Career - Where to go from here?

Discussion in 'MMA' started by The Decay of Meaning, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. The Decay of Meaning

    The Decay of Meaning Valued Member

    I have a few questions which will be highlighted.

    I've been involved in martial arts since I was a little kid. I've been watching MMA fights for a few years now, and my trainer has also started doing MMA competitions. I've often thought the MMA wannabees are silly creatures, getting involved in martial arts for the purpose of being to be a UFC star or whatever.

    However, an episode which happened Saturday this week changed my outlook and I have decided to pursue a career in MMA. This is a long term goal.

    Right now I am studying and having a part time job. I am currently doing BJJ and boxing, but I would like to expand the skill set by doing some kickboxing or karate.

    Time is a constraint here, and I don't want to quit my studying because a plan B is always a good thing to have. I can't see how I can squeeze in karate or kickboxing classes. How should I proceed from here?

    I have planned to start doing MMA competitions when I get my brown or black belt in BJJ. Is there any point in starting any sooner?

    Also, when you've started going into competitions, what are the best ways to get promoted and making a name for yourself?
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  2. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    I'm not a pro but here goes:

    Honest answer? Drop boxing and take kickboxing. Karate IMHO will not give you a solid base if you want to be an mma fighter not unless you're some super freak like Machida (I mean that as a term of respect for the guy) boxing is far better and kickboxing is better than that. If the classes don't coincide then boxing is still a good art to have before starting mma.

    First things first I hope you aren't planning on doing competitions without at least some form of experiance in a martial arts gym or sparring with mma guys. Training in two arts doesn't mean you can effectively blend them you need practice to do that ( sort of common sense so sorry if that's patronising) I can see a big benefit in starting mma training before you reach black belt as the sooner you start doing your bjj in that environment the better. I went into mma expecting it to give me an advatnage and it did. Until people started elbowing my nose through the back of my head.

    NO personal experiance or real knowledge but off the top of my head? Local newspaper involvement, repeatedly fighting at the same venue, promotion, or local area and build yourself a solid local fanbase. Once the regualars at the show know your face move from there.

    To be fair though your best bet is to find an mma gym. Having their affiliation not only makes finding and entering competition easier and give you solid training the fighters all talk about local fights and it'll get your name out there quicker if you've got the backing of an accomplished gym.

    For example my old gym was run by an ex cage rage fighter. Being on tele once or twice does wonders for your gym.

    Hope I'm of some help
  3. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Oh BTW nice to see you made the decision not to drop studying :cool:
  4. bill.costlow

    bill.costlow New Member

    So you're looking to eventually go pro?

    We have to assume:
    1. You enjoy beating people to a pulp. (no, I'm not saying this is a bad thing -- you WILL be facing people who do enjoy this, and you have to be prepared).

    2. You don't mind losing teeth or sustaining serious injury inside the ring for little or no compensation (the people you'll be facing are already in this mind set).

    3. You seem to feel that your kicks need work -- I'd recommend finding a good MMA school *that regularly competes regularly and has produced a few champions* -- get evaluated first hand by one of the senior instructors -- they can line you up with a training program that will help you reach your goals.

    Promoting yourself? First thing is you need to be a consistent winner -- get to that point and things will start falling into place.

    Good luck, you are getting into one very challenging career field.
  5. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    A' la Liddell. Oh yeah his book is hardly a guide to becoming a succesful fighter but its a fun read and it does give a little insight.

    And outside. You've got to accept you're going get injured in training and be out of fights for a few months

    While people are giving warnings actually one I've got to give is UFC fighters are paid reasonably well considering the size of the sport (Liddell in his prime was getting upwards of 200 000 a fight) but you've also got to accept that fighting is not going to be an easy way to bring food through the door.
  6. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

  7. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Or be well liked already?
  8. The Decay of Meaning

    The Decay of Meaning Valued Member


    Of course. I've done MMA sparring at the gym, and in addition to BJJ and boxing, I've been doing greco roman for 4 years, tae kwon do (a waste of time in my opinion) and some muay thai.

    In our gym we start MMA training when we reach blue belt.

    Thanks for the help! :)

    Well, I was thinking about Jeremy Horn or Dan Severn. Plenty of fights and plenty of wins, but not very famous... Then you got a few fighters like Cung Le for instance which are pretty famous but have relatively few fights under their belt.

    That was what I found out in a bar fight last Saturday. A guy started a fight and I had to choke him unconscious, slam him face-first to the ground, punch him in the face and liver kick him. It felt awesome, which is disturbing. Does this mean I am sick and should be in jail for the safety of others?

    I don't consider myself a violent person per se.


    That's why I don't want to jettison my education just in case.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  9. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Again no expert here but this is what I would think.

    Some more info might be helpful to know exactly where you are coming from. How long have you been training in BJJ and boxing and what belt are you in BJJ? If you want to compete in MMA at a decent level you will have to study something with kicking but the main thing is what is available in your area and how good the various schools are. A good MMA school would be the ideal and then probably Thai Boxing. You can go down other routes but it depends on what is available.

    How often are you training now? Maybe you can organise a schedule that gives you some time to attend early morning/late night sessions or something. It all is very much dependent on the classes available, how flexible your schedule is and what you are already doing.

