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INTRO 18 year old college student, future professional fighter and millionaire

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northernMMA

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Hey guys! Just wanted to introduce myself as I just finished reading TMF after lurking here for a while.

Right now I am in the middle of my first semester of college, and pursuing a degree in Computer Science. Besides my school work my main two goals are to become a pro fighter in the UFC, while creating a successful business and investing my way to being a millionaire by the time I am 27.

I am not sure what my business plan will be yet, but I am coming up with new ideas everyday. My other doubts are as to whether I want to continue attending this school or not (paying 30k a year to go here but will have only 20k in debt when I am done bc of successful crypto investments last year) because rather than paying the 40k dollars I have saved from investing into my debt I could be going to a community college and using it to fund business ideas.

Any advice on my predicament above, or any other general advice you wish you had heard at 18 will be gladly accepted!
 

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Thoelt53

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Welcome!

Are you already training in a martial art?

Any advice on my predicament above, or any other general advice you wish you had heard at 18 will be gladly accepted!
I wish that at 18 I heard to pick one thing and stick with it until mastery. Could be martial arts, computer science, sales, welding, it doesn't matter. Pick something and devote yourself to it; you will master that craft in your 20s.

Mastering anything builds confidence and discipline, while also providing a valuable skill.
 
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northernMMA

northernMMA

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Welcome!

Are you already training in a martial art?



I wish that at 18 I heard to pick one thing and stick with it until mastery. Could be martial arts, computer science, sales, welding, it doesn't matter. Pick something and devote yourself to it; you will master that craft in your 20s.

Mastering anything builds confidence and discipline, while also providing a valuable skill.
Yes, I am already practicing MMA in a gym off campus, mostly working on BJJ right now.

And thank you for the advice, I will definitely reflect on which path I want to take.
 

sparechange

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If I was gonna be a pro fighter I'd move to Thailand and train with those guys, couple that with good ol American wrestling and your the champ.

(Id never wanna get my a$$ kicked for a living) BUT I Wouldn't mind fighting Khabib for 50 mill tho..

You'll need a plan B though, my trainer had a concussion while training and basically ended his career, he had a fight in the UFC and needed to retire since another head injury would most likely mean being in a coma. When you watch these pro guys in any sport you only get to see the 1-10% that succeed. They make it look easy, you are essentially gambling your health for very little pay. Guys on the under card & even main card get paid *** all.
 
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northernMMA

northernMMA

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If I was gonna be a pro fighter I'd move to Thailand and train with those guys, couple that with good ol American wrestling and your the champ.

(Id never wanna get my a$$ kicked for a living) BUT I Wouldn't mind fighting Khabib for 50 mill tho..

You'll need a plan B though, my trainer had a concussion while training and basically ended his career, he had a fight in the UFC and needed to retire since another head injury would most likely mean being in a coma. When you watch these pro guys in any sport you only get to see the 1-10% that succeed. They make it look easy, you are essentially gambling your health for very little pay. Guys on the under card & even main card get paid *** all.
Yeah thats why I'm trying to find a balance between going all in on fighting which is necessary to being a pro, while also developing a business on the side so I don't have to worry about the finances, because as you said it pays **** unless you're in the top of the top.
 

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I think the idea of taking classes at the local community college, for a significant discount, is a win. Particularly since your first two years are gen ed classes that aren't a big value add - no real reason to pay full price for them.

You can learn comp sci in the interim on your own, and pursue some money making ventures. College would still be there in a couple years, and you'd have gotten the BS classes out of the way. Just make sure that you pick a community college that would transfer credits to your school of choice.

Some folks around here are strongly anti college, but I'm in the "it depends" camp. I don't see the problem with majoring in comp sci, considering you can get jobs in machine learning / data science earning deep into the 6 figure range right out of school.
 
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AgainstAllOdds

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Yeah thats why I'm trying to find a balance between going all in on fighting which is necessary to being a pro, while also developing a business on the side so I don't have to worry about the finances, because as you said it pays **** unless you're in the top of the top.
In my opinion, it's incredibly difficult for you to both start a successful business and get into the UFC.

90+% of businesses fail. I'm guessing at least 99.9+% of UFC want-to-be's fail. Therefore, your probability of success is:
(1-.9)*(1-.999) = 0.01% -- and that's an overestimate.


  • How many people are competing against you to be in the UFC?
  • How many hours are they putting in per day?
  • How long have you been training so far? How long have they been training?
  • Is it realistic for you to start a business that's successful, and have enough time to be competitive?
If I were you, I'd concentrate on one of the two.

