Almost, if not every, MMA fighter’s dream is to become a UFC fighter.
However, getting there is not that simple, and fighters must go through a tough way because it requires time, stability, hard work, and of course, luck!
In this article, we will talk about the things beginner fighters should know to make this long journey easier and more beneficial.
Table of Contents
- First Steps In MMA To Become UFC Fighter
- How Do Fighters Get Into The UFC? – Tips To Get There Faster
- The Proven Blueprint On How To Become A UFC Fighter
- How Long Does It Take To Become A UFC Fighter?
- How Much Does A Starter UFC Fighter Make? What Should You Expect?
- Dana White Contender Series And The Ultimate Fighter
- The Last Words About How To Become A UFC Fighter
First Steps In MMA To Become UFC Fighter
First of all, everyone should realize that every UFC fighter once was a beginner.
They started their career in:
- Local tournaments
- Different combat sports and turned into MMA fighters
- Or participated in amateur tournaments.
Becoming a UFC fighter is not easy because you have to be patient and work really hard to compete with the best fighters in the world. There will be ups and downs, but little by little, you will get used to it if you genuinely love MMA.
Becoming A Well Rounded Fighter Is A Must
Are you a good wrestler? It is time to learn some Jiu-Jitsu, to not get submitted on the ground, and some striking to not get knocked out while standing.
Are you a good Grappler? That’s great, but fights in MMA don’t start on the ground. You need wrestling skills to take down your opponents and use your advantage on the ground. And, of course, you need some striking to avoid unnecessary damage caused by punches and kicks.
Are you a good striker? You have to get used to wrestling and grappling. It is exhausting for strikers to wrestle or grapple, so you must be familiar with these aspects of the sport too.
So, it does not matter where you came from and how good you are in your base sport. You still need to work hard, improve each aspect of fighting, and get familiar with them, to at least be able to defend yourself and not be an easy target for your rivals.
You Will Not Get Paid Enough
Promotions are not paying you enough to prepare from fight to fight, and some promotions are not even paying.
When you are a beginner, you have to realize that one of the most important things is to have an impressive record.
So many fighters are taking fights to have a record, even though they are not getting paid enough, and it is okay because this is how it works, and you can’t change anything about it. All you can do is work in a part-time job and earn some pocket money; that’s how every fighter started.
Some like to take part-time physical jobs like construction to keep the conditioning training going even when they’re off the mats.
Experience Is Everything
You might also participate in different sports competitions to earn the experience because, during the competitions, fighters are growing up and improving because they are learning many things about themselves.
Starting an MMA career as an amateur is one of the best practices.
Still, in most countries outside of the USA, Amateur competition culture is not developed, and fighters start their careers as professionals without any experience inside the cage, so earning some combat sports experience is highly recommended.
You can try grappling/No-Gi Jitsu or wrestling tournaments. During the competition, when people watch you, you get nervous, which causes getting tired easier than in the gym while training, so getting used to competitions will help you.
Khabib participated in every Judo, Wrestling, Sambo, or Grappling competition before signing in the UFC, and he earned tons of experience before becoming a lightweight legend. Let’s learn from the best.
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How Do Fighters Get Into The UFC? – Tips To Get There Faster
If you want to become a UFC fighter, you have to think about lots of things. Just fighting is not enough because many great fighters were stuck in the same position.
Let’s talk about some tips to become a UFC fighter.
1) Build An Optimized Social Media Presence
At the end of the day, UFC is a promotion that is making business. Their main interest is to make money. How is UFC making money?
It is simple; people pay to watch their events online or purchase tickets to attend the events.
So, UFC gives preference to fighters who are attractive to fans.
The beautiful fighting style is great, but in today’s world, where social media like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and others are booming, you must get well-optimized social media.
UFC is looking for fighters with excellent communication skills and who have many followers on social media, which means that UFC is looking for the fighters who will sell the PPV so that UFC will benefit from it, too.
