By: Brett Johns (Guest Writer)
I started MMA when I was 18 years old. After five months of fighting at the amateur level, I jumped straight into the professional ranks. I held an amateur record of five wins and zero losses. If I could change one thing about my amateur career, I probably would’ve liked a couple more bouts as an amateur!
My advice to any up-and-coming fighter wanting to start in mixed martial arts is to not be in a rush to fight at the professional level! I think amateurs should have about 20 bouts before even thinking about fighting at the professional level.
I know that fighters want to call themselves “professionals”, but by fighting at the amateur level, they learn different things about the mixed martial arts game – weight cutting, professionalism of a fighter, and the way the show is run. It’s a great way to get to know promoters before actually going pro!
Rocky Marciano was an undefeated professional boxer who was 49-0. But, as an amateur, he held a record of eight wins and four losses! The moral of the story is to learn the game at the amateur level before jumping in with the big fish. The more amateur experience you gain, the less likely you will be surprised as a professional fighter.