When you are traveling to Thailand, or most places in the South East Asia actually, there is decent potential to make money in fighting in either Muay Thai or MMA. Before I get into the specifics of how much you can actually earn with this type of endeavor, I feel I first should make a disclaimer.
Fighting is a skill, and is not something that everybody can do successfully. With any type of full contact sport, there is serious risk of severe injury. Also, aside from the necessary skill level, and years of training that is required, you must have an extremely high level of fitness. You must dedicate a large amount of time to training and honing your body, mind and skills.
With that being said, here is some information on how much money you can earn while you are living abroad by fighting. I want to thank Will from Tiger Muay Thai for providing me with some of the information for this article.
Fighting Muay Thai
On average a Muay Thai fight in Phuket pays between 5,000-10,000 baht based on your number of fights and experience level, in addition to how many times you have fought for promoter or stadium. In Bangkok, you make less money fighting. Fighters who have fought on Bangkok TV have gotten as little as 4000-6000 baht for their fight. In some cases the fight promoter will not even pay for for travel or accommodation.
Experienced Thai fighters who have a high fitness level and desire to make cash will fight as often as 3 times a month. However it is recommended that you fight only once every 4-6 weeks to allow your body to heal and continue to refine your skills.
In most cases the gym or camp you are training with will arrange the fight for you. They will typically want to evaluate you and spend time training before they put you into the ring, as you will be fighting under the name of their camp, and there is a great deal of pride that comes with producing winning fighters.
In Phuket, MMA fights have been averaging 5000-7000 baht. Surrounding countries such as China, Bali, Indonesia, Korea and even Russia are seeing bigger events and purses between 24000 to 30000 baht. Some events even include travel expense, 1 week travel stay in addition to your purse. Recently Tiger Muay Thai/Phuket MMA has inked a deal with Art of War in China to have fighters compete bi-monthly in their events. The fights pay between 15,000 to 25,000 baht and include travel, food and accommodation expense. You can find out more about the production at www.mmachina.com.
I hope that answers some questions for anyone thinking about earning money fighting while training overseas. I wish you the best of luck, and encourage you to be safe.