MMA ‘is a sh*tty career.’ Here’s why.

LAS VEGAS – Ben Askren doesn’t recommend MMA as a career.

Askren, a former ONE Championship and Bellator champion and UFC fighter, told MMA Junkie Radio that he usually warns wrestlers he coaches to stay away from the cage because there’s little money to be made, even when you’re successful in the sport.

“I usually advocate against MMA. It is a sh*tty career,” Askren said. “I say out of the many thousands of people across America that want to do MMA, man, if you make it to the UFC, OK this is what I talk them through when they’re not that skilled: Make it to the UFC, which is hard, right? You’re going to have to do a bunch of amateur fights, then a bunch of low-level pro fights. Someone is going to have to see you, you’re going to have to not get injured, all these good things are going to have to happen to you. So you make it to the UFC, and you’re on a baseline contract, and (if) you win all three fights your first year, you’ll probably make $80,000.

“OK, that’s all right. But, hold on, you didn’t pay your management, you didn’t pay your trainer, you didn’t pay your taxes. Sh*t, you’re sitting on $30,000 to $40,000. You’re at the poverty level. And that’s if you win all three fights and everything went really well. MMA is not a great career. It really isn’t.”

Askren, who recently released his memoir Funky: My Defiant Path Through the Wild World of Combat Sports, said there are some exceptions to his rule. He’s only recommended MMA twice.

“The two would be Corey Anderson (and Jordan Newman),” Askren said. “So when I moved to (Roufusport MMA), I didn’t do any wrestling, because there wasn’t anyone who was competitive, and then I was like, ‘Hey, I need to wrestle at least one day a week.’

“So I would go down to (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), which is like 40 minutes away, and Corey was a national runner-up at heavyweight. I guess he had a little bit of a boxing background, and I said, ‘Hey, you should consider fighting. I think you’d be really good. You seem to have the mentality for it, you love to work hard.’

“And then the other one, he’s one of my managers for AWA. His name is Jordan Newman. He’s currently 4-0 in Bellator and fights on Nov. 18.”


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