Reality Check: What it takes to be an MMA fighter at an elite level

Whether it’s boxing, MMA, basketball, squash, rugby to name a few sports I hope this information provided will give you an insight and direction.

Here in the Philippines, you are not afforded the same opportunity as other countries when it comes to MMA promotions.

Unfortunately it’s a third world country. So it’s third world ugly as my student taught me.

It’s ok to fight in amateur leagues. That will build your experience and credentials up. Nothing beats experience. I fought amateur and other boxers as well had many many fights before turning pro. We don’t get paid in amateur. If you happen to make a few pesos doing it you are fine. Amateur is just that non paid participant.

Semi pro does not exist as a classification. It’s either amateur or pro. Here in the Philippines we have semi pro. In USA semi pro is a fighter that works a full time job and get paid to fight , it’s just not enough to support him. Pro fighters get a monthly salary from managers so they can concentrate on training full time.

Training to be a pro mixed martial arts fighter is no easy task. You will be tested physically and mentally. Your relationships with family, friends and your significant other will be tested. You have to put in the time doing road work, practice striking and grappling and strength and conditioning. This will occupy three sessions a day easily taking 2 hours a session.

Some females have it worse then others with their menstrual cycle. Some miss one week of training a month and have to make the time up on the remaining three weeks.

Preparing for a fight will need to commit more time and to make weight you will need to diet and cut weight to a point where you will go thru suffering. You will be injured and in pain most of the time from training. You will be irritable from diet along with injuries or pain. That’s the reality of it. You can’t train all the time and not be injured or in pain. If you are not consider yourself very lucky. You will have doubt of course before you fight and if you lose the fight you need to be mentally strong. Those that make excuses after usually don’t succeed in this business. Those that miss training constantly won’t succeed either. Why would they? Nothing beats hard work you have to be there and train. Talent only gets you so far.

You have a dream to be a professional athlete? Eat, sleep and train. Don’t get involved with nonsense to stray you off the path. If you chose to be a pro athlete, this is the life. If it is too hard that okay. It is not for everyone. Obviously no smoking or drugs. Alcohol consumption should not be regular at all. You should have no time to drink and party. You should be eating well and sleeping, not burning the midnight oil.

You will be missing birthday celebrations and parties and other events. Your friends and family will not understand. They are not walking in your shoes and do not understand the commitment it takes to be successful.

Others train for fun and self defense and enjoy it very much . Fighters don’t get that luxury, everything is about training if you want to be a champion.

Remember when you are tired and quit, someone is training harder than you to win!

This is the reality in life and recipe for success. If you want something give it your all.

When I was training I was working also and did not have a lot of money. All my money was invested in coaches, food, supplements and travel expenses also. I worked all day and traveled 2 hours plus each way into New York city on trains and subways. The best coaches were there and I sacrificed a lot to learn skills.

I did not want to learn crap and waste time with someone close to me for convenience.

What did not change is my desire to succeed and my passion for the arts. Relationships changes, jobs change, financial status change, living arrangements change but life goes on. One thing was constant and that was martial arts. It was always their for me, since the age of five. If you want something you need to work for it. Nothing should get in your way!

This is the reality of dreams and success. If you want something, go for it, commit 100 percent. No excuses.

Choose a coach and teammates who have a proper moral compass. Choose a coach that tells you things to make you better as an athlete and person, not just tell you what you want to hear. When you mess up it’s okay to be corrected. Correction is different then demeaning.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Good luck and I wish you much success and happiness in life!

Ch*ke you later!

Coach Adam

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