Today we are going to talk you through the disciplines you need to become the best fighter on the planet.
The obvious place to start is on your feet as that’s how every match starts. Whether it’s Boxing, Kickboxing or Muay Thai, you need to do something. Boxing has always been one of the biggest sports in the world for a reason. But we are talking about MMA now and as I’m sure you have all seen for yourselves, knees and kicks can do so much more than just knock a guy out. Just like in Bellator 158 when Micheal “Venom” Page landed a vicious knee on Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos.
He actually broke his skull during that fight.
Or when Edson Barboza’s hit Terry Etim with a spinning back kick at UFC 142 in Rio De Janeiro. One of the worst knockouts in UFC history.
Kickboxing and Muay Thai will not just make you a better fighter. Training in them will also help you defend yourself a lot better as you will be able to see moves coming earlier if you are familiar with them. Whether it’s the way the guy drops his arm as he goes for the kick. Or how he goes to his toes before he jumps for that flying knee. Either of these disciplines will benefit you greatly.
Don’t just rely on one aspect of your game
You can be the best guy in the world on your feet but if you haven’t got anything else about your game then I wouldn’t advise getting into the octagon. Just like with James Toney when he stepped into the ring at UFC 118 to fight against Randy Couture. Couture whose background is in wrestling, made it look easy. He might not be known for his ground game but he still schooled Toney. And sent out a pretty clear statement that the next Boxer who wants an MMA fight might want to think again.
August 28, 2010; Boston, MA; USA; Randy Couture (black trunks) and James Toney fight at UFC 118 in Boston, MA. Couture won via 1st round choke.
Why You Need Wrestling
Just like Toney, Royce Gracie is another fighter who relied too heavily on one discipline. Known for being one of the best BJJ guys in the world. The legend was caught out and defeated by Matt Hughes at UFC 60. Although former UFC Champion Royce was one of the best on the ground in the world. It doesn’t count for much if you can’t get the other guy down on the floor to tap them out. Hughes demonstrated this perfectly. With a background in wrestling. Hughes stopped Royce getting him down and showed him just why you need to be an all-rounded fighter to make it in this world.
Why Ground Work Is So Important
Although Royce did struggle in that fight he did have a pretty impressive career, with 15 wins and only 2 losses and he was a UFC Champion. Which demonstrates why BJJ is so essential and arguably the most important skill that you should have in your arsenal. Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu seems to be the most overlooked aspect of many fighters game. This may be as it takes so long to achieve your black belt. 10 years for a BJJ black belt as opposed to less than 5 for Judo and Karate belts. No matter what the reason some people decide not to train grappling as much as other aspects it doesn’t really matter. Nearly all fights end up on the ground. And if you don’t know what you are doing, you can’t defend yourself and you won’t last long.
One of the reasons that GSP was so dominant and another UFC Champion. Here he is pictured with Royce just after they had finished training.
Hit The Gym To Be The Next UFC Champion
As I’m sure all of you know, lifting weights make you stronger and although just being strong alone won’t help you at all against a trained fighter, it will work wonders in addition to all of your other training. We have all been in that situation where you have gotten someone into a move and it’s so close but you just haven’t got the strength to finish it off. Lifting will help here. And with your takedowns. And with your punching. And in everything else that you do.
So we have given you some pretty solid advice here today, so no matter if you are a complete beginner or have been training for years. You just want to get in shape or you really do want to become the best fighter in the world, this guide has given you a solid foundation to work off. So what are you waiting for, get out there and start training to become the next UFC Champion!
And just like any fighter you will need the right equipment so why not take a look at some of the gear we like here
Becoming an MMA fighter requires total dedication and love for the game. The sport is currently one of the fastest-growing in the world. It’s a sport that can help you get in top shape and prepare you for a successful pro career. However, attaining a pro-level statue takes hard work.
In this guide, you will learn what it takes to be a pro-MMA fighter.
Table of Contents
What are the Steps of Becoming MMA Fighter?
