You know how to become a chef (cook nice things). You know how to become a writer (write engaging content, like yours truly). You know how to become a politician (don’t answer straightforward questions and peck at the flesh of your country like a hungry vulture). But there’s a job more covetable than all of these combined that’s hard to figure out how to get into: how to become a professional MMA fighter. But we’ve got the answer.
Here we’ve recruited Chris Miah, professional MMA fighter with BAMMA, to talk us through how he became a professional fighter and how you can too.
Watch the next BAMMA fight live on ITV 4, March 9th
How long have you been practicing MMA for?
I’ve been practicing in some way since I was 16, so the best part of a decade.
How did you first get into MMA?
I originally went to go to a boxing class for self defence, I was a small kid at school and tended to have a bit of grief. The gym I went to happened to have MMA classes as it was the home of Gracie Barra Birmingham at the time so I decided to try it and never looked back.
What does your weekly training schedule look like?
My schedule is always changing in and out of camp. My usual practices are MMA Wrestling, MMA Grappling, MMA Sparring, Submission Grappling/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Thai Boxing and Strength and Conditioning. Usually between 8-10 sessions per week.
What’s a common misconception people have about MMA training?
Learn the basics, a lot of people watch someone like McGregor and see all his spinning shit. But this guy has a solid boxing background and is a legit brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He would of learned to jab and hip escape long before he learned a 360 spinning kick.
How long did you train for before your first official match?
Around a year to 18 months before my first amateur contest.
What does your diet consist of?
Lately I have been using a nutritionist Mike Leng to help with this side of things. But the basics, eat enough calories to fuel your training in camp, eat protein at every meal, and drink lots of water.
I just go out and scrap to be honest. I’ve always been strong mentally when competing, but lately I use a mind coach (Richard Hart). I feel like the mind is like any other skill: you have to keep developing it.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into the world of MMA?
Do your research on the gym your training at, there are a lot of Mickey Mouse gyms out there. Find someone who has reputable skills and is a decent human.