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For Most MMA Pros, the Job Is Part-Time

This is Jamal Patterson, who on Friday will fight Vladimir Matyushenko for the light heavyweight title of the International Fight League, a second-tier mixed martial arts organization.

A New York Times profile of Patterson, written by Michael Brick, examines the way he balances his career as a professional fighter with his other career, as a salesman of orthodontic supplies. Patterson will make $8,000 if he loses on Friday and $16,000 if he wins, and the Times article points out something that a lot of people don't realize: Most professional mixed martial arts fighters are doing it as a part-time job. For all but the handful of high-profile fighters whose presence in the cage can convince fans to purchase a pay-per-view, the sport of MMA just doesn't pay very well.

As Jesse Holland writes at MMA Mania, learning that fighters like Patterson have normal lives with full-time day jobs and families may help dispel the myth that MMA fighters are savages, although at this point, the people who are convinced that MMA is savagery probably can't be convinced otherwise, no matter what evidence they're supplied with.

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