Thanks to the ‘money fight’ between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor in 2017, the interest in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has reached an all-time high. Athletes from martial arts and wrestling backgrounds are jumping into the MMA scene. But is that the only way to get into promotions like UFC or ONE?
In this article, we will discuss the different ways in which you can become an MMA fighter.
MMA, as the name suggests is open to people from multiple martial arts background. To be a good fighter, you need to have
- Striking skills (think Muay Thai or kickboxing)
- Submissions and grappling skills (Brazilian jiu-jitsu or judo) and
- Wrestling skills
While none of these are mandatory, these core skills will be helpful in making you a great fighter.
Start off by mastering one martial art. It will instill physical and mental discipline and give you the ability to tolerate pain. While you train in these skills, compete in as many tournaments as possible. It will help you master the skills faster and also give your body experience in quicker recovery.
Each skill will take at least a year or two to master. Don’t be in a hurry to get into a fight. Once you have a decent hold on all three skills, take part in amateur MMA competitions. Build a reputation and join an MMA gym. They often run a month-long MMA specific camps that can fill in a lot of your skill gaps.
Don’t be in a hurry to get into the professional side of fighting. Without sufficient training, you have a real chance of serious injury. And such an injury can hamper your fighting career. Stay in the amateur ring for 3 years before you turn pro.