How Long Should You Train Before Your First MMA Fight?

By Logan •  Updated: 12/24/21 •  5 min read

Every MMA fighter has a different story on how they got started. Some are motivated by the desire to be competitive, while others want to improve their physical fitness. There are many ways to train before your first MMA fight, depending on what your goals are. If you’re just getting into the sport and want to have the most time possible for training before your first fight, then it can take up to two years.

When you’re new to the sport of MMA, it’s important that you have a trainer who knows how to work with beginners. It can be tricky to know when is the right time to fight in your first MMA fight if you’re just starting out. Some trainers recommend waiting a few months for your first fight, while others say you’ll be fully prepared in a couple of years.

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. The first factor is how much experience you have in martial arts and mixed martial arts in general, along with your age. If you have a lot of experience and are over the age of 18, then it’s recommended that you train for at least 4 months before your first fight.

On this page, we are going to give you a rough idea of how long you should be training before your first MMA fight. 

How Long Should You Train Before Your First MMA Fight?

How Long Should I Train Before My First Amateur MMA Fight?

You can enter your first amateur fight when you feel ready.

A lot of people wonder how long they will need to train before they enter their first MMA bout. The thing is that there isn’t really an easy answer. Some people will require a lot more training than others. Not just in terms of martial arts, but in also ensuring that their fitness levels are at their absolute peak.

If you have decently high fitness levels and are experienced in one or more martial arts, then it could take as little as a month to prepare for your first MMA fight. If you are starting from scratch, it may take a year or two.

If you are working with a trainer, then they may be able to give you advice on when you should enter your first fight. This is because they are going to have a rough idea of your ability. They will know whether you are able to compete in a fight or not.

There are some people that have entered their first amateur MMA fight after just a couple of training sessions. For some people, getting a couple of fights under their belt is much more beneficial to their MMA career than it is to spend hours and hours in the gym. After all, competition is the only way to learn how to fight against real, unpredictable opponents.

There are some people that train for many, many weeks before they feel that they are ready to compete at an amateur level. Most experts recommend that you take at least 2-3 weeks to get into the headspace that you need to be into to compete. This includes following the right diet, psyching yourself up, and building up your fitness levels.

As we mentioned before, it may even take you a good year or two of solid training. This is normally the case if you don’t really have a whole lot of experience in competitive martial arts. It may also be the case if your fitness levels are a little bit off. Remember, MMA, even at the amateur level, is incredibly fast-paced. If you have even the slightest of fitness issues, you won’t be able to succeed.

When you do take the plunge and jump into your first MMA fight, think about how you performed. This will give you a rough idea of what aspects of your performance you need to work on. This may mean even longer in the gym before your next fight. 

How Do I Prepare For My First MMA Fight?

First things first, when you know that you are just about ready to step into an amateur competition, you will need to start training in the gear that you will be using when you fight. This especially includes your mouthguard. The way in which you move about and breathe will be completely changed by your equipment. You need to prepare for that.

At the same time, you will need to ensure that you keep your fitness levels up. This especially includes strength. After all, you won’t be able to win an MMA fight without strength on your side.

If you are training at an MMA gym (which you should be), it is vital that you get into interclub sparring. This will allow you to compete against other fighters. Since it isn’t a competition, the two of you will be able to share notes on your performance. You should never, ever enter a proper amateur MMA fight without having a few of these spars under your belt. 

Other than this, focus on your diet. Ensure a balanced diet. Your trainer will be able to help you with this.

Final Thoughts

There are no hard and fast rules for knowing when you are ready to compete in your first MMA fight. SOme people may be ready to roll after a couple of training sessions, others may take a whole lot longer. If you are working with a trainer then you should listen to them. If you are training on your own, then join an MMA gym. Regularly schedule interclub spars so you can practice your MMA skills. When you feel like you can complete, you are ready to compete.


Hi, I've been an avid MMA fan all my life. I've been training in martial arts for the last 5 years and wanted to share some of the tips and tricks that I've picked up along the way to help to aspiring martial artists get started.

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