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Whether we like to admit it or not, a selection of top female athletes from the MMA world faced a number of challenges during their journey to the top. A masculine, male-dominated sport on the whole, it’s only in recent times that female fighters are getting the attention they deserve.
Thanks to some of the sport’s biggest names, such as Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey, MMA fighting is now gathering serious momentum with female audiences. Women have gone from not being able to compete in the UFC to headlining stacked cards, dominating social media trends, and becoming inspirational figures for aspiring female fighters all over the world. Their rise to stardom undoubtedly wasn’t easy, though, with numerous physical and mental challenges to overcome, all while potentially holding down a job.
Make no mistake about it: becoming a professional MMA fighter is a real challenge. Whether you’re a man or a woman, there are some useful tips to keep in mind that will certainly improve your chances of getting there, though. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips on how to become a female MMA fighter:.
Nutrition is key
While you might be exhibiting serious potential in the cage and mastering new disciplines, it can all come crumbling down around you if you fail to look after yourself. After all, what we put into our bodies is what we get out of them. As such, it’s important to be well-conditioned and healthy. Eating a balanced diet is possible, but there needs to be a particularly strong focus on lean meats, vegetables and a selection of the good stuff. Drinking water and a range of other healthy juices filled with green goodness is also recommended, although there are plenty of healthy things you can consume overall. Essentially, though, the aim is to provide you with high energy levels and the ability to unleash your most devastating performances either in the cage or while training and learning about the sport.
Always assess your training partners
Once you’re feeling good about your diet, you’ll have more time and energy to put the work in. This involves taking on training partners, with this particular aspect of training forming an integral part of any solid training program. Of course, you’re likely to train alongside men, given the popularity of the sport with male audiences, but it’s also worth finding out if there are any female competitors in your gym. Don’t just settle for any gym either. Instead, search around and speak to gyms and fighters to help establish the best training environment for you. Always put yourself and your development first.
Look at every facet of the sport
The explosion in popularity of MMA in the last few decades has created a huge auxiliary industry around the sport. As a fighter, you need to understand every piece of it. That’ll mean reading books and listening to podcasts, as well as anything else you can do to understand the mindset of a fighter. You’ll also need to get to grips with the “mechanics” of a fight. For example, if you look at the UFC/MMA odds online before a big fight night, ask yourself, why is one fighter favored over another? Why did one fighter win and one lose? What went wrong and what went right?
Don’t forget to spar
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Nailing your training routine and nutrition is certainly key to success, but you also need to throw yourself further into the deep end at times with a gruelling sparring session. Put simply, if you can’t hack a sparring session and shiver at the prospect of having to strike an opponent, then the sport probably isn’t for you. If you’re keen to cause damage and inflict your martial arts skills on an opponent, though, then sparring is something that you should most definitely try more. It isn’t about knocking an opponent out either, more about enjoying some aggressive training and unlocking new skills in the process. Many top fighters in the world will tell you that sparring is as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one. If a fighter can take a beating without being submitted or knocked out, for example, then they’ll be stronger for it. Sparring is, therefore, something that you should never neglect.
Stay focused on your goals
Perhaps most importantly of all is the need for an aspiring fighter to not lose sight of the goals she originally set out to achieve. During an MMA journey, you’ll undoubtedly take knocks along the way and feel defeated on occasion. With that in mind, don’t let the bad moments determine your journey and always stay focused on the initial goals that you made for yourself. You might eventually realize that becoming a professional MMA fighter isn’t for you, but you’ll only truly know that if you can say that you gave it your all and didn’t lose focus on the ultimate objective.