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It's often overlooked that competitors in sport and prize fighting have a limited span of time in which they are competitive. This can be important, because, for people who do it professionally, they only have a certain number of peak earning years.

I'm looking for an answer that covers a wide range of combat sports, including Olympic sports and prize-fighting.

  • What is the average career span for an elite fighter?

Answers that include discussion of outliers with longer than usual careers is also welcome, both those who decline and those who maintain dominance. Breakdowns for various combat sports are also welcome.

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    Too broad. You should limit it to a particular fighting genre. Like MMA, boxing, or Olympic Judo. Judo is interesting, because the athletic peak is somewhere in the late 20's / early 30's. Most other sports, like gymnastics or figure skating, will have peaks in the late teen years. But your question is about career span. There's a lot of selection bias there. Only the fighters that win will stick around long enough to have a career. Most wash out early. We're talking 0.01% of people actually go on to make a career out of it. Difficult to come by statistics. – Steve Weigand Nov 18 at 16:52
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    @SteveWeigand Honestly, I'm trying to get a gauge of the general timespan of competitiveness for combat sports in general. (Olympic seems to be shorter than Boxing, in that multiple golds are quite rare, which is surprising, but interesting.) But perhaps multiple questions for boxing, MMA and Judo would be a good idea too... Let's see if this attracts any answers, and, if not, delete and re-ask as multiples. – DukeZhou Nov 18 at 20:46

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