Originally Posted by Ybot
I do want to state from the beginning I am only a fan of MMA and not a fighter, so any advice I give should be taken with that in mind. I do have 6+ years of BJJ training, but never intend to fight in a MMA event.
Okay, that said,I am a a strong believer in having a very strong base in one fighting range before attempting MMA. I look at the top fighters today and they have at least one range of combat they specialize in. Whether it be striking range, clinching range, or mat grappling (top or bottom).
As a person with a wrestling background you should look for a way that you can dominate an opponent from the mat. You should have a solid top game already, and continuing with the BJJ for a year or two should give you enough background to understand and defend subs from there. In your BJJ training you should also zone in on a few bread and butter subs from the top that you can pull off, and really concentrate on reversing and sweeping from the bottom (in case you are put on your back).
Also, I would say learning how to strike from the mat, and how to defend strikes on the mat will be important. I would say a year or two training these things could make you a monster of a fighter at the lower levels of competition. This solid base after a year or two should be added upon by learning to defend at striking range, and setting up take downs off of strikes. These things will be extremely important as you progress in MMA career, but with proper management and match ups I don't believe you will have to master these things before your first fight.
Anyway, I would suggest about two years of solid training before going pro, but I know this may seem a long time. Just my suggestion though. I'm a cautious guy and would rather error on the side of being over prepared.
Of course, within those first two years there are MMA smokers you can enter, and grappling tournaments too. Competing in those amature events can help you better gauge your ability to go pro.
SOme excellent advice here, and a very good point tooMost current MMA fighter do see to have one specility espically the older guys.. though I have started to notice alot of the newer younger guys are of the BJJ/MT hybrid weather this is a good thing or bad is a great idea for a debate on another thread... but for here yea with a wrestling background.. I'd also put more focus there on ground technique with subs and such. But you do also want to get some good striking skills in case you end up going against someone with great take down defense.. Hence the Chuck vs tito fight. Chuck a great striker with great take down defense against tito a great ground fighter but average striking game.. Gonna get beat more often then not by someone like chuck. but regardless of what route you go.. you need to give it your all in training or your not going to have a shot.