Go to an MMA gym. Offer to clean their mats/teach kids to fight in exchange for training. Or just straight up negotiate a way that you can train in exchange for something other than money.

You operating a business, training, AND going to school = an incredibly low chance of you ever making it to the UFC.

Here's a decent Quora post on the topic:

You’re going to have to fight in a crap ton of amateur fights, for little to no money, and get your a$$ handed to you regularly just to build credibility as a fighter with game. That said, if you are lucky enough to find a MMA gym with named fighters, then maybe you’ll have access to the promoters and managers that can get your name out faster and earlier. Finding that kind of atmosphere is difficult to say the least, and will be expensive without a doubt.

Let’s start with the basics, though, find a MMA gym that will teach you all aspects of the game, then devote 5–6 days of hard training for 3–4 hours every day. This isn’t something you can do as a hobby, or part-time, if you are truly serious about it. You’re talking about becoming a professional fighter in a minimum of 3 years when most professional fighters have been practicing some form of martial art since they were children. The learning curve is against you right now.

If all you have near you is a single-style gym, then join it and start training your a$$ off. Start competing as soon as your coach is ready for you to compete and get as much ring experience under your belt as you can. Focus on becoming an expert on that style, and then find new resources to help you expand your repertoire into other skill-sets.

I’m not going to say it’s impossible to achieve your goals, but you are going to have to bust your a$$ and really put in the mat time to get there.​
 

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The Abundant Man

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Some folks around here are strongly anti college, but I'm in the "it depends" camp. I don't see the problem with majoring in comp sci, considering you can get jobs in machine learning / data science earning deep into the 6 figure range right out of school.
Why pay thousands of dollars for classes and textbooks when I can purchase a $20-50 book at the bookstore or pay for a $10 Udemy course and learn it on my own though?
 

lowtek

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Why pay thousands of dollars for classes and textbooks when I can purchase a $20-50 book at the bookstore or pay for a $10 Udemy course and learn it on my own though?
The Udemy course isn't likely to have the level of rigor you get in a university course, and the degree itself often has value when hunting for jobs. That's not always the case, and some larger employers (Google) no longer require degrees, so being self taught is a great option if your goal is to work there.
 

Everyman

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What about your investing? Isn't it the 'easiest' way for you now?
 

Knugs

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Monogamy. One idea and follow through all the way.
+++

Its good to have dreams and I'm glad you aim high. When I was 18 I was putting all my energy into getting into a good college. Then at college I wanted to compete in MMA (not even mentioning UFC here) and start a business. Guess what happened. Grades dropped hugely, business never took off and I didn't train enough. = not good at anything.

I noticed that a lot of the prof fighters at my club were training in the morning and evening classes on the same day every day. They practiced in-between in private off the schedule and I don't know how much time they spent working on their cardio and in the kitchen. They weren't UFC fighters, students or had a job. They pour everything into MMA to hopefully get noticed one day.

Read and listen to a lot of successful entrepreneurs and you will notice that a lot of them were equally "Obsessed" with their business. Ask the most successful students how much time they spend learning.

Focus on one thing and you will come out on top. Focus on multiple things and you will have difficulty getting anywhere near. Some people will say that at 18 you have the luxury of time and that you can trial and experiment out different things. IMO, you are now making huge decisions in your life that will forever shape your future.
 

rpeck90

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general advice you wish you had heard at 18
Make your "purpose" to get rich.

The UFC stuff is nice, but it's not a career path; just as how you'd say that starting Microsoft, building a space ship, getting into the WWE, being a movie star etc are not career paths. There's literally no "move" you can make to better your odds at any of them (unless you sleep out of a van and work like crazy to become one of a handful in the world who're considered the "best"). They're all dependent on a heavy dose of "right person, right place, right time".

I'm not suggesting you don't aim for it. On the contrary. However, you need to understand that the chances of making "big money" from it are virtually non existent.

Being 18 is tough because you're thrust into the whirlwind that's known as "the real world" without as much as a parachute. You've got 10,000 options, most of which detrimental to your future growth, and very few people with the experience or inclination to put you on the correct one. What's worse; 99% of those who *could* help you actually want to enforce your servitude, leading you down a number of dark paths.

If I could go back to 18, with the knowledge I have now, the one thing I'd say to myself is to focus on building wealth (this is as much a mindset as a physicality).

Treat your life as a business; cut expenses to the bone and maximize investments. With any money you make, re-invest into yourself (and yes, decent suiting etc are considered investments). Focus on defining a core "skill" that you will be able to carry through to your later years. Use this skill to build products & services which you can offer to a market. Become a student of history and focus solely on yourself. Don't make friends and don't concern yourself with the whims of the herd. Don't chase women.

