How Can I Fight in Amateur MMA?

Fighting in amateur mixed martial arts is a great way to test your skills and evaluate if you have what it takes to become a professional MMA fighter. At a minimum, you have to be 18-years-old and train consistently with a reputable MMA coach for six months, according to MMA coach Rafael Garcia. Regulations for amateur MMA vary from state to state, but fight promoters generally choose fighters for their events at their own discretion.

Sign up with a local MMA coach who also trains professional MMA fighters. This ensures he has adequate experience to get you fit, as well as connections to promoters of amateur MMA events.

Train MMA consistently three to six days a week for at least six months to prepare for your first amateur MMA fight, advises Garcia. Divide your training into striking, grappling, strength and cardio components to develop well-rounded fighting skills and enough stamina to last during an amateur bout of three rounds of three minutes each.

Contact an amateur MMA promoter or ask your coach to schedule a fight for you, recommends MMA fighter Jake Ambrose.

Get blood tests for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C a few weeks before your upcoming amateur MMA fight. Female fighters also have to submit to a pregnancy test. Sanctioning organisations only allow fighters with negative test results to compete.

Submit your amateur fighter registration form, pass your physical exam and weigh in according to your designated weight class a few hours before your fight.

Listen to the ring official's explanation of all rules and ask questions if necessary.

Wear your mouth piece, shin guard and gloves when you enter the ring or cage. Gloves must be inspected and secured with tape by a ring official prior to the bout.

Score points with punches, kicks and take downs while aiming for a knock out or submission.


Most sanctioning organisations for amateur MMA don't allow fighters who have earned a purse in any combat sports, such as boxing or kick-boxing, to compete at amateur MMA events.

Things You'll Need

  • Mouth piece
  • Shin guards
  • Gloves
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About the Author

Astrid Bidanec has more than 20 years of reporting experience, focusing on sports, fitness and weight loss. Her work has been published in various print and online publications, including Tampa Bay Online and Creative Loafing Tampa. Bidanec holds a Master of Arts in journalism.