Tips to Prepare for Your First MMA Fight

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Your first MMA fight is something you won’t ever forget. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; you want to ensure you are ready, both mentally and physically. While training and nutrition are important, there are other aspects to getting ready for your first fight, as well. Keep reading to learn more.  

Strength and Conditioning

There’s no question that MMA is a physically demanding sport. Your conditioning determines the outcome during an amateur fight. Because of this, it isn’t unusual to see inexperienced fighters win the first round but then lose to an opponent with more skills because of fatigue.

Following a basic conditioning and strength program with your training can reduce the possibility of injuries and improve athletic performance. If you need motivation for your workout, consider listening to La Mega and working out with friends. This is a great way to keep going and achieve the conditioning benefits you need.

Equipment

Be sure that you are training in the same gear that you will be wearing on the day of your fight. You need to feel completely comfortable wearing things like gum shields and groin guards. If you aren’t used to the gumshield, it may impact your breathing. The groin guard may make some of your moves feel somewhat restricted. When you work out ahead of time with this protective equipment, you can feel confident that you will be ready on fight day and that it won’t hinder your abilities or performance.

Recreate the Competitive Environment

The goal of sparring is to recreate the fight arena in a safe location while working to minimize the possibility of injuries. It is important to recreate the competitive environment when you can while in the gym. Changes in the environment and stress may cause reduced performance. One example of this is that if you are fighting in front of your friends and family for the first time, it can add to the pressure of the situation, which may impact your ability to perform.

One of the best ways to reduce this pressure is by inviting people to watch you spar ahead of time.

Schedule a Smoker or Interclub Fight

Boxing and MMA gyms work to create a safe environment for amateur and hobbyist fighters to train with one another. Watching people throw heavy shots and brawl is something that is not a good idea in most MMA gyms, and it isn’t something that is encouraged. While flow sparring is fine, you can’t win an MMA fight – or even prepare for one – if you don’t have the opportunity to increase the intensity and aggression level that is needed to win a fight.

Before scheduling a “true MMA fight,” take time to compete interclub. This gives you the chance to see how you will do with higher intensity and more aggressiveness from your competition.

Avoid Weight Cutting

Weight cutting and weight loss are not the same things. With weight cutting, you are dehydrating your body so much to make the necessary weight to fight. While this will let you compete in a lower weight class, your body must have enough time to rehydrate fully. Some armature fights have same-day weigh-ins, which can leave you dehydrated during your fight. It is always best to fight at your natural weight, which will reduce the possibility of injuries and dehydration.

Getting Ready for Your First MMA Fight

If you want to ensure that you are fully prepared for your first MMA fight, be sure to prepare. This is something that will take months or longer. You need to take the proper amount of time to ensure you are fully prepared for your MMA match-up.  

Remember, the fighting is the easy part. If you train hard and have a solid foundation, there is not too much more you can do. Keep this in mind as you prepare for an upcoming fight. Being informed is the best way to ensure that you are ready to fight.

Photograph by Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty

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