Mixed Martial Arts FighterFor most Martial Arts practitioners, competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship or more commonly called as UFC is a goal, if not the ultimate goal. Not only would they showcase their individual skill in combat arts but it is also a good advertisement for their respective schools or dojo. Before, Martial Arts experts would only be recognized if they are good enough to win a championship title and then get discovered by a movie outfit. Chuck Norris and Jet Li are just among a few who got commercial success, so still becoming a champion does not really guarantee fame and fortune. However now, with the onset of pay-per-view showing mixed Martial Arts competitions like the UFC, Pride and Golden Boy Production's Affliction, martial artists have now an avenue to show the world how good they are at the same time getting good money (six figures if fight is a main event).
Unlike before, competitions are on a discipline-basis, like, if it's just judo, then all the competitors would also be skilled in judo, but in a mixed Martial Arts competition, a judo master may be pitted against a Jiu-Jitsu black belter, a wrestler, a kickboxer or any type of Martial Arts Fighter.
In a mixed Martial Arts competition, fights are on a contract basis giving competing parties lead time to prepare and assess their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Like in the case of the Jon Fitch vs. Diego Sanchez match up, Jon Fitch knew that Diego Sanchez have a wide array of submission techniques and so during his practice sessions in preparation for the fight, he made an effort on how to defend against Diego’s favorite moves and holds. His preparations bore fruit as he already knew how to slip his way out of guillotine chokes and leg triangles which Diego threw at him relentlessly.
To be really an excellent Mixed Martial Arts Fighter like George St. Pierre, the current Welterweight UFC Champion, a professional fighter should, first of all, must have the physical conditioning to withstand potential punishments their body might receive from their opponents. It is usually the conditioning that determines the outcome of the fight when they go the distance or when both fighters are evenly skilled.
During pre-fight, since weight class is now being observed, they have to watch what they eat so as not to go over the weight limit. Learning submission techniques like an armbar hold, different choke styles and other arm and leg holds is a plus because once they know how to do them, they can also defend against these situations.
Becoming a champion, knowledge in more than one form of Martial Arts style is preferred as a fighter would most likely be facing opponents of different styles. A good mixed of skills would be wrestling for take-down maneuvers, Jiu-Jitsu for grappling and submission techniques and some boxing and Muaythai to hold up your ground during stand up striking exchanges.
As Mixed Martial Arts is gaining more acceptance as a mainstream sport like boxing and wrestling and the prize money is approaching the million dollar mark apart from becoming movie stars as some are already appearing in TV shows and movies, being a Mixed Martial Arts Fighter seems like a promising career.