Holly Holm | Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/Jsjwnn1
From up and coming talents to young kids replicating moves on their siblings, it’s more common for people to want to become MMA fighters these days. The growing influence the sport is having has enabled its reach to spread further than ever before, with worldwide stars like Conor McGregor and Holly Holm boosting the appeal of the UFC in particular.
Millions of fans around the world tune in to watch the likes of McGregor and Holm fight while also taking in the odd Bellator clash too, therefore giving fans of MMA heroes to look up to and athletes to potentially emulate. That is exactly what many aspiring fighters will be looking to do, perhaps taking part in big title fights or even carving out a solid career fighting in regional competitions. Whatever the level, having a successful MMA career requires the same type of ingredients to success. These are the traits many of the modern-day fighters possess, enabling them to be a reliable proposition for fans of the sport when it comes to MMA odds and their chances of winning fights, but also helping them to win over the support of the experts in crucial bouts. MMA fighters are a special breed, and it takes a special fighter to make it. Below is a look at some of the characteristics MMA fighters require to carve out a successful career for themselves.
Mental and physical toughness
Heart, drive and tenacity are just some of the mental requirements needed, but there is no use in nailing the mental aspect of the fighting game if you don’t have the physical attributes to go with it. As well as having the fearlessness to take a battering and withstand mental punishment, fighters also need to have body’s which can take physical pain and handle the brutal training regime fighters at the very top go through. Ligaments, muscles, shins and everything else in between will feel the strain, therefore making it vitally important that your body is in working order and that you’re in the best shape that you can possibly be in. It’s also important to be able to manage your body and your mind, with over-training causing issues for a number of fighters in the past. The last thing an MMA fighter wants is injuries, particularly any long-term issues which can hinder potential fights and leave them spending more time on the treatment table than in the Octagon.
Holly Holm kicks Ronda Rousey UFC 193 from Fox Sports Live Facebook
If you want to make it to the very top but aren’t willing to make various sacrifices along the way then, chances are, you’ll fail to live up to your potential. To reach the top of the fight game, discipline is required. It can be incredibly tough, but relationships might need to be put on hold, new career options might need to be forgotten about, and sometimes occasions with friends and family need to be swerved in order to get back in the gym and get back training. It’s a huge sacrifice to make but one which could pay off in the long run.
Not everyone associates intelligence with people who like to batter each other into submission, but MMA fighters are an intelligent lot overall. Not only do fighters need to read how certain fights are playing out and adapt accordingly, but they never stop learning either as the sport has infinite techniques to master and ways in which fighters can always improve. There is also various strategies to learn when coming up against specific styles.
MMA fighters also need to have a strong support network around them, a mean streak, and the hunger to succeed.