Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that demands a unique blend of skills, dedication, and mental toughness. To become a successful MMA fighter, one must be prepared to endure rigorous training, learn various disciplines, and make sacrifices that few other athletes are willing to make. Whether you’re just starting your journey or looking to take your skills to the next level, here are some tips to help you become a true MMA warrior.
Find the Right Gym and Coach
Your choice of gym and coach is arguably the most critical decision you’ll make as an aspiring MMA fighter. Look for a reputable gym with experienced coaches who can teach you various martial arts disciplines, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling, and boxing.
Although there are many MMA organizations and leagues all over the world, getting into the UFC is the primary goal. With the help of a knowledgeable coach, your journey towards the UFC becomes more realistic.
If you want to be an MMA fighter who wants to be a favorite UFC betting pick for fans and experts, then choose a coach who’ll see and develop your potential and push you to the top of the MMA game. One example of a great coach is Greg Jackson from the Jackson Wink MMA Academy.
Greg Jackson has coached Georges “Rush” St-Pierre, considered the GOAT of MMA. He is also training Jon “Bones” Jones, another GOAT candidate, the current UFC Heavyweight Champion, and the world’s #1 pound-for-pound fighter.
Master the Basics
In MMA, a strong foundation is key. Spend ample time mastering the basics of striking and grappling. Solid fundamentals in striking include footwork, proper stance, and effective striking techniques such as jabs, crosses, and kicks. In grappling, focus on takedowns, escapes, and submissions. Don’t rush your development, but ensure you have a solid grasp of the basics before advancing to more complex techniques.
Train in Other Disciplines
Don’t limit yourself to a single discipline. You might be the best striker in the world, but if you don’t know how to defend a basic takedown, then you won’t make it far in MMA. That’s what happened to James Toney, a professional boxer who held multiple world titles as a middleweight, who decided that wrestling moves were “boring.”
Randy “The Natural” Couture, a UFC hall of famer, took exception and accepted Toney’s challenge. Couture pounded, ragdolled, and eventually submitted a hapless Toney, showing everyone why you need to respect the multidisciplinary expertise of being an elite MMA fighter.
Being a complete fighter instead of a one-trick pony is the recipe for being a successful MMA fighter. For example, former Lightweight Champion Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira, one of UFC’s most feared submission artists, won his title via TKO against Michael Chandler. Former Welterweight Champion and elite wrestler Kamaru Usman has more KO wins than submissions in his UFC career.
Train Hard and Consistently
MMA fighters are known for their incredible work ethic. To succeed, you must train diligently and consistently. This means working on your physical conditioning and honing your mental skills. MMA training is grueling, but the dedication to hours of practice and constant improvement will set you apart.
Nutrition and Weight Management
Your diet is a crucial component of your MMA journey. Proper nutrition and weight management can make or break your performance in the cage. Work with a nutritionist to create a diet plan that suits your body and training needs. Cutting weight for a fight should be done under the guidance of professionals to ensure you don’t compromise your health.
Mental toughness is as important as physical skills in MMA. Learn to control your emotions, manage stress, and stay focused during a fight. Visualization, meditation, and positive self-talk can be powerful tools to enhance your mental strength.
Study and Adapt to Your Opponents
To be a successful MMA fighter, studying your opponents is vital. Watch their previous fights, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, and develop a game plan to exploit their vulnerabilities while protecting your own.
With the info you have, you’ll have to adapt and adjust. In MMA, adaptability is key. Every fight is different, and being able to adjust your strategy in the heat of battle is a hallmark of a great fighter.
In the UFC, non-title fights are 3, 5-minute rounds. For ordinary athletes, completing those rounds itself is a big challenge. But what if it’s a title fight? Title fights in the UFC are 5, 5-minute rounds. The 4th and 5th rounds are often called the “deep waters” as many fighters, including elite-level ones, begin to fade. MMA fights are physically demanding, so you must have exceptional cardiovascular conditioning.
Becoming a successful MMA fighter is a journey that demands unwavering commitment and a relentless pursuit of improvement. By following these tips and staying dedicated to your training, you can work towards becoming a true MMA warrior who excels in the cage and inspires others with your determination and skill. Remember that becoming a great MMA fighter is not just about physical strength but also about mental fortitude, discipline, and the will to be the best.