighting championship, which the UFC eventual bought out, was the biggest in the world at one point, these days its Dream fighting championship. If you still can't land a gig in Japan, your next move should be Europe preferable the Eastern bloc or England where the sport is rapidly growing.
Hard work and determination should help you get at least a shot at making it to a big MMA promotion, so keep at it and never give up the fighting spirit.
And what if you make it to the big time only to loose via a head kick knockout or a ground and pound by a giant wrestler, what do you do then? Easy, just move back in with your parents borrow money and open up a gym, teaching the next wave of MMA stars what you learned.