Sadly, in many cases, at the end of a long career, fighters, and martial arts teachers, often have little financial resources to show for it, and often end up with some health problems.
As a former competitor, my heart is always with the sweat, the taping of the hands, and the taking care of the fighters.
But as a university professor, my heart also wants to see fighters be able to have a career, have some health, and manage their assets well after their fight careers are over.
So, my advice to all the young fighters and would be fighters is always the same.
Try to keep your health, learn the basics, and get yourself graduated to the best fight stable you can by the time you are 25.
Don’t sell your body too much with small venue fights before then, because you want to start hunting for the good purses with good management when you start to physically peak (which for men in MMA starts around age 25), and not before.
And, use the time you have before 25 to also either get a college degree (even by taking just one class at a time) or to pick up some certification or license in the trades.
So you can make a living outside of fighting or martial arts if you want or need to.
And, at all times if you are getting punched in the face for a living, or teaching BJJ/MMA where injuries happen all the time, you MUST make sure you have good health insurance.
You should also look into what private disability policies would cover you if you got a career stopping injury where you could not fight or teach martial arts anymore.
The private disability policies are usually fairly cheap in premiums, and if they are private policies, the benefits they pay out are tax free if you need to use them (in the United States).
Having health insurance and a disability policy will allow you to get back on your feet (literally) and springboard yourself into a new career rather than losing everything and not being able to support yourself or pay your medical bills if your get a severe injury or disease.
I spend a lot of time with cancer victims, paralysis victims, and those that suffer from other neurological disease states, and researching those disease states.
Nobody expects these things to happen to themselves, but everybody goes through some challenges in life.
Train, Fight, but Plan Ahead. Be Smart!