Is It Too Late To Start MMA?

By Logan •  Updated: 12/31/21 •  4 min read

Unless you aim at competing professionally, it’s never too late to start MMA. Such an athletic pursuit will benefit people of all ages, however, there is only a small window of time where one can fight for a living. But, if you wish to merely undertake it as a hobby, then it’s never too late.

I know that the older you get the more daunting it is to begin MMA training, but there are many benefits to the sport. The physical benefits of MMA include increased strength and endurance, while the mental benefits include an increased ability to control stress and anxiety. With practice, you will be able to navigate the ground game with skill and precision, while developing confidence in sparring or fighting.

Is It Too Late To Start MMA?

What Age Is Too Old To Start MMA?

There’s no such thing as being ‘too old’ to start a sport. Whether you’re 19 years old or 65 years old, you’ll benefit from the rigorous cardiovascular and strength training associated with MMA training. 

A more important variable is the condition of the individual. If, for example, you’re only 30 years old, yet have problems with your knees, neck, or back, then starting MMA training may be dangerous for you due to the compromised positions you’ll be put in during a grapple.

By the same token, if you’re 60 years old yet have no injury problems, then you have no good reason not to start MMA. However, fighting may not be a good idea as you will be considerably older than your potential opponents – unless you can convince your friends to join you.

One thing to consider is what you wish to achieve out of MMA. If you just want to use it as a way to stay fit and learn some basic self-defense, then you can start it at any age. If, however, you wish to compete, it’s best to begin during your peak years of 15-25.  

At What Age Should You Start MMA?

It’s best to start any sporting endeavor as early as possible. Take a look at the MMA elite and you’ll find one thing in common – they started training early and mastered the skills quicker and earlier than 99% of other people.

However, there are a few examples of late bloomers in MMA. Kimbo Slice, for example, didn’t start his professional career until the age of 31. Other sporting examples include professional soccer players Ian Wright and Jamie Vardy – who both became professionals in their mid-20s. 

Kimbo Slice would go on to become an MMA legend until his sudden death in 2016 whereas Jamie Vardy won the Premier League title, the highest honor in English football, at the age of 28 – just four years after playing in an amateur side and being told he’d never make it as a footballer. 

As you can see, there’s no such thing as ‘too old’ in sports. If you think you’ve got unrivaled skills and discipline, then you shouldn’t be discouraged about being a late bloomer. 

Things To Consider Before Starting MMA

There are, of course, things you need to consider if you’re an older person starting MMA. The first and most obvious thing to address is that you’ll be less mobile and more prone to injuries than your younger counterparts.

Recovery time will be longer, sessions will feel tougher, and factors such as sleep and nutrition will be a lot more important. MMA is a great hobby to have but you must respect it and keep your body in prime condition as much as you can. Injuries are inevitable, so be sure to give yourself adequate time off when you experience one. 

If you have dreams of becoming a professional, then keep in mind that managers and promoters will need a lot of convincing to showcase you on the card.

Younger fighters will naturally generate more interest, so remember that you will need a bit of luck to make it. Randy Couture may have become UFC Champion in his 40s, but he was a freak of nature who was backed up by world-class skills and marketable charisma. 

However, there is no age limit to training MMA. It’s a great way of meeting people and keeping fit. It has an inclusive community that is free of the bravado and elitism seen in other sports. If you’re keen to start training, it truly doesn’t matter how many years you have on the clock. 

Final Thoughts

It is never too late to start MMA, as long as you are in good health you can give it a go. If you dream of being a professional MMA fighter then it is best to start as early as possible.


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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