Mental toughness of mixed martial arts athletes at different levels of competition

Mark Chen, David J. Cheesman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
1139 Downloads (Pure)


This study investigated whether mental toughness distinguishes mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes competing at different levels. It was theorized that higher mental toughness would separate those competing at the professional level compared to lower levels. Male MMA competitors (N = 136, M age = 27.1 yr., SD = 4.8) were categorized as amateur, semi-professional, or professional and assessed by questionnaire using the Psychological Performance Inventory-A and the Sports Mental Toughness Questionnaire. There were statistically significant differences between the three groups on mental toughness. The professional group had higher scores compared to semi-professional and amateur groups with regard to confidence, positive cognition, and determination. The findings supported previous work that athletes performing at higher levels have superior mental toughness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-917
Number of pages13
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


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