How important is to train your mental skills in MMA ?

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that requires a combination of different martial arts techniques, including striking, grappling, takedowns, and ground fighting. Due to the absence of restrictions between passing from striking to grappling and vice versa, the sport requires multiple sets of abilities, usually derived from different forms of martial arts. MMA athletes must be highly physically prepared for the effort, but it’s equally important to be prepared mentally for the sport. This is where sports psychology comes into play.

Sports psychology is a field that focuses on the mental and emotional aspects of sports performance. The mental training of an athlete is a component of the whole process of education and training to increase their mental capacity to enable them to take effective action and achieve superior results. MMA fighters must feel trained in all aspects: mentally, emotionally, physically, and tactically. Self-confidence is the most important factor in fighting sports, and this trust can be achieved by psychologically developing skills such as controlling attention, controlling negative thoughts, controlling anxiety, and increasing self-confidence.

Bill Cole, a renowned consultant in psychology, stresses in his study “The Role of Mental in Mixed Martial Arts,” the importance of developing psychological skills for MMA fighters. These skills include voluntarily self-regulating emotions, thoughts, and actions, the ability to concentrate and quickly switch attention, to perform a difficult task over a long period of time, and to support the effort in conditions of fatigue and interference of external disturbing factors.

While physical training is crucial in combat sports, the mental aspect is equally important, if not more important. In fact, some fighters claim that combat sports are not necessarily about who is the best athlete on paper, but the one who fights better when the bell rings. It is said that the mind becomes far superior to physics in the ring, and that fighting sports are about the ability to voluntarily self-regulate emotions, thoughts, and actions.

In conclusion, the success in MMA and other combat sports relies on the athlete’s mental skills as much as their physical skills. Therefore, it’s essential for athletes to prioritize their mental training as much as their physical training. The ability to control one’s thoughts and emotions, to concentrate, and to maintain self-confidence in challenging situations can make all the difference between victory and defeat in the ring.


Cole, B. (2016). The role of mental in mixed martial arts. Sports Psychology Today, 22. Retrieved from


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