The only thing that matters in the "real world" is sales. Make sales and you become God. How you make those sales is dependent on the product or service you're offering. The types of products/services offered determines how wealthy you eventually become.
 

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Any advice on my predicament above, or any other general advice you wish you had heard at 18 will be gladly accepted!
How many years have you been practicing martial arts?
Have you been punched in the face (street fight or sanctioned fight)?
Did you wrestle in high school?
Did you play any sports in high school?
Did you play soccer in high school?
How tall are you and what weight class will you fight in?

Once you answer that, then we can say whether pursuing a UFC career is worthwhile. Your coach will be the best person to ask though. Trust me, a good coach will know if you have the skills to make it as a pro.

Remember, you're competing against guys that have been practicing since they were 5-8 years old.


---

Regardless of your answers, I wouldn't even bother with an MMA career.

You have a <0.1% chance of making it, but you have a much, much higher chance of getting a concussion, breaking your neck, or having permanent brain damage (look at retired NFL players).

I'd rather be the rich guy in the luxury box writing his employee a check for $50,000,000 (because my employee made me $70,000,000) than the employee cashing the check.

You could be like Dana White and still do MMA for fun at the gym, but not bother with doing it professionally.
 
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Suzanne Bazemore

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Welcome to the forum, @northernMMA , and congratulations on the great investment!

Any advice on my predicament above, or any other general advice you wish you had heard at 18 will be gladly accepted!
Since you asked for advice, I think exercise is important, so I'd keep training in martial arts, but, to preserve my brain and not become the face of CTE, as @sparechange noted below, I'd forgo the professional UFC fighting career.

You'll need a plan B though, my trainer had a concussion while training and basically ended his career, he had a fight in the UFC and needed to retire since another head injury would most likely mean being in a coma.
@lowtek had great points about saving your investment and staying out of debt by going to a community college, especially since you sound willing. It would also enable you to possibly have more time to dedicate to learning computer science on your own, because it might be easier on you than a four year university.

I want to be clear before you read my input below: I am not financially free, I have a job, and although I have learned a lot from TMF, Unscripted, other books, and this Forum, I might still be operating from a Slowlane Mentality. You should take advice from people who are doing what you want to be doing later, and some of those people are on this Forum, but I am not one of them.

Things I wish I had known at age 18:
1. Avoid debt. I did a pretty good job of this. You can even go to a 4-year college and avoid debt, but if you can do it less expensively than you are, then do it. You said you'd graduate with $20K in debt? Why not try to figure out how to graduate with none at all. Apply for scholarships, work (to learn), live frugally so you can not hock your future.
2. Remember to make your hard-earned dollars work for you. You had a great investment. Could you make your dollars work for you better by following some of your own suggestions that you made in your OP? Maybe you could use your investment money as a down payment on a duplex or triplex so you can have other people start paying the mortgage while you live in part of it rent-free. (There is a pretty recent rent hacking thread on here).
3. As @MJDeMarco says in Unscripted: don't make catastrophic decisions. What is the worst possible outcome of an action? If it is catastrophic, then don't do it.

Good luck to you!
 

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I'd ditch the MMA thing. Not that it isn't good for your conditioning, confidence, and a lot of other great things.

The problem is, there are no long-term studies on how having your head bashed and your ears turning to cauliflower effects you as you age, at least not yet. It will be another 10 to 20 years before there are some definitive conclusions.

Without health, there is no wealth.

Many NFL players are now finding this out, and it took decades for it to become a scientific reality.

MMA is like the NFL of the 1980's and 90's.
 

Tommo

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I'd ditch the MMA thing. Not that it isn't good for your conditioning, confidence, and a lot of other great things.

The problem is, there are no long-term studies on how having your head bashed and your ears turning to cauliflower effects you as you age, at least not yet. It will be another 10 to 20 years before there are some definitive conclusions.

Without health, there is no wealth.

Many NFL players are now finding this out, and it took decades for it to become a scientific reality.

MMA is like the NFL of the 1980's and 90's.
Without Health there is no Wealth.

That there is all anyone on this forum needs to know full stop.

Fitness, Family, Freedom
 

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northernMMA

northernMMA

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Thanks a ton for all the responses! Probably going to take the general advice and keep MMA as a hobby, I will fully pursue whatever avenue I decide on the fastlane instead to keep my eyes on the prize.
 

