Even though MMA has been increasingly more popular over the past decade, is it suitable to be a career?
MMA might not be the best career option for you. Only a very few fighters who are committed enough ever make a living out of the fighting. On top of that, your career might only last for a few years, or a decade at best, if you start young and keep winning.
Let’s go through the pros and cons of an MMA fighter career, and some other aspects to think about as well.
Is being an MMA fighter a good career?
In short, becoming or trying to become a professional MMA fighter and making a career out of that is highly unlikely. It is a tiny minority of fighters who can actually make a living out of fighting, compared to the majority of people who never make a dime out of fighting.
Of course, there are some good things about being an MMA fighter as well, if you make it to the top. That might be all the fame and you actually can get paid really well, if you become the next big name in the MMA.
Now, let’s go through a simple pros and cons list of being a professional MMA fighter.
Pros of being a professional MMA fighter:
- Might pay well
- Being in good shape is necessary
- You will be able to defend yourself
- Being an MMA fighter is super cool
- You will meet other famous fighters
There might be more, but that’s most of the benefits.
Cons of being a professional MMA fighter
- It is highly unlikely you will make a living out of fighting
- Risk of injuries
- Your prime time only lasts for a few years
- Being famous can equal a lack of privacy
- You will have to train a lot
- Strict diet
- Can be a highly stressful career path to go by
How long does it take to become a professional MMA fighter
The time it takes to become so good at MMA to become a professional fighter varies. Typically, it takes from 4 years to 7 years of regular training. It depends on your physical condition, training schedule, and ability to learn new things.
Let’s say you start your training at the age of 18. You might be able to start competing after a few years, and possibly make it to the UFC by the age of 25. Keep in mind that you also have to actually win the fights in order to advance in your career.
Not everybody can handle the pressure. No matter how hard they train, their mentality might not be able to handle the pressure in the ring, when their career is on the line.
Now, back to the example. You are 25 when you get to the big money fights. You have around 5 years of career left if you keep winning your fights and won’t get yourself injured too badly.
Of course, there are some fighters that are +30 years old but the best time to be a fighter is around that 25 to 30-year range.
How to become a professional MMA fighter
To get started, you should be less than 25 years old. Preferably under 20.
You start to train hard under a proper coach and eat strictly. After a year or two of training, you might start to compete in some amateur-level tournaments.
If those go well, you might eventually make it up to higher-ranked tournaments, such as regional championships, etc.
You will slowly have to work yourself up to bigger tournaments. Keep in mind that you should also be winning. It’s really difficult to prove yourself if you keep losing over half of your fights.
On top of that, maintain a strict training schedule and diet.
Becoming a professional MMA fighter takes really hard work, the right choices, and a little bit of luck as well.
So, is becoming a professional MMA fighter a good career option? I would not bet on that. It is highly unlikely to make any money out of fighting, even if you were to train really hard.
Some people dedicate their entire life to fighting, yet never make it to the highest levels.
MMA is great as a hobby. But as a career? Not for everybody.
That doesn’t change the fact that some people manage to make a good living out of fighting. However, that is just a tiny minority of all the fighters who desire to become professionals, and it takes a lot of work.
Really, you would have to dedicate your entire life to fighting to even have a chance of succeeding. If that’s what you’d like, go for it. Don’t let some random guy on the internet tell you you can’t.
I hope this was helpful, have a wonderful day!