Difference between Pro, Semi-Pro and Amateur
Can someone please tell me the difference?
I'm about to turn 23 years old and have had zero MMA fights...but I train in BJJ at Gracie Barra. I plan to train in Boxing or Muay Thai for two or three years and once I reach purple belt in BJJ I will enter the world of MMA. So I will be 25-27 years old when I enter MMA.
So would I enter my MMA career like this:
Start at amateur for a few fights to gain experience...then move onto semi-pro for a few fights...then finally fight as a pro. Is this the norm?
Or Could I just skip amateur and jump straight into semi-pro or pro?
You are right to be confused, as the split can be bewildering. especially as the terms can apply to differences in pay scale or in rules.
when talking about rule sets amateur is no head shots standing or on the ground, semi pro is head shot standing but none on the ground and pro is head shot both standing and on the ground.
when talking about pay scales, amatuer can refer to a pro rule set fighter who doesnt get paid, semi pro can refer to a pro rule set fighter who get paid his expenses or works on a ticket deal and pro can refer to a pro rules fighter who get paid to fight.
the above is hardly definative but close enough to help you understand the terms.
Whatever you want to do.
I know people who have basically no stand up and aren't even a blue belt and have fought pro, and their biggest strength is their BJJ white belt..
Aslong as your sparring then I'd not do amateur as there'd be no need really, at the level you'd be. (A purple belt with 2 or 3 years stand up training)
the amateur rules MMA league are a great place to start off if you have no prior competition experience, but if you already had a competative background in kickboxing, judo, boxing, wrestling, muay thai, BJJ you might be able to jump in at semi or pro level.
thats not to say that you can't still have a few amateur, best thing to do would be to train at an MMA gym that has competing fighters, and discuss your options with a professional coach.
Sounds like you intend to train hard, which is always a plus, good luck.
Thanks for the information! Hmmm so there are different rules...
Because I do BJJ..and have no stand-up experience...I think amateur MMA would be ideal...because if I fight a muay thai or boxing guy...he aint allowed to hit me in the head..which is good..right?
So am I right in saying amateur MMA is more ideal for a BJJ guy like myself? As I have good knowledge of submissions and sweeps...but not trained in striking..so amateur rules kinda handicap the muay thai or boxing guy..and benefit the BJJ or wrestler?
you dont come across many thai or boxing guys in amateur, for the very reason that they are crippled by the rules set from their main method of winning. decent level strikers from my experience tend to jump into semi or pro level and try to get noticed that way.
the great thing about the amateur leagues is that in a fairly short space of time you can notch up quite a few fights, you get two matches at each event and most have three or four meets a year, if you attend two different leagues, (grapple and strike wales, UKMMA league or hereford open combat trials) thats 12 or more fights in a year, if you also go on the undercard of some local fight night shows (which often put on amateur rules matches) you will soon have enough experience to try stepping up, all the while training and improving your striking in preparation for the day.
I take my first timers to leagues, its a great way for them to get that first one out of the way without the pressure of entrance music and alcohol filled fans and build their confidence form there.
best thing to do is seek the advice of your coach. I never let my fighters decide when they are fighting, i do that, so you should let your coach know your goal of competing and let him seek out the best platform to showcase your talent.
check the UK governing body of MMAs website for more info mate. Find everything you need on there.
Thanks for the info... I'll have to ask around more advice on entering MMA...maybe contact some small MMA promotions in the UK.
Start with semi-pro rules, amateur mma fights are not interesting, unless you wanna get used to competing in front of a crowd.