2) Get A Good Agent That Can Help You To Become a UFC Fighter
It is hard to sign a good agent in the beginning. But they are really important in your process to become a UFC fighter.
Fighters should prove they have talent and a future because agents invest their time, reputation, and money in fighters.
Fighters represent their gyms, and the head coaches are making fights.
After several fights, you and your team should use every connection you have to find the best manager.
The manager has profited by winning you, and good managers are offering you fights where you are going to be the favorite, or at least, will not be the moderate underdog.
Managers are also responsible for finding some great companies for sponsorship. They take care of the business operation while you focus on what matters the most, developing your fighting skills.
3) Getting Sponsorships As Early As Possible is a Must
If you are a beginner fighter, there is a high probability that you are also working for your pocket money to afford additional supplements and everyday stuff.
Managers are trying to get good sponsors for you, so you don’t have to spend all your energy on the work, and you can focus on training all day.
However, for the sponsorship, only a good agent will not be enough.
Once again, good optimized social media is crucial for not only fans but also the sponsors because sponsors are also thinking about their profit, and they use famous people as a tool to reach wide audiences.
Getting these opportunities sooner rather than later will boost your fighting enterprise and build lots of momentum to land better opportunities.
4) Build Your Reputation If You Want To Become a UFC Fighter
Fighting in the local tournaments is not enough to get into the UFC.
Some fighters have an excellent record but against no names, and promotions know about that, so you can not fake the record.
Having, for example, ten victories in local tournaments is a great experience to try your chances in other good promotions.
Usually, fighters are getting recognized if they will get victory over someone with an impressive record in a reputable promotion.
For example, many fighters in the UFC were dominant in promotions like:
- Cage Warriors
- Brave FC
The next station from the local tournaments should be a reputable European or American promotion.
Your former promotions say a lot about your reputation, so be careful before signing in some random promotions.
Never compete under promotions with a bad reputation because of their policies or their questionable banned substances testing. That could block you on the way to the UFC.
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The Proven Blueprint On How To Become A UFC Fighter
Suppose we forget about some very special people, like Khabib, Charles, or Conor, who are amazingly talented but who started from nothing and achieved everything.
In that case, we can talk about other average UFC fighters. Georgian fighters have won many fights in the UFC in the latest years.
Giga Chikadze, Merab Dvalishvili, and Ilia Topuria are the most famous Georgian fighters in the UFC. However, the first-ever Georgian UFC fighter was Levan Makashvili, and fewer people knew about him.
Let me tell you his blueprint to joining the UFC.
- Step 1 Local experience – Levan won the MMA local tournaments and participated in different wrestling competitions.
- Step 2 using connections to find an agent – After winning the championship in Georgia, he used all his contacts and found manager Tengo Sepiashvili, the Georgian manager in the USA.
- Step 3 earning reputation – Levan had only 100$ when he went to the USA, but after all the hard work he put in, he became the champion of CFFC.
- Step 4 Enjoy the results – After having a good reputation, he signed in to the UFC and became the first Georgian who managed to leave the continent and compete at the highest level of Mixed Martial Arts.
Levan’s Mistake? He is a great fighter with excellent skills, but he does not have a well-optimized social media presence. And not many sponsors and agents know about him.
How Long Does It Take To Become A UFC Fighter?
Okay, we talked a lot about the steps; what we should worry about when we are beginners, but at the end of the day, how long is this process? How long does it take to step inside the UFC Octagon finally?
There is no general information about that. It depends on how hard you work. Some people train for 2-3 years and can beat fighters who have been in this business for around ten years. It’s up to you to work as hard as possible to accelerate this process.
Who Is The Youngest Fighter In The UFC?
Chase Hooper (11-2-1, 3-2 in the UFC) is the youngest fighter ever signed in the UFC. He is 22 years old and made his debut at UFC 245 in December 2019, when he was 19 years old—He earned a first-round TKO victory in his debut in the UFC when he was 19 years old.
