If you are dreaming about becoming a UFC fighter, then you have to be wondering how hard is to get in the UFC, and how many years does it take. Well, in this article, we will address those topics.
It’s not so hard to get on the UFC roster, but it is extremely hard to get to title fights. To get UFC fight you don’t need so many years of training, but for title fights, all your life might not be enough.
Let us explain further, and give you some advice on how you can get faster to UFC roster, but also tell you what is needed to become one of the greatest fighters, and also one of those UFC fighters that earn a lot of money.
Is It Hard To Get In The UFC
As we said above, it is not so hard to get in the UFC. You can choose some fights for you, promote them all over social media, became popular, and UFC will notice you.
That doesn’t mean you don’t need to train, or you can start today and be there tomorrow, but it won’t take a long time if you have something in you.
You need to choose yourself some fighters you can beat, it is good if you are attractive in those fights, if people cheer your name (at least in your street), if you are active on social platforms, where a lot of people follow you and love to watch you fight. All those things are what attract UFC.
More than anything UFC loves promotion. With promotion comes sponsors, and money, and that is something Dana White and others in UFC really love.
Also, it should be noted that UFC is still a pretty new sport, unlike Boxing, NBA, NHL, and such. So even thou it looks like there are a huge number of fighters waiting in the line, there are nowhere near like in those much older sports.
With ‘Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight‘ reality TV show, now it is easier than ever to get on the UFC radar. All you need to have for it is, as we already told you, some wins in your region and popularity (on the street and probably more important – online).
It also should be noted that the UFC tries to balance the fighters—by weight division, by preferred technique, and such. It’s easier to get a UFC contract if your weight is in one of the less-deep weight classes.
Nationality is also one of the big factors when one is thinking about how hard it is to get into the UFC. They always try to expand their popularity all over the world, so it could be easier to get signed up by UFC for certain fighters from some countries than equally-good fighters from others.
How Many Years Does It Take To Become a UFC Fighter
This is hard to tell exactly because it depends on many factors, such as how talented are you, how much you train and sacrifice, are you an attractive fighter, the one that builds excitement with every fight, and at the end, how lucky you are. If you think you are maybe too old to start training for a UFC fighter, don’t worry, we have an article about what age is too old to start MMA, so you can check it out.
If you find yourself in all these marks then we can roughly determine how many years does it take to become a UFC fighter:
- it has to be said that many fighters start training at the age of 9 or 10 years. It doesn’t always have to be like that, because we’ve seen some great MMA fighters that started training late, but it is usually better if you do
- you would need about 5 years to become a good MMA fighter. That means you have to get good at wrestling, as well as BJJ, few of those years go to Muay Thai or Kickboxing, and if you have some more time then you should learn some traditional martial arts as well as Judo
- all this time you should look for amateur bouts, so you can get the feeling of the cage, and the real fight. Sometimes this part can be easy, and sometimes it is not easy at all to find those fights. This varies a lot in different parts of the world
- then you need an additional 4 years to become a good MMA fighter, ready for UFC call. You should continue to train martial arts we suggested above, and your wrestling and BJJ should get to another level
- when you think you are ready, you should start competing professionally. Not only that, but you need at least 8-10 wins against some notable opponents to get noticed. You will probably have to go through some smaller organizations first to get the chance in the bigger ones.
So, we would say you need at least 9 years of MMA training to be ready for UFC. That number is just our prediction, but everybody is different, so it doesn’t have to be the same for everyone.
There are people training in the same gyms, under the same coaches, and some progress much faster, while others don’t. Also, as we already said, you need to be an attractive fighter, that’s what Dana and UFC love, social media following plays a role as well, and we can’t forget about luck, without it, well, you know what they say.
When we are talking about luck, when you are in the process of training to become a UFC fighter, there are a lot of chances to get injured – during training or a fight. Those injuries could setback you a lot in your journey to becoming an MMA fighter, which of course means more time to get to your goal.
What’s the right direction you have to follow to become a UFC fighter?
We have talked about what you need to became UFC fighter, but here we will be talking about the right approach to become one.
These are some practical tips that can help you on your journey:
- you have to ask yourself how much you really want to do it. MMA is one of the toughest sports, and it will take a lot of your time, hard work, and energy to be good at it. Don’t forget it will be really hard at the start, you will need a lot of training and learning, earn probably no money at all and will have to be even paying some, there are possible injuries, setbacks and other difficult moments, so you really have to think about it how hard do you really want this.
- if you have still decided this is something you really want, then first join an MMA gym. There are some good and there are some bad MMA gyms. Of course, try to target the best there is in your area, and we have an article about 15 best MMA gyms in the world, so check it out, maybe some of the best are near you.
- during your training in the MMA gym try to learn everything you can. Fighting strategy, techniques, physical training, and nutrition. The more and faster you learn the faster your journey to becoming a UFC fighter is.
- train smart. There are a lot of combat sports fighters, especially boxers, that tend to do hard sparring. That is because they think (or are lead to believe) that it makes them tough and that it helps them get used to the feeling of a real fight. Although there is some truth to it, it also can give you brain damage and shorten your career span, if not even life span. There are also a lot of fighters who overtrain. You don’t have to do all of that. The best and healthiest fighters are the ones that know how to train, when to train, what to train, and with who to train. If you’re training with a coach or sparing partners that make you hurt yourself, you should look for another gym where that doesn’t happen, which shouldn’t be hard to find.
- don’t forget to take rest. Sleep and recovery are some of the biggest parts of any athlete’s life. Your muscles, ligaments, bones, skin, and mind need rest, not only for the sake of it but also because it helps you train better in the next training and it helps prevent injuries, which in the end leads to being able to train, learn, and fight for longer. Many athletes know to overtrain, and not rest enough. That often leads to injuries and worse training.
- nutrition – healthy nutrition is a vital part of your journey to becoming a UFC fighter. Eating healthy food, in the right amounts, and at the right times helps you with your body mass and weight, it gives you energy, it helps you recover faster, and it enhances your speed, strength, flexibility, and resistance. If you take care of your body, it will take care of you, and that is even more true for combat sports
- when you start looking for fights and taking them, it would be a smart move to find yourself an agent. He will find you great contracts and chose for you the right fighters, and that way you will build your career steadily and in the right way. You could also think about taking a lawyer, but maybe you don’t have to have him right from the start.
- in the end, if you have decided to take this hard route in becoming a UFC fighter, then just don’t give up. It is a hard road, but the MMA world is not as crowded as NBA, NHL, Football, and such other older sports, so you have a much better chance. Enter some of the smaller promotions, and work your way up to UFC. You can check the Top 10 best MMA promotions, and build your way up one by one.
It will take at least 9 years of hard work for you to become a UFC fighter.
Don’t forget it will be hard work, and a long road to become one, but if that is what you have decided, then don’t give up.
Follow the advice we have given you above, and you are on the right way to becoming a UFC fighter.