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  1. #1
    Top Athlete CaptainEarth's Avatar
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    How long would it take for me to become a pro in fighting?

    I just started doing mma last month. I was state runner-up for the 195 lbs weight class in wrestling in high school In the state of Oregon and played d1 college football. Other than that, I have no other fighting experience. But I am an elite athlete, and I take training very seriously, and I train specifically mma or boxing/Pancrase 5 days a week, but I just started last month. I am 6’2” 212 lbs 6’2” with a 76” reach.
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    Tbh you already got the best possible base for MMA (wrestling) and according to your lifts, you're also very strong, I would say in one solid year of training (mainly learning how to strike and defend subs), you could be a problem to deal with.

    Join a good MMA gym and have some amateur fights to acquire fighting experience, if you're good enough, you will be noticed and turn pro.
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    Registered User akmerle's Avatar
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    What do you mean by professional? Like you get paid $100 for a fight? Or actually expect to make a living thru fighting? Huge difference that will make a huge difference in how many years you should expect.

    What do your current coaches say? Does your gym have a lot of current fighters? How long ago was your wrestling background? How long did you wrestle? How old are you? Where do you live now, and how are the local and semi-local mma organizations? How many guys at your current gym actually compete, and how does your gym handle camps and corner?

    While wrestling is the best base, there is so much more to being a fighter. Bjj / boxing / Muay Thai / etc. You can be a good athlete who trains hard, but there are simply levels to fighting, and the vast majority of people have ZERO idea the vastness of the gap between truly trained professional fighters and normal gym bro’s.

    Lots of current and ex fighters at the club / gym / academy I do bjj at, with lots of fighters rolling thru to get more bjj before fights. Hard to give a real answer other than it will take years.
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    Registered User FLman333's Avatar
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    You absolutly need to be at a gym with serious competitors. If you are the best guy in the room, you are in the wrong room.

    I would say train a year before first ammy fight. 2 years of 3 fights a year and then objectively review your progress. Its realistic if you train 5 or 6 days a week and are humble and a good student that you could become pro in 3 to 4 years training. You wont be getting paid until I guess you've had a round 10 to 15 fights pro with a good record. Staying healthy and motivated would be your biggest friend during this time and focus on the things you need to work on or suck at regardless if you win or lose a fight. If you win take 5 minutes patting your self on the back for what you did right, and spend 5 weeks fixing the things you did wrong. Also, dont get caught up greatly preferring grappling training because you will have early success because of your wrestling experience. Know that will only take you so far once you hit the higher levels of competition. At a certain point everyone will have good wrestling, so make sure you dont rely on that.

    Biggest point I come back to. Pick the best mma school around. Even if it is twice the price or an hr drive vs maybe a school right next door. Early on you may not see the difference between a great school and a decent one but I assure you it will make all the difference. It is hard to go back and retrain yourself out of bad habits learned from subpar instruction.

    Goodluck and enjoy the journey. Getting good takes a long time.
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  5. #5
    i need a tan mp83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by akmerle View Post
    What do you mean by professional? Like you get paid $100 for a fight? Or actually expect to make a living thru fighting? Huge difference that will make a huge difference in how many years you should expect.

    What do your current coaches say? Does your gym have a lot of current fighters? How long ago was your wrestling background? How long did you wrestle? How old are you? Where do you live now, and how are the local and semi-local mma organizations? How many guys at your current gym actually compete, and how does your gym handle camps and corner?

    While wrestling is the best base, there is so much more to being a fighter. Bjj / boxing / Muay Thai / etc. You can be a good athlete who trains hard, but there are simply levels to fighting, and the vast majority of people have ZERO idea the vastness of the gap between truly trained professional fighters and normal gym bro’s.

    Lots of current and ex fighters at the club / gym / academy I do bjj at, with lots of fighters rolling thru to get more bjj before fights. Hard to give a real answer other than it will take years.
    This. You can literally turn pro without any training or experience at all. Local circuits will let anyone fight and you'll get paid like $50 to fight, but the main difference between pro and amateur is ruleset is different.

    If you mean make a career out of it, then it can take a very long time and will very likely never happen. Lots of competition and very few people can make a full time living fighting
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    Registered User iloveus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mp83 View Post
    very few people can make a full time living fighting
    A lot of fight organizations pay for chit. A lot of fighters do get part/full time jobs for the money even though fighting/training itself is a full time job
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  7. #7
    Registered User iloveus's Avatar
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  8. #8
    i need a tan mp83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by iloveus View Post
    A lot of fight organizations pay for chit. A lot of fighters do get part/full time jobs for the money even though fighting/training itself is a full time job
    Yep. Even a lot of UFC level fighters have fulltime jobs. To make a living out of it, you gotta be really good and a huge draw and hope a big organization pays you well.
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  9. #9
    Registered User iloveus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mp83 View Post
    Yep. Even a lot of UFC level fighters have fulltime jobs. To make a living out of it, you gotta be really good and a huge draw and hope a big organization pays you well.
    As Arnold says though, "If you're partying, that means your competition is winning. You need to outwork your competition."
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  10. #10
    Registered User I3igAl's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mp83 View Post
    This. You can literally turn pro without any training or experience at all. Local circuits will let anyone fight and you'll get paid like $50 to fight, but the main difference between pro and amateur is ruleset is different.