10 Youngest Fighters In The UFC
|Fighter Name||Age||Date Of Birth|
|Ian Garry||24||November 17, 1997|
|Edmen Shahbazyan||24||November 20, 1997|
|Song Yadong||24||December 2, 1997|
|Maycee Barber||23||May 18, 1998|
|Brady Hiestand||22||April 30, 1999|
|Erin Blanchfield||22||May 4, 1999|
|Kay Hansen||22||August 14, 1999|
|Chase Hooper||22||September 13, 1999|
|Cory McKenna||22||July 1, 1999|
|Zhu Rong||22||March 7, 2000|
How Much Does A Starter UFC Fighter Make? What Should You Expect?
People sometimes have the wrong idea about how much the UFC fighter’s salary is. When you watch Conor McGregor, you think every MMA fighter is like him, but that’s not true. The top earners are the exception and not the general rule.
Yes, there’s money to be made in the fight game, but is not like every guy is getting a big piece of the pie.
However, accessing a larger platform could lead to other business opportunities.
For example, Gina Carano now has an acting career, Dustin Poirier has a hot sauce business, Conor McGregor has Proper No. 12, Megan Anderson has a growing fan base on twitch, and the list goes on and on.
Beginner fighters make between $10,000 and $30,000 in their first appearances inside the Octagon. But, there are exceptions like Michael Chandler or Jiri Prochazka with massive experience and an established fan base that will fight against top contenders.
Is not as much as it sounds
$30,000 might sound like a lot for an up-and-coming guy, but that’s not net profit.
Deduct insurance cost, training camp, your manager’s cut, taxes, physical therapy, sports massage, food for the camp, training gear, supplementation, and you’ll see that that’s not a lot for all the hard work you need to put it.
After all expenses, you might end up with just a few thousand dollars. You can do less risky jobs with higher earning potential for a tough young man.
This is not a career path for everyone. Yet, if you’re sure you were born to fight and make money by separating people from their conscience, the UFC is the place to be and joining them is something you should undoubtedly aspire to attain.
How Much Can I Earn With Bonuses As a UFC Fighter?
Beginners are earning guaranteed money for show and bonuses for winning, and also some bonuses from the exclusive sponsors of the UFC.
However, there still are the chances that you will get paid more. You can get $50,000 bonuses for performance of the night (POTN) or fight of the night (FOTN).
You can earn an additional $50,000 if you dominantly win a fight or finish the fight early with a spectacular KO/TKO or submission.
You and your rival will also get an additional $50,000 (FOTN) if you hold a close and spectacular fight.
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Dana White Contender Series And The Ultimate Fighter
UFC is holding outstanding events called Dana White Contender Series (DWCS). Fighters from around the world are trying to get there and get the attention of Dana White.
Many fighters are holding several fights with each other and getting opportunities to prove they are worthy fighters for the UFC.
the ultimate fighter
TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) is hosting several events, and the winner is earning the contract.
However, other fighters might still earn the contract, even though they will suffer defeat, but show their skills and abilities, which are relevant for being a UFC fighter.
Getting to the UFC is not always about winning but how entertaining and exciting you’re as a fighter.
The Last Words About How To Become A UFC Fighter
Becoming a UFC fighter is not something impossible, but it takes lots of time and hard work.
Preparing your physical conditions ain’t enough for such a level of competition. Fighters should be psychologically ready too because there is much pressure.
Pressure grows every day, especially when fighters have bad days and ask themselves, “Can I be one of them?”
Bet on yourself, be confident, and remember, “Every Champion Once Was a Contender.“
To conclude, of course, without fighting abilities, it is impossible to be a UFC fighter. But thinking about some things will make this challenging path a bit easier and double your success if you are truly UFC material.
If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share and comment. And if you ever make it to the UFC, reach out, and we will write your story. Until next time.