One of the most unique things about MMA is the training structure. Unlike boxing, where camps are designed around individual fighters, MMA training is often centered around a gym where several coaches work in conjunction with each other to train a stable of fighters of varying skills and weight classes. These gyms often take on a close-knit, team based environment which is very unusual for an individual combat sport like mixed martial arts. These gyms vary in size and specialties, and many fighters will train at several different gyms to improve individual skills.
Sometimes gyms, and their respective trainers and fighters will develop intense rivalries with one another. The UFC is currently showcasing this in their Ultimate Fighter reality series. This season, they are pitting two of the most successful MMA gyms against each other as fighters from American Top Team take on the Blackzilians. Both gyms are based in south Florida and have a deep dislike for each other.
With over 500 fighters currently signed to UFC contracts, the talent disparities are becoming smaller and smaller, forcing fighters to rely more on quality training and technique rather than falling back on natural athletic talent or toughness. This list will showcase twenty of the most successful gyms in MMA today.
20 CSW (Combat Submission Wrestling)
19 Team Oyama
18 SBG Ireland (Straight Blast Gym)
17 Blackhouse MMA
16 Glendale Fight Club
15 Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu
14 The Lab: Mixed Martial Arts Training Center
13 AMC Pankration
11 Alliance MMA
10 Team Takedown
7 Team Alpha Male
5 ATT (American Top Team)
4 Kings MMA
3 AKA (American Kickboxing Academy)
2 Nova Uniao
1 Jackson-Winklejohn MMA
To most folks, Albuquerque, New Mexico, isn't a destination that's very high on their list of places to go see. To MMA fighters however, it might as well be Mecca. Nestled in the New Mexico desert lies Jackson-Winklejohn MMA, the closest thing to a mixed martial artist factory there is. They do everything at Jackson-Winklejohn right. High level striking and grappling, advanced understanding of fitness and nutrition, proper game-planning for fights, all of these things have made Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn names synonymous with success in MMA. Fighters like Carlos Condit, Georges St. Pierre, Donald Cerrone, and Jon Jones are proof that Jackson-Winklejohn MMA is a step above the rest.
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