Why You SHOULDN’T Choose Muay Thai as a Career Path

Being a professional fighter isn’t just about being in the spotlight, getting sweet sponsorships, and being able to fight on bigger shows. Like everything, there are upsides and downsides to living this life.

Being a professional fighter isn’t just about being in the spotlight, getting sweet sponsorships, and being able to fight on bigger shows. Like everything, there are upsides and downsides to living this life. For many of us, the main pro that trumps all the cons is just love for the sport and fighting.

While choosing to become pro is a dream for many, here are some wrong reasons to choose this career path.

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Money

You may know this already, but out of the most popular combat sports, Muay Thai is at the bottom of the list when it comes to fight purses. The only people able to truly live off fighting and save money for life after fighting are thoes that live in developing nations like Thailand.

If you’re only interested in becoming a professional Muay Thai fighter for the money, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Top fighters can make a lot of money, it’s not easy, and it takes years of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice to get there. Even then, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to support yourself (and your family) month to month.

Fame

Fame can be fleeting, and it’s not a good enough reason to dedicate your life to the sport. Fighting Muay Thai, from an objective standpoint, is high-risk and low-reward. It’s a dangerous sport to be in. Unlike “regular” careers that can span 30-40 years, fight careers last only a couple decades – they’re very short-lived.

And even though fame is certainly a possibility, not everyone will achieve it. There are many accomplished fighters who have not achieved widespread recognition for a variety of reasons, from lack of social media coverage, timing, or general public interest.

Pressure from Others

If others have told you that you’re good at it or because it’s what your family or friends expect you to keep doing it even though it’s not in your heart to do so, you’re not making a decision based on your own desires and passions. This is a common issue among child athletes – they receive a lot of pressure from their parents or coaches to “make something” out of themselves.

This will only create resentment down the road, and make all the choices made for fighting not feel “worth it”.

Escaping Your Problems

Using fighting and training as a way to cope with problems is not uncommon. With the right amounts, it can be a healthy way to deal with mental health issues and stress relief. However, Muay Thai is used as a way to escape all problems in your personal life or to avoid other responsibilities, then your behavior is avoidance-based, and not a decision based in logic, passion, or commitment.

This is not to mention that many people who don’t deal with their own issues will use their positions in Muay Thai as coaches or teammates to project these issues in unhealthy ways. If Muay Thai was really the cure-all for all problems, there wouldn’t be so many toxic people in the community.

Ego

If you want to prove something to yourself or others by fighting, great. It’s good to set goals and have some motivation from people who didn’t believe in you. But if that’s your only motivation, then you’re not approaching the sport with the right attitude. Self-confidence and a desire to win are important in any competitive sport, but ego-driven motivations can lead to unhealthy behavior and attitudes.

In summary, it’s important to approach professional Muay Thai as a career with the right mindset and motivations. A genuine love of the sport, a desire to challenge yourself, and a commitment to hard work and discipline are much better ways to motivate yourself.

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Fighter, social media manager, content creator and writer. Currently training and fighting full time in Bangkok. Originally from NYC. instagram.com/angelasitan

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