It goes without saying that it takes a unique individual to choose Mixed Martial Arts as a career. Sure, there are scores of wanna-be fighters who show up at the gym once a week and enjoy some success on the regional scene, but there’s also a different breed who dove head-first into the sport at the beginning and rarely come up for air to this day.

The question then becomes, why would a person pursue a life predicated on physical punishment where fame/fortune is far from guaranteed? As it turns out, there is no one answer but rather a potpourri of opinions on why high-level fighters love their chosen craft.

Check out the responses from a number of notable UFC fighters on the topic followed by a video featuring their remarks in addition to those from many more…

“It’s probably the workouts, the practice. It’s probably hanging out with the guys, being at the gym. Having a goal.” – Chael Sonnen

“Getting to fight for a living. I go down to the gym every day, strap my gloves on, throw my mouth piece in, and beat up my friends and get paid to do it.” – Carlos Condit

“Getting ready for a fight…the whole process. Watching your body transform, watching your mental state transform from the beginning of camp until you get into the cage and even after the fight. It’s just such a transgression mentally as well as physically.” – Rashad Evans

“I get to wake up whenever I want. That’s awesome. I used to hate waking up for work.” – Dominick Cruz

“Flying all over the world…in small seats.” – Stefan Struve

“It gives people that weren’t born to throw a football or born to hti a baseball a chance.” – Donald Cerrone

“The new challenges. Every day you have a new obstacle to overcome and it keeps you excited, it keeps you sharp in life.” – Brian Stann