How to become an MMA Fighter? Find a Team and a Manager that cares – Then become a specialist.

Toner-Carillo_fight_2_MMA_MMAGateway_UFC_Training_Managers Team SpecialistAs the sport of MMA continues to grow, if you are an athletic young person, or even if you are towards the end of your athletic prime but just want to test yourself, you may ask yourself – How to become an MMA Fighter?

There is no straightforward answer here, because many fighters have had very different journeys to becoming a successful MMA fighter. It may seem like a complex question if you think too deeply about it, but in reality there are just some basic things you need to stick to if you want to be a successful MMA fighter in 2018.

This post will help to give you guidance to start a successful MMA career, but remember there si no set formula in this industry and of course you must have natural talent to make it career worth remembering.

If we look at the likes of: Jon Jones, GSP, Conor McGregor, among others while their paths to UFC greatness was every different from each other, all of them shared a few things outside of their natural athleticism and talent for Martial Arts – they found a team and a manger they can trust.

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Can I trust this team and do they care?

It is really the cornerstone, have you ever heard the phrase iron sharpness iron? Well it is never truer in any sport then MMA. If you have training partners that are sub par in skill level and don’t really care about your development, then inevitably you will be turned into a lazy fighter with sub par skills no matter how naturally gifted you are.1200px-Flickr_-_The_U.S._Army_-_MMA-_Mixed_Martial_Arts_in_Hawaii_MMA_MMAGateway_UFC_Training Managers Team Specialist

But if you are training with elite level fighters and who really care about the development of your skills and MMA career, then you will inevitably become a diligent, cerebral fighter, with elite skills and who is passionate to make it to the top.

I have seen many fighters in my time completely waste their natural talent just from training at sub-par teams – I don’t want to make a list of fighters who have done this, but one of the most famous would be Ronda Rousey I would say.

She got all the way to the top of the MMA game mainly of her own natural athleticism and Judo skill set – her team was not known for producing high level fighters for MMA consistently and how much some of her trainers really cared about Ronda has also always been questionable.

1200px-Conor_McGregor_and_Vladimir_Putin_www.kremlin.ru_MMA-_Mixed_Martial_Arts_in_Hawaii_MMA_MMAGateway_UFC_Training Managers Team SpecialistBut then if you look at a guy like Conor McGregor you can clearly see that he has a team in SBG Ireland who truly care about him from the start of his career all the way through to the big shows and have generally helped him take his career to unbelievable heights.

A good team will help you to not rush your development, they will make sure you get plenty of amateur experience before going pro and fighting in the big shows, which enables you to develop at the right pace.

Keep it simple – highly skilled training partners who care about you – make sure you find this, no matter how far you have to travel – you want a team that will give their all to make you the best possible fighter, a team who will be in your corner inside/outside the cage and who will back you up no matter the situation –  a team you can trust.

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Can I trust this manager and do they care?

Stick to a winning formula and one part of a winning formula for an MMA fighter nowadays, is having the right kind of management that actually really cares about you and who you can trust.

Some people say there is no need for MMA mangers, or it should always be someone from your fight team – the truth is though that there’s a lot of fighters who have had their careers made or broken through either having great management or poor management.

MMA_MMAGateway_UFC_Training Managers Team SpecialistJust look at a fighter like Khabib Nurmagomedov, say what you want about his heritage or who funds him, but his manager Ali Abdel-Azziz has done a great job in making sure Khabib gets the best opportunities, through his well known determined bargaining.

When you know your manager will always try to get you the best fights, the most money and will never try any dirty underhanded tricks to get an extra piece of the pie without asking – then you know you have a good manager.

A great manager can also be like a mentor figure too. But then at the same time if you look at fighters like – Matt Mitrione, Brandon Vera and Alistair Overeem, then its clear these fighters have had their careers sabotaged by poor management at various points.

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Don’t be the average all rounder – shoot for the stars!

Last but certainly not least, it is still so important just as with the old days of MMA – in 2018 to be a continually winning fighter, you do need to be well rounded, but then be a specialist in at least one area.Ufc97montrealbustourtickets39_(3887137509)_Elite Sports Tour_MMA_MMAGateway_UFC_Training Managers Team Specialist

The sport of MMA is flooded with far too many fighters that know a 1000 different techniques, but cannot ever truly endanger and finish opponents consistently. Also when you are good everywhere but elite nowhere, psychologically you will think you are “good everywhere” but then in this mindset all you do i set yourself up to get dominated by a specialist in one area, so invariably you will start racking up just as many losses as victories.