    If you mean make a career out of it, then it can take a very long time and will very likely never happen. Lots of competition and very few people can make a full time living fighting
    This. You could turn pro tomorrow and even win some local fights smothering some chubby middle aged bjj blue belts with your wrestling and keep doing this for a couple of 100 bucks.

    If you want to make a career out of this do a couple of amateur fights and see how it goes. Than you can keep progressing. In 1-2 years and after 3-6 fights, you might be ready for the next step.
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  11. #11
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    You need to go down to the local amateur shows and see what the level of competition is like.

    I used to go to a lot of local shows and did 2 years of BJJ, there were guys there who looked like they'd only been training a few months, so many people get caught in first round guillotines.

    I would've felt comfortable for my local scene with my two years of BJJ and a year of striking to face guys with 0 to 2 fights. With your wrestling background a year of training you should be wrecking other amateurs.
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  12. #12
    Top Athlete CaptainEarth's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by akmerle View Post
    What do you mean by professional? Like you get paid $100 for a fight? Or actually expect to make a living thru fighting? Huge difference that will make a huge difference in how many years you should expect.

    What do your current coaches say? Does your gym have a lot of current fighters? How long ago was your wrestling background? How long did you wrestle? How old are you? Where do you live now, and how are the local and semi-local mma organizations? How many guys at your current gym actually compete, and how does your gym handle camps and corners? .
    As in when I can make a living out of it. They won’t give me a straight answer. I haven’t wrestled since hs and I’m 26. I wrestled for 10+ years. I’m 26. Phoenix, az, pretty stiff competition. The owner of my gym wrestled as an Olympian, and nobody else that I’m aware of compete.
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  13. #13
    Registered User goonsondeck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CaptainEarth View Post
    As in when I can make a living out of it. They won’t give me a straight answer. I haven’t wrestled since hs and I’m 26. I wrestled for 10+ years. I’m 26. Phoenix, az, pretty stiff competition. The owner of my gym wrestled as an Olympian, and nobody else that I’m aware of compete.
    you wont make a living out of it until you are in one of the bigger orgs

    I train with a bunch of PRO mma fighters and they make money by mainly teaching

    its a hard road and extremely unforgiving sport

    they do it because they love to fight not the money

    is it that the path you want? that's entirely up to you
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    Originally Posted by CaptainEarth View Post
    As in when I can make a living out of it. They won’t give me a straight answer. I haven’t wrestled since hs and I’m 26. I wrestled for 10+ years. I’m 26. Phoenix, az, pretty stiff competition. The owner of my gym wrestled as an Olympian, and nobody else that I’m aware of compete.
    26 is pretty young considering you have wrestled for 10 years so you have probably the best base possible

    getting punched in the head really hard sucks though
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    Originally Posted by CaptainEarth View Post
    I just started doing mma last month. I was state runner-up for the 195 lbs weight class in wrestling in high school In the state of Oregon and played d1 college football. Other than that, I have no other fighting experience. But I am an elite athlete, and I take training very seriously, and I train specifically mma or boxing/Pancrase 5 days a week, but I just started last month. I am 6’2” 212 lbs 6’2” with a 76” reach.
    You kind of posed a vague question regarding how long to become pro. You may have already answered this (or someone else may have addressed), but are you talking, "hey, I made money fighting"? Or are you talking about making a living as a professional fighter?

    If the first - you could probably do it in a year or two.

    If the second - who knows? There are guys who have been professional athletes who never were good enough to be at that level.

    Now, you DO have a good base with Wrestling and having an athletic background....But I'm going to reel you back in a little bit. You were an elite athlete at the college level. Not taking ANYTHING away from you and that's truly awesome...however, you haven't wrestled since HS or played football for the past couple of years. Now, I may be wrong but I'm betting you haven't kept the conditioning up that you once had (especially with wrestling), and even though you have a lot of years of wrestling, you haven't done it in at least 8 years.
    The wrestling should come back fairly quickly - but you never know <shrug>

    My opinion...and anyone is free to disagree...I'd say training 5 days a week, your wrestling should be back pretty good by about 3-6 months tops. Now, your striking...depending on your athleticism and if you truly don't mind being punched in the face, but 6 months to be "ok". You may be able to start doing some smokers before the end of a year though. Some people want to do a single ammy fight then jump right in to a pro fight. Most of the people I've seen in their first amateur fight lose a lot of composure and look pretty bad. I'd want a couple of fights to work through that before turning pro. If it were me, I'd look to doing a grappling tournament (at least one) and then two ammy fights before I expected someone to pay me.

    Good luck and keep us posted...just don't plan on quitting your day job any time soon.
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    About one year with hard training.

    However, there's no experience like fight experience. Get into the ring after 1 year and see how you go.
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