Joining an MMA Gym
One of the biggest obstacles to becoming an MMA fighter is the time needed to train and the right gym for quick learning. This is one big issue that requires thorough research before venturing into. To get the right place to practice your skills, you need to look around for gym centers that have the proper training equipment.
Just remember that the first gym you started with might not be your last as you might likely get to know that the gym does not have all the bells and whistle to turn you into a champion. Also, you need to talk to the coaches you will be working with because sometimes, you might discover that the best coaches are not necessarily in the fancy gyms.
This is why it is essential that you first do thorough research on the gym and the coaches that you might likely be working with.
Get protective gear
Practicing to be a good MMA fighter can sometimes result in an injury. That is why it is recommended to always wear protective gear like putting on your boxing gloves, your headgear, and shin guards. These protective gears are specially made to protect you from severe injuries in some areas of the body that might be fatal in case of an accident.
Some gyms may provide you with some gears when you register with them. However, it is also vital that you ask the manager what other tool kits to bring along in case they don’t have it, and it’s necessary for your training.
Here are some necessary gears if you are preparing to become an MMA fighter:
Maintain a healthy diet
Becoming a professional MMA fighter is not limited to hardcore training alone. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t balance your training with a healthy diet.
Professional MMA fighters are known to spend months perfecting the right diet plan to go along their required training sessions. So if you are starting as an MMA fighter, you can take advantage of some diet rich foods like fruits, vegetables, including healthy fats.
It is also essential to limit yourself on your carbohydrate intake and make sure you drink plenty of water before, during, and after every training session.
You can also try increasing your metabolic activities to support your MMA training sessions by consuming 5-6 small meals throughout the day so it can speed up muscle growth.
Eating enough protein is very vital to building and maintaining muscle. For optimum results in your training schedule, you should aim for 0.5 to 0.9 g of protein per 1 pound (0.45 kg) of body weight per day. For instance, if your weight is 150 pounds (68 kg), your protein consumption should be in the range of 75 g and 135 g daily.
Have stand-up fighting knowledge
Becoming an MMA fighter, you must know how to stand and fight. Your training must include developing your footwork so that you can dodge your opponents, kicks, elbows, punches, and knee strikes. Your footwork makes you a better fighter in the ring.
Therefore, to up your training, it is good to train in varieties of disciplines like Karate, Muay Thai, and boxing. However, the best way to develop your footwork and make you agile is through kickboxing.
Learn To Master The Ground Game
Another essential basic technique of MMA training is the ground game. The ground game is where you finish up your opponent by making sure you put them to submission. Ground game techniques are mostly used in Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and Judo.
Also, knowing the right way to defend yourself when you are on the receiving end (and you are already on the ground) is very crucial to winning any fight, especially MMA fights.
Many MMA fighters you’ll come across probably have gone through the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu art, so you need to be very careful and well prepared to defend yourself against submissions. So you must learn and train your submission tactics when you have your opponent on the ground during a fight.
When your opponent is on the ground, you need to find a way to mount him so you can have optimal control. The mounting position is from the back or the sides.
Take opportunities to practice technique(s)
Whenever you are training, always make sure to practice different techniques you were taught from a different discipline. No matter what game you finally settled in, your techniques from other disciplines like Karate, Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, etc. will come handy and can be employed when it’s most needed.
For example, when you are hitting the heavy bag, there are lots of ways you can control the bags either with your punches, knees, elbows, etc. you need to put into action what you have learned to make sure the bag heeds your controls just the way you want it.
Also, make sure you know how to keep your composure even when you are dead tired in training. This way, if translated into a real fight, you have a much better chance of coming out of danger when you are in the ring.
In conclusion, even though the MMA is a regulated outfit, there are still many fighters that get injured for one reason or another.
However, to stay safe from joint injuries, be sure to wear your protective gear and make sure your coaches and sparring partners understand the extent to which you can go in training.
Also, in cases of serious injuries, especially in cases where you think you might have broken a rib, bone, or a concussion consult with your medical professional to ascertain your fitness level.