Mixed Martial Arts Fighter

Pummel, kick, or subdue your opponents as a modern-day gladiator.
picture of Mixed Martial Arts Fighter

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$25,000 – $106,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Mixed Martial Arts Fighters do?

Mixed Martial Arts Fighters are the 21st-century version of Boxers or Pro Wrestlers, as they make their living fighting opponents in front of live audiences. Fighting is what they love and do best. While a lot of people say, “I’m a lover, not a fighter,” Mixed Martial Arts Fighters are more likely to say, “I’m a lover and a fighter.”

As a Mixed Martial Arts Fighter, however, you take part in fights that are unlike boxing or wrestling, which have strict rules of engagement. Your fights are known for their no-holds-barred hand-to-hand combat, which typically takes place inside a cage instead of a ring. You use minimal safety equipment, with protective gear typically restricted to open-fingered gloves. And the fight has few rules, with opponents able to use whatever fighting style and techniques they deem necessary to win.

Thanks to the general absence of rules — usually, only head-butts, biting, and eye gouging are prohibited, along with blows to the groin, kidneys, and trachea — your fights often include a mix of wrestling, karate, tae kwon do, jiu-jitsu, boxing, and kickboxing. While traditional fights have rounds that end when one Fighter is knocked to the ground, MMA fights last until one Fighter is knocked out or admits defeat — called “submission” — or until the Referee stops the fight due to injury.

Because the fights are so intense, you can only compete a few times a year. Therefore, the majority of your workdays aren’t spent fighting. Instead, they’re spent training, as your ultimate goal isn’t being an MMA Fighter; it’s being an MMA champion!

Should I be a Mixed Martial Arts Fighter?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Cage Fighter, MMA Fighter, Prize Fighter

    How to Become a
    Mixed Martial Arts Fighter

    Most Mixed Martial Arts Fighters have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9aaaaa&chl=no+college+%2899%25%29|||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,99,99
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