    If you are a purple belt who is about to get promoted then no. If you are a white belt then yes! As I'm sure you are aware getting a BJJ black belt can take a decade! Are you already competing in BJJ and boxing? A good ground game is always an advantage and something you need to constantly work on but you can be competing and improving your ground game long before that. On top of that even when you are a black belt in BJJ you will still have to learn how to transfer your skills to a striking environment with no gi. That is a significant challenge and the sooner you start the better. Although of course it's important to get a decent level of skill to begin with so this sort of rests on the assumption that you are not a complete beginner.

    Like everyone says... winning. It would also certainly help if you were winning or at least doing well in high profile grappling tournaments too. Oh yeah and like the guys above say ultimately best option if you are really serious is to find a way to train at one of the big name gyms that consistently produce fighters, I'm sure they know promotion inside out.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  10. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Sorry I hope that didn't sound patronising especially from me but you have to check :p

    Ah sounds good. Out of interest is it no-gi?

    I love mma but don't watch it as much as I would like and it takes me years to leanr faces and records but Shane Carwin is the guy set to face Lesnar right? Iirc he's famous because he's never had a fight last past the....3rd minute I think?

    Nope it means you enjoy fighting which is a good thing for a fighter and i think normal anyway. If you met me I'm an incredibly shy introverted person but I enjoy making people tap as much as anyone else :p

    Good man ;)
  11. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    It's quality of opponents looking towards a title. Maybe a vacant one and make them come to you.
  12. d0ugbug

    d0ugbug learning to smile

    First off how old are you? Don't have to answer but its handy to know.

    If your looking to get into MMA and have 0 experience in fighting in the cage id get into a MMA class or gym and start get some experience you may as well get the amateur side over with and build up to semi-pro. Only then you have to be able to win fights to take it any further.

    What grade are you know in JJ? Chances are your ground work will be in better shape than some of the AM guys out there at the moment. Your stand up game will need a bit of work even if its just to strike, move and take down.

    The only problem with that is yes fiancial stability is a great thing BUT all the other guys out there in your shoes are training every day with no job because they plan on getting to where you want to be. If your serious your training comes first, family second and job third thats the way it is. Yes its hard and it may not work but hey who said it was going to be easy!?

    You do get paid for fighting mind even at AM maybe £50+. Take my main event in April its costing me a £1-2000 to have a title fight at my first event! And thats just for the two fighters

    As for promoting your self, win, win and win. Find a decent gym thats willing to put the time in with you and helps bring fights to you and not the other way around.

    Take a ganger at Cage Warriors forum as well
  13. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Doesn't that depends on Decay's age in a way? Obviously you're right about training non stop producing results I mean your proof of that yourself, but if he's at my sort of level in education and my sort of age hasn't he got the time to get some sort of backup stability then go all out?
  14. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    The best thing you can do is get a good fan base. You often get paid on ticket sales and a promoter is going to want you if you get bums on seats. Makes for a great show if they're not all idiots. Give us a PM when you're ready and you can always do one of our shows if we can find a match. Next one is in March, every 3 months after.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  15. Doublejab

    Doublejab formally Snoop

    I agree with what people have said regarding training. Also just a quick note. In my opinion learning technique is about 40% or what it takes to be an MMA fighter. The other 60% is physical conditioning.

    Start a good strength programe and do interval training/circuits that kind of stuff. Sprints are very good. It may be difficult timewise but its essential that you train purely for conditioning at least twice a week if you want to be a pro fighter. Otherwise you'll simply get crushed, I know, its happened to me. To fight MMA you can't just be a fighter, you need to be as much of an athlete possible as well.

    Other than that, have a couple of ametuer/semi pro MMA fights. Maybe a kickboxing match or two, even a few boxing matchs and/or grappling competitions would be good experience. Wouldn't matter too much if you lose either as they won't effect your MMA record.

    Also sooner rather than later you need to go train at a dedicated MMA gym that has pro MMA fighters training there and a coach who has the connections to get you suitable fights.
  16. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Surely what you need to do is find a good MMA gym and basically live there?

    Bushido in Nottingham is a pretty well respected gym producing some good fighters. Here is their timetable. You'll see that there are many daytime as well as evening classes. I've been there on a Friday and some of the blokes there at 9.00pm had been there since 5 and had also been in at lunchtime. It's like that for them most days.

    Look up Snoop's recent thread on training in America and see the intensity and hours people are putting in there.

    If your serious about it that's what you'll have to do to.

    Best of luck :)

  17. CDKungFu

    CDKungFu Valued Member

    Just a question...
    Why did you do all of that after choking the guy unconscious? :confused:
  18. d0ugbug

    d0ugbug learning to smile

    My personal opinion is if you want it, you make it happen. Regardless of your situation (yes its not always violable) but you find the time. Late night training sessions, find a job with anti sociable working hours etc
  19. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Just glanced over the other replies. Apologes if this has been covered already.

    Good for you. Good luck.

    Change boxing with kickboxing, or even Muay Thai. Keep up with BJJ, but also try to attend actual MMA classes to spar fighters who have full skillsets.

    Follow your gut instinct. If you feel more confident waiting until black belt, then do so. But start KB/MT classes now.

    Join a good gym. Your coach will take care of your promotion. Eventually hire a manager. Take time to speak to your fans, answer press questions as fully as possible and be respectful.
  20. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    That's fair but having some sort of fall back is just smart. You can argue it means you aren't as commited as someone who trains every waking hour while youre still at college and only training evenings or weekends but if both of you don't make it I'd be the one laughing at the guy who now has nothing.

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