Top 5 Mistakes of amateur MMA fighters

most common mistakes that will de-rail your UFC dream

This is an article wrote by Garcia

Every single day hundreds of Men and women walk into the local MMA gym with the same goal in mind: Becoming the next big thing. everyone wants to be the next GSP, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones- but all too often MMA fighters in the early stages of their careers; the amateur stage of their careers in particular, forget all the in-between of making it to the big stage. here is a detailed description of the most common mistakes that will de-rail your dreams of UFC gold:

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Trusting promoters too much

 In todays day and age it is all too easy to get a fight. one can simply call a phone number, reply to a facebook post and boom next thing you know you’re standing across the cage from a guy you know nothing about competing in a sport you know even less about. the very root of amateur MMA is that promoter’s make money. Amateur MMA fighters don’t make any money, so aside from cage rental, venue rental, alcohol vender etc. Every ticket sold goes right into the promoters pocket. They just want bodies in the cage to beat the crap out of each other and sell tickets. More often than not a promoter will tell you how much the other guys sucks, how easily you could beat him etc. Meanwhile he’s in the other guys ear telling him the exact same thing about you. Also one must be careful not to fight for a promoter who has ties to an MMA gym himself. because 99% of the time fighting for these individuals results in you being the “fish” or, the less experienced fighter who gets purposely matched with a much more talented fighter from the promoter’s gym in order to get a win. Before you say yes to a fight its best to ask your coach/coaches to analyze the match up and give their input. after all that’s what you pay them for, to teach you what they know, to give insight they’ve gained from experience.


Not training enough

Now this goes back to the “All too easy to get a fight” concept. It’s not the promoters responsibility or desire to make sure you’ve trained properly and know what you’re doing. once you say yes the fight is on, and its up to you to be prepared. Training in your basement or garage and watching you tube videos of 10th planet and master Ken does NOT count as training. Doing lots of roadwork and lifting weights everyday is very beneficial to an MMA fighter but ultimately is not going to adequately prepare you for a fight. Before you even think about stepping in the cage make sure you are training with a solid MMA gym with a good trainer. Do your research and try to train with a competition team that has had success with a coach who is or was an MMA fighter himself. success breeds success so the best way to ensure victory in the cage is to surround yourself with other active MMA fighters regularly. don’t just walk into the “MMA fitness” class at your local Karate McDojo.

Training too much

Now there are plenty of amateur MMA fighters in the world who are smart and dedicated and do it for the right reasons. They are disciplined and dedicated to their dreams of being in the UFC and follow a strict regimen of diet, exercise and training. there is only one problem with these individuals: they are in too much of a hurry. Sure, Georges St. Pierre eats everything out of a measuring cup, has a rigorous strength training regimen and trains 3-4 times a day every single day, but you are not Georges St. Pierre. For the amateur MMA fighter in the first year or so of his career, the essentials of success are very basic. Be in shape, and train regularly. You dont need to train 3 times a day 7 days a week to get ready for your debut fight. I don’t care if you were a college wrestler, football player, biathlete. MMA is not like any thing you have ever done, training too much too soon will result in injury and will sometimes deter an otherwise wealth of potential. a good way to tell if you’re overtraining is to take your resting heart rate in the middle of the day during your downtime. take your resting heart rate at the same time everyday. an increase of 10Bpm or more in your resting heart rate suggests you are over training and may need to dial it back a bit. Rest is essential for growth both physically and mentally.


Doing it for the wrong reasons

Lets face it, MMA is freaking cool right now. Everyone wants a picture wearing MMA gloves. everyone wants an athlete page with 500 likes. everyone wants a custom “walkout tee” (since you are going to be walking out in front of a whopping 300 people at the VFW hall) Everyone wants to whip out the national mma ID and say those magic three words that make women’s panties disappear (or so you think) “I’m a cage fighter”. But sooner or later you WILL come across someone who is doing it for the right reasons. And when you come across that real dedicated athlete you can only hope you don’t follow the horrifying recent trend of dying in the cage. Because while you were on Facebook asking friends to help you decide on a walkout song- he was training. While you were writing letters to monster and DC and Tapout telling them how worthy of sponsorship your 0-0 record is- he was training. while you were shopping online for the hottest fight shorts and mouth guard and warm up suit-he was training. See the pattern here? the beautiful thing about MMA is you cannot lie in the cage. It’s impossible to tell a lie in there. What kind of person you are, what kind of fighter you are, how prepared you are, how tough you are, its gonna come out once you get in there. and no amount of hype will save you from a real mentally and physically prepared fighter. so before you even think about stepping in that hexagon (the UFC is the only promotion legally allowed to use an octagonal cage, its copyrighted) you better make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons to avoid being exposed in front of all the drunks at the county fair.


Trying to be someone else

I will never forget the night i saw John Smith fight. (His name has been changed to protect his identity). John was a 2 stripe brown belt in brazilian jiu jitsu under one of the top coaches in the country. John had won almost every major BJJ competition in the country and his ground game translated very well to MMA. there was only one problem with John the night he made his mma debut: He thought he was a striker. John had been watching too much Anderson Silva and Thiago alves, he walked to the cage with a pair of Muay thai trunks and ankle wraps on, and when the ref said fight he came out of his corner with a stance and movement pattern that can only be described as robotic and flamboyant. needless to say John did not attempt one single takedown and was knocked out cold in the first round after a failed spinning backfist attempt. The guy who beat him moved from 0-5 to 1-5 and had his first victory- over one of the nation’s top grapplers. Moral of the story, if you are a grappler, be a grappler. Set up the takedown with strikes and do what you know. If you spent your entire adolescent life boxing then learn to sprawl and brawl. Use defensive wrestling and use your strikes to earn the KO or TKO. Most grapplers lack what is called strikers cardio and will eventually drop their hands and expose their chin. if you don’t have a background, then learn all the basics and see whats best for you. The time to be well-rounded and good at everything will come in a few years, but not now! be patient, allow yourself to grow.

This is an article wrote by Garcia


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Jul 01, 2014 Categories: MMA Motivational