The mixed martial artists at the very top of the ladder, your Georges St. Pierres, Anderson Silvas and Cain Velazquezes, make a pretty comfortable living for themselves. Unfortunately, many fighters have to keep day jobs in order to receive a steady income, as payment from fighting is generally not very high.
A good example of this is Maik Ferrante, a Harford County resident who prevailed at a Maryland Cage Combat event on June 15. Ferrante won a unanimous decision and fights while attending community college and working at a restaurant in Baltimore.
However, many mixed martial artists forgo working and train full-time, even if the paychecks from fighting are meager. It speaks to the passion and inspiration MMA can create among fighters. Those who compete in MMA almost always fall in love with the sport and want to commit their lives to it. It also speaks to the commitment the sport demands. If you want to be the best, you have to put in the time, or more accurately, almost ALL your time.
Ferrante plans to go to school while continue training, but I'm sure he's still leaving open the possibility of making MMA his life. He looks to be off to a good start.