Confucious once said, "A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart." In this segment, Pro Athlete 360 sits down with Pro MMA Fighter Johnny Buck, aka Buck Nasty, as he explains an array of topics from what is MMA fighting, to help other Pro MMA fighters, and amateur fighters looking to one day turn pro. Knowing how and when to turn pro is essential for your mixed martial arts career. The management that you choose to represent you is another crucial decision that you need to choose, as well. Along with advice, Buck goes over some of his experiences and fights, including Buck's fight with nine time UFC vet Luigi Fioravanti and his most recent fight where he won a title belt by TKO. Get the inside scoop on processes and the lifestyle of a Pro MMA fighter.
MMA Video Transcription: So the advice I'd give up-and-coming fighters, younger fighters age and experience wise, especially if you're trying to make a pro run for a living, or make a pro run to do it, stay amateur as long as you can. A lot of states have it set where you have 5 amateur fights before you can turn pro. 5 amateur fights is nowhere near enough to get you where you need to be. You can’t get 5 versed enough opponents especially earlier when you're 0–0 and you can get matched up against an experienced guy. Your 1st 3, 4, 5 fights are just a wash, I think it's more just to get you used to the cage, get used to fighting, so stay an amateur as long as you can until it's hard for you to find a fight.
And you've been pushed for some championship fights, pushed mentally and physically by another fighter, not throwing the fight but taking a few losses. That's one of the things that you need to do to make sure you're ready because once you turn pro, your record sticks. I turned pro too early, I say it now because I started out with a solid record, I started 0-1 in my 1st fight, I was 5–2 as an amateur, maybe 6–2, I do remember like is that it gets wiped away. I went 0–1 in my 1st fight, got knocked out, you can find it on YouTube it wasn't pretty. I won my 2nd fight, I won my 3rd and then up and down, up and down I lost 3 straight as a pro as I was taking fights on short notice, I wasn't doing it right, I wasn't prepared for them. One disqualification, which it is what it is, that's not on YouTube, but try to get it up sometime but it's not good for the Buck Nasty name.
Just be prepared for a long haul, do what you need to do, find a good manager that you trust, one with good connections, don't sign any contracts for long terms. Make sure the contract's are in your favor. A lot of manager contracts just protect the manager. What you need to do is make sure that they're working for you, remember who works for who, and do what you need to do. That's the biggest thing, this is a career it's no different than going to college and becoming a teacher or becoming a rocket scientist. Your amateur years are like going to college, it's your preparation, it's what gets you going, the better you do there the better you do in your career. As far as the biggest highlights of my career, I won a belt in my last fight which is a pretty big deal. That’s my 1st time at 170, I haven’t weighed 170 since middle school so it's a little bit different now. The biggest moment is just the camaraderie, your 18 hour trips to Minnesota.
Our 8 hour trips to Pennsylvania, your 12 hour trips to Panama City, it's awesome, it's one of the best things about it. I think the biggest fight I've had I think was to fight to go, against Luigi Foravani, 9 time UFC vet, in Panama City was absolutely awesome. The cage was actually set up on the beach. You walked out and there is big wide mats so you can walk out to the cage without getting sand anywhere which it didn't help, they was sand everywhere, in your eyes, in your ears. But it was an awesome fight, 3 rounds, short notice. I felt like it was a big step for me to see where I stood against some of the top level guys and Luigi is one of the most feared 170 pound guys on his feet, it was just fun, it was a good time.
For me in the future, looking for a couple fights this year, it's early in 2011, probably 4 or 5 fights all with better opponents, more solid opponents, trying to get my career moving to the big show, your Strikeforce, your UFC. The next proposed fight is probably at the end of April, hopefully locally here at Cherokee, North Carolina at the casino at Harrah’s. So just try to do a lot of things, though the sport of, especially for me try get the big shows that's just what my plans are. I hope to be in the UFC or in Strikeforce by the end of this year. You got a get on the mat you only live one time see that make the most of it.
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