Cage_Fight_Series_Kampf_Gerhard Ettl_MMA_MMAGateway_UFC_Training_Managers_Team SpecialistJust like the first UFC event right up the the most most recent UFC: 229, it has always been a huge determining factor in who wins a fight – styles make fights they say, and it is 9 times out of 10 the specialist who will use his mastery of at least one art to completely dominate their opponents.

This remind me of a famous Bruce Lee quote: “I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 strikes once, I fear the man who has practised 1 strike 10,000 times”.

So the message here, is be solid everywhere, serviceable cardio, toughness, striking, grappling and wrestling, but be a specialist in one technique, one form that you can always revert to in order to take over and dominate a fight.

Hope you enjoyed today’s post, so if you did then leave a comment or question below – don’t forget to like, share, subscribe and as always stay tuned for more form the world of MMA right here at the MMAGateway!



Marley Dawkins


  1. Maybe I missed it, but is there an age that is too old to do MMA? I mean are there older guys that do MMA. I know that I enjoy watching it, but I do get pretty worked up, and I do have experience with fighting from when I was younger. I was in boxing and I trained with jiu jitsu and taekwondo. I am not sure that it would be a good or not, just was kind of curious about it. Thank you for a great post and all the hard work you do with this. 

    • Hello again my friend, what is your name? You’ve been putting a  lot of cool feedback around here 🙂 but there is no age to old to start, but if you want to get to the top, like get to the UFC and perform well, then mostly you want to start training really young and having your pro MMA debut between 17-28.

      Some people start much younger and some people don’t start till 30, but you will find it very difficulty getting to the top starting at around 30 even with prior martial arts training. But on the regional/underground scene there are many guys fighting into there late 30/40’s or even 50’s in some cases!

      Have you ever seen what happened in UFC 1? There was a lot less rules about success in those days!

  2. My nephew wanted to be a fighter, but Kyphosis in his back made it not possible – Scoliosis and Kyphosis runs in our family real bad. It seems like any potential champion fighter is up against the odds and really have to get lucky in finding the right team and management like you say, then there’s the potential for injury so a risky business where only a few make a good career. The only thing really in the fighter’s control it seems is to train to master a certain technique that works for them instead of being a jack of all trades. You have to really love the sport to have a chance at the big leagues.

    • Hi Alexander, thanks for sharing your nephews story with martial arts and disability – I’ve heard many stories similar. Its such a tough sport like you say so most don’t make it to the top, but if the passion, team, management and skill set culminates at the right time then an amazing fighter can emerge.

      Yes from day one in MMA still to this day, being a specialist in at least one area with a solid all round base are the guys that succeed the most in MMA.

      Have you done any Jiu-Jistu rolling in the Gi? This Gi is amazing but for no Gi rolling so is this rashguard,

      See you round buddy!

  3. Very Nice webpage. Ah, I know the feeling of “being good everywhere” “everywhere” Sucks when opponents crush you. Also I must adjust my self -esteem accordingly. I really cant handle when is see someone slight better . Specially when i thought they were worse at first… :/  I know all about bargains. They bargains themselves is really i fight wherre YOU must have “technique” in order to get a really good deal

    • Yeah that whole “being good everywhere” thing reminds me of that famous Bruce Lee quote – “I do not fear the man that has trained 10,000 strikes once, I fear the man that has trained 1 strike 10,000 times.”

      It is so true in MMA, don’t get me wrong you have to be solid everywhere, but in order to get to the top you must have a standout speciality within your skill set. Being competitive in the gym with others is easily done, but that won’t help you to learn, be humble within being humbled – learn and grow through change always.

      The psychology of MMA will assist you and so will having some quality gloves for sparring.

      See you again bro!

  4. I want to shoot straight forward and become one of the greats but dont know how and I live in a small town with my family. I have two kids and I need more for them. I’m tired of sitting back and barley getting paid and ill do whatever it takes. Im willing to move my family if their was a chance for me to fight. I have a big trouble record and would like to change that for my kids names sake.

    • Hey Carlos, bro you can do whatever you set your mind too – let me know if i can assist you in any way. Do you know Jorge Masvidal? Guy came straight out of the streets and made it happen.

      Keep moving my friend!

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