As MMA continues to rise in popularity, it’s natural for more people to begin to ask the question: How do I become an MMA fighter? It can seem like a daunting task, given the nature of the sport. On the other hand, in MMA, one can work their way up to gaining a berth with an MMA promoter, whereas the concept of an average Joe trying to do with, say the NFL or NBA seems absurd. Furthermore, the existence of weight classes means this isn’t another American sport that simply favors bigger people.
Needless to say, the latter steps won’t matter if you don’t get this portion down. You’ll want to be competent at MMA before you ever set foot in a sanctioned event. Find a local MMA school that suits you and begin training. Make sure you are fairly well rounded (and competent) with both your stand up and ground game. If you don’t already have a competitive background (like wrestling) you may want to start entering discipline-specific (jiu jitsu, kickboxing, etc) tournaments to get the feel for it.
Sign up to fight with your local amateur promotion (for example, in Southern California there is Knockout Promotions). This is where you’ll have your chance to get noticed and picked up by larger, or professional promotions.
Continue to hone your skills but also network within the MMA community. You never know who can help you or who you can help.