Hey guys, I really want to become a mixed martial arts fighter as soon as I'm done with college. I've been thinking for quite some time now. I love the competitiveness and I really miss being an athlete. However, I'm very OCD and competitive to the point where if I do something, I have to be the absolute best at it. I hate sucking at whatever I do and I hate losing. Like how hard is it to get into the UFC depending on how athletic and mentally strong you are? I don't want to do something without 100% effort but I'm scared that my 100% effort will just make me an average MMA fighter costing me my time and money. I'm thinking about the cost of food, coaches, gyms, injuries, etc. I guess I don't want to get stuck in a sport that's almost impossible to shine in. I'm very scared of putting in time and money into something that I won't be amazing in. I'm scared that I might have a fragile glass chin that I don't know about haha. I'm graduating from college soon and after I have a full time career I want to pick this up on the side.
To say a little more about myself, I'm 22 and I wrestled in high school. I qualified for states three times and placed twice (6th and 2nd). On top of that, I started wrestling in high school. I currently walk around 160 pounds and I consider myself incredibly strong for my size. If I were down to 7% body fat, I could walk around at 125 pounds easily. I cut a lot of weight in high school and dieting is something easy for me. How much time do just average MMA fighters put in a week? Where could I start as an amateur? Should I join an MMA gym first, boxing gym first, muay thai, etc.? What percentage of MMA fighters make it to the professional level and is this a sport that I'll end up losing money in?
There's no way to say exactly how easy or hard finding success in this sport will be for you in particular... But assume the worst. Assume that your chances of making it big are pretty shit (because they are) and assume that you'll probably spend years of training and fighting to never make it past the local scene. Because that's the truth for most of us in the sport.
But if you're okay with that, and you enjoy doing it, then that's awesome! And you might, with that attitude, last long enough to have your lucky break. But yeah, it is essentially a big risk in terms of investment (time/money/health). But what isn't?
So if I were you, I'd sign up at an MMA gym and start training. Depending on your aptitude, they might let you fight in a year... they might make you wait two or three. It all depends on what you put in and how quickly you pick it up. The wrestling will definitely help!
Anybody can make it into the local circuit after about three to five years of solid training. Most I see are too eager beaver though...
So true. If you train 3-5 years first, you'll be SO well prepared. But like you said, so many people are so eager to jump in that few people build themselves up first. But the bright side of that, is that the amateur circuit is full of people who have only been training for 1 year, so if he only have 12 months of training under your belt... he might be able to hang just fine!
To make it short train for at least three years straight then you'll see if you want it. Training alone is grueling. Once you see the gap between beginner, intermediate, amateur fighter to mid tiered to elite pro then you'll understand what it truly takes to be what's considered legit.
Everyone and I mean everyone is always gung ho in the beginning. Til they get in there and see for themselves what's it's truly like. What makes me think is that somewhere out there in the world there's a kid who's dirt poor that's training his leg kicks on a banana tree, and rolling on makeshift mats or even on the pavement. Truly dedicated to the art because fighting will be the only ticket out. That's motivation.