Tools and Technique for Training

With around 6.6 million individuals practicing and choosing MMA as their primary sport, many of them are still unaware of what it actually requires to be a champion. Though MMA fighting is considered to be safer, cooler and more appealing these days compared to other sports, it still requires the right MMA gear, training, skill set, and knowledge.

The sport has evolved significantly over the years and is expected to grow $171.14 billion USD worldwide by 2028. Competing at the highest level is harder than ever for fighters. You’ll need to be a true MMA artist with the right equipment, strategies, and techniques to stand a chance at the highest levels.

Becoming a Pro MMA Fighter: What Does It Require?

To chase your dream of becoming a MMA champion, the fighters should never underestimate the power of right gear, the proper training, learning strategies and developing innovative fighting techniques. Here is what helps make a successful MMA fighter.

High-Quality MMA Gear

Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts declare the right MMA equipment and apparel important for the fighters for their protection. The gear must consist of a pair of MMA shorts, gloves, shin guard, groin protection for men, and protective chest gear for women.

MMA Shorts

Board shorts, biking shorts, Vale Tudo shorts, kickboxing shorts - all good as long as they're approved by the commission. Speedo-style shorts are not the best option.

Protective Gear

  • Gloves: These open-fingered gloves are crucial to protect fighters' hands. They can weigh between 4 and 6 ounces, with some exceptions requiring approval.

The promoter provides the gloves, and they need to have at least an inch of padding in the knuckle area to prevent injury. Infinitude Fight features a 3D customizer that allows you to manually add colors, club logos, and signatures to your custom MMA gloves.

  • Mouthguard: This mandatory mouthpiece keeps fighters safe from cuts and other dental drama during a fight. It needs to be approved by the doctor and stay in during the entire fight.
  • Hand wraps: Fighters should prefer wrapping their hands to allow extra protection and mobility to the hand and wrist.
  • Groin Protection (Men Only): Men can choose any commission-approved groin guard, which usually includes a jockstrap and a cup.
  • Chest Protection (Women Only): For proper safety, women MMA fighters need to wear approved chest protection during the competition.

Develop a Full Time Training Schedule

Mixed marital artists need multiple training sessions per day to improve their fighting skills and strength. Training like an MMA fighter requires a well-structured plan and time dedication. To maximize your progress and avoid overtraining, talk to a professional coach or PT. These activities should be a part of your MMA training program.

Dark-haired woman wearing dark workout clothing does leg press squats at a gym.
These strength and conditioning activities should be a part of your MMA training program.

Weight Lifting

  • Build strong muscles: Exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses help build a solid foundation and provide more power for takedowns, strikes, and explosive movements.
  • Increases Power Output: Lifting weights improves your power of throwing punches and kicks and generates force, resulting in more knockouts and dominant takedowns.

Cardio Training

  • Boosts Endurance: MMA fights are grueling tests of stamina. Cardio training like running, swimming, or jump rope helps you maintain a high pace throughout the fight.


  • Develop Explosive Power: To improve strikes and explosive takedowns, the fighters should practice squats, box jumps, and depth jumps.
  • Improves Agility: Plyometrics enhances your ability to quickly change the direction and respond to the movement of your opponent.

The Base Martial Art Style You Excel At

Even though MMA fighters should be ready for anything, the champions usually have a fighting style they excel at. Stamp Fairtex, the One Championship Women's Atomweight champ, might have some great takedown defense, but her Muay Thai skills are her true knockout punch.

Finding your Fighting Focus & Style

  • Discover Your Natural Talent: Some people are experts in powerful kicks and punches, while others excel in controlling their opponent on the ground. Try different martial arts and see which you feel most comfortable with.
  • Master Your Base: Once you find your fighting style, dedicate yourself to excel in it. This gives you a position of strength and control during a fight, making it tough for opponents to overpower you.
  • Dominate with Your Strength: With a strong base style, you can build your entire fighting strategy around it. You'll learn how to take the fight to your preferred zone and dominate your opponent using your best skills.

Defensive Fighting Techniques & Strategies

Early MMA was a wild fight scene where different martial arts fought with each other in different styles. Champions like Royce Gracie cleaned house, but that made fighters learn a mix of styles to be more unpredictable. To become a legend in MMA, the fighters must excel in multiple core disciplines that include striking, wrestling, Muay Thai, and BJJ.

Developing the Techniques

MMA fighters training techniques at a gym while the coach observes.
Remember, the way you train, dictates the way you fight.

Movement and Distance Management: Know when it is the right time in the cage to move to avoid strikes.

Blocks and Checks: This includes the anticipation of a wide array of strikes including pouches, kicks, knees, and elbows to limit damage. You must practice high blocks, low blocks, inside blocks, checks catches and parries for MMA defense technique.

The Sprawl: Sprawl includes reading your opponent’s movements, ensuring you are ready to execute. When your opponent moves in, sprawl back on one leg, keeping your hips low and head up, then drive your hips forward to counter their attack and maintain your fighting position.

Shrimping: Shrimping is a hip escape that ensures your safety in grappling exchanges. In addition to movement, blocks, clinch defense and sprawl, it can raise your game with good practice.

Mental Toughness and Focus

MMA is as much a mental game as it is physical. Fedor Emelianenko, the MMA heavyweight legend, was surprisingly chill outside the octagon. He might've looked bored throwing punches, but that calm focus was his secret weapon.

Despite his easygoing demeanor, Fedor had the heart of a champion - the drive and perseverance to overcome any obstacle and achieve his goals. This kind of mental toughness and fight IQ is what separates good fighters from the greats.

Cultivating Mindful Techniques

  • Mental Resilience: Train your mind to be attentive and focused under pressure. Regularly practice drills that push you outside your comfort zone, both physically and mentally.
  • Focus: Maximize the ability to stay focused in the moment during training and fights without taking pressure. Meditation or mindfulness exercises can help you in improving concentration.
  • Discipline: Develop a strong work ethic and stick to your training plan. Learn to resist temptations and stay committed to your goals.
  • Visualization: Regularly visualize yourself performing well in training and fights. Imagine yourself overcoming obstacles and achieving your goals.
  • Mindfulness: Practice being aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help you stay calm under pressure and make better decisions during a fight.

When you train with the right equipment and drill proper technique, you will have a head start against your competition. Using quality equipment, getting on a consistent training schedule, finding your base martial art, and putting in the time to practice and develop your skills are your keys to success.