The Abundant Man

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I have a friend/mentor(Fastlaned into a Digital Marketing Agency. He's free of time and has been helping me out) who does Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu with me. At a fight event he asked me, "I want to get into striking but I'm afraid. Do you ever feel slow or anything like that?" I Responded back to him, "You know I've been hit in the head many times. I've never ever felt slow but I get these massive headaches all day long including the day after. Usually goes away after some Ibuprofen and Coca-Cola but sometimes it does get unbearable. Overtime though I've learned how to better defend myself and I don't get hit as much anymore. Chin down, hands up, bob and weave."

I used to train with Spencer Fisher(former UFC Champion). He was diagnosed with CTE and he would forget stuff all the time. He even forgot his 1 year old in the car. His wife could beat a lot of guys in the Octagon.

Pat Miletich started taking commentating jobs at a bunch of MMA organizations. Eventually Miletich Fighting Systems disbanded.

Jens Pulver travels around the world with his family and he helps out at OneFC.

Matt Hughes- Somewhere in Illionis. ???

Tim Sylvia-Piece of S**t
 

Okraz1

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Thanks a ton for all the responses! Probably going to take the general advice and keep MMA as a hobby, I will fully pursue whatever avenue I decide on the fastlane instead to keep my eyes on the prize.
Have you had any fights yet? IMO it's very possible to become pro and make some money (not much) off your fights in smaller organisations.

You can still reach a high level in MMA while having a day job/hustling on the side. This is the case for the majority of fighters, they have a second source of income until they can focus 100% on the fight life.
 

amp0193

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Many NFL players are now finding this out, and it took decades for it to become a scientific reality.
I hear more and more people becoming aware of these facts.

I think it's a matter of time before we see football as we know it cease to exist.

It'll start with parents not putting their kids in pee-wee football, then angry parents will eventually get it removed from middle and high schools. College and pro leagues will be the last to give it up, as they've got some big a$$ stadiums to pay for.

Hard to imagine high school football going away in Texas, as it's such a huge part of culture. But it's just not worth giving kids permanent brain damage.
 
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northernMMA

northernMMA

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Have you had any fights yet? IMO it's very possible to become pro and make some money (not much) off your fights in smaller organisations.

You can still reach a high level in MMA while having a day job/hustling on the side. This is the case for the majority of fighters, they have a second source of income until they can focus 100% on the fight life.
Doing my first amateur cage fight in march/april most likely, have participated in 4 bjj tourneys in the past month though.
 

Paladin

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I would take a look at real numbers. MMA in America is basically owned by one guy, just like pro wrestling. The fighters don't have a union, so until you are a big name, you get a salary. You are famous, but stuck in the slowlane. The only big money comes when you make it to the top of the foodchain. Less than ten fighters in the world are in this category.

It's fine to have this sport as your passion, but the odds of making revenue are very limited. In addition to the high risk of injury.

We used to train with a kickboxer on my island. For nine years he was the foreign fighter at a gym in Thailand. He's currently barely managing a gym and training to fight in a cage in Manila. He has UFC dreams too.

How many guys do you think suddenly break into the business in their thirties?

And you make more money fighting in parking lots in Richmond, VA than you do fighting in a cage around here. (In college one of my friends did that to make ends meet.)

It's a trendy career, but there are less MMA fighters making any money than there are football or soccer players.

In the end, you will follow what you want to do and getting advice on the Internet when your 18...it will probably go in one ear and out the other. Plus most advice is worth what you pay for it.

Find the right path for you.

You're already 18, so you should be training full time if MMA is your business plan. Did you win the tournaments you competed in? How long did it take your body to recover from the damage?

If you watch how UFC fights have changed in the past 25 years since inception, you'll notice that nearly all fights go to a decision. That's because the fighters don't want to injure each other too much. That slows down their fight cycle. You can find every 1-3 months if you lose from a decision, but a knockout can make that MUCH longer.

And you get paid the same.

---

As far as college, I'm a former college teacher and I'm pretty anti. But it depends on your career. If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, then college is a pre-requisite. So if you want to pursue a career where the best access to knowledge and training is college, then it's a worthwhile investment.

But far too many people now get degrees in social media only to discover they don't actually know how to do anything. When I was in college WAY back in 1999, I took a class on computer programming.

The professor was married to the head of the department and you could tell from the quality of the classes. I wanted to learn new coding languages and web design, but instead, we learned 1970s computer programming. Ancient languages and making number generators was an absolute waste of my time.

It turned me off from my passion of making money online and delayed my journey to the fastlane significantly.

Whatever path you choose, just remember that specialists make a LOT more money than generalists. Trying to master three high-intensity skills at once will leave you locked into life as a Jack of all Trades....master of none.
 

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