Contrary to popular belief, MMA is not an individual sport. In fact, whole teams of fighters, coaches, and sparring partners work together to achieve top conditioning for any fight. As such, a fighter’s MMA Training Camps deserve the utmost importance and credit for his or her success inside the Octagon.
Moreover, full teams of fighters from different divisions often create a productive environment. Fighters tend to push themselves and those around them to work harder and attempt to reach their best form. Hence, most professional fighters in the UFC, Bellator, etc join professional fight camps or MMA Gyms to help get fight ready.
Additionally, great fighters learn more from other great fighters. That is why some of the best fighters in the world tend to train with other elite fighters. Before a fight, the training camp will likely include a whole team of coaches, analysts, sparring partners, dieticians all working together.
With these things in mind, let us look at the Top 10 MMA Training Camps in the world.
#10. Longo and Weidman MMA (LAW MMA)
Longo-Weidman MMA is one of two MMA Gyms operated by the Serra-Longo Fight Team. Based in Long Island, New York, the team was formed by Matt Serra and Ray Longo. Currently, the primary trainers include Matt Serra (former UFC Welterweight Champion), Ray Longo, and Chris Weidman (former UFC Middleweight champion).
Whilst the team only started with Serra and accountant/ part-time trainer Longo, the team has seen some true star power over the years. Moreover, the team has seen a substantial expansion in size and currently operates out of Longo-Weidman MMA and Serra BJJ Academy.
Notable fighters from LAW MMA include Matt Serra, Chris Weidman, Aljamain Sterling (current bantamweight champion), and Al Iaquinta.
#9. Nova União MMA Training Camp
Nova União is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and mixed martial arts academy operating out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Interestingly, members of the Nova team have participated in BJJ, grappling, and submission competitions all over the world. Previously, founded by André Pederneiras Wendell Alexander, Nova has risen to become a familiar name as one of the world’s leading and top professional MMA Camps.
However, Nova Uniao owes much of its popularity to former featherweight and bantamweight champions Jose Aldo and Renan Barao. However, the camp is forever bringing through new talent and potential champions through its ranks. Nova is reputed for being the home of champions and contenders in UFC and Bellator.
Other notable fighters from Nova include BJ Penn, Junior Dos Santos, TJ Grant, Caio Magalhaes.
#8. Team Alpha Male MMA Training Camp
Team Alpha is a mixed martial arts gym in Sacramento, California. However, what’s special about this gym is that it largely focuses on the lower weight classes like flyweight, bantamweight, and featherweight. Team Alpha was founded by former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber.
Along with Faber, the primary trainers include Danny Castillo and Chris Holdsworth. Moreover, members of the team have also made appearances on Seasons 15,22, and 25 of The Ultimate Fighter. UFC contender Martin Kampmann also joined the team in 2014
Notable fighters from Team Alpha include Former UFC Bantamweight champions TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt, current flyweight champion Deveison Figueredo, Chad Mendes, Joseph Benavidez, and Clay Guida.
#7. City Kickboxing MMA Training Camp
City Kickboxing is a mixed martial arts training gym based in Auckland, New Zealand. Eugene Bareman and Doug Viney have founded City Kickboxing in 2007. Today, fighters from the gym are competing in the UFC, Bellator, and ONE Championship.
Although fairly new, the gym has racked up numerous awards including the 2019 and 2020 Coach of the Year and Gym of the Year Awards. Additionally, the gym is home to globally renowned fighters in UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and featherweight champion, Alexander Volaknovski.
Additional members include Kai Kara France, Dan Hooker, Shane Young, Brad Riddell, and Jacob Malkoun.
#6. Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts
Xtreme Couture mixed martial arts is an American MMA training organization founded by former UFC Champion Randy Couture. Whilst the original gym opened up in Las Vegas, it has since spread out into various cities throughout the United States and Canada. Xtreme Couture is one of the largest and most recognized gyms in the mixed martial arts world.
Moreover, Coaches at Extreme Couture include Randy Couture himself, Ray Sefo ( Striking), Neil Melanson ( Grappling, sambo, BJJ), Dennis Davis ( MMA, Grappling), and many more. Additionally, the gym also includes a lot of former and current champions on its roster and alumni.
Notable fighters include Current UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, Former Women’s UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, Forrest Griffin, Vitor Belfort, Kevin Lee, and many others.
#5. Kings MMA
Kings MMA is a mixed martial arts gym located in Huntington Beach, California. The gym was founded by coach Rafael Cordeiro in 2010, following his move to the United States from native Brazil in 2008. Known for being one of the top professional MMA Training camps, Kings MMA is home to many former UFC Champions.
The primary trainers at the gym include Cordeiro himself along with Ricardo Testai. Moreover, Cordeiro and Kings MMA have been nominated for Coach of the Year and Best of the Year and won it in 2012 and 2016.
Notable fighters include former champions, Mauricio Rua, Wanderlei Silva, Fabricio Werdum, Rafael Dos Anjos, Lyoto Machida, Kelvin Gastelum, Giga Chikadze, Beneil Dariush, Marvin Vettori, and many more.
#4. Sanford MMA
Sanford MMA is a mixed martial arts training gym based in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Originally founded as Hard Knocks 365 by Henri Hooft and Greg Jones in 2017, it was rebranded as Sanford MMA in 2019 after getting a sponsorship deal with Sanford Health.
The Sanford MMA team includes 40 fighters, 25 of who are fighters in the UFC, Bellator, and ONE Championship. Moreover, Sanford is reputed for creating world champions like Kamaru Usman. Unfortunately, Usman left Sanford to join ONX after he was scheduled to fight Gilbert Burns from Sanford.
Other notable fighters include Kamaru Usman, Michael Chandler, Robbie Lawler, Luke Rockhold, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans, Gilbert Burns, Derek Brunson, Volkan Oezdemir, Vicente Luque, Michael Johnson among others.
#3. Jackson Wink MMA Academy
Jackson Wink MMA Academy is a mixed martial arts gym based in Alberquerque, New Mexico. In 2007, Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn started the Academy and found great success ever since. Prior to this, it was officially turned into an MMA school in 2000 and gained attention following Diego Sanchez’s success in 2005.
However, due to the gym being so reputed, it became one of the most frequented by MMA fighters. In many instances, fighters would be booked to fight each other which has led to many controversies throughout the years.
Notable fighters include Jon Jones, Andrei Arlovski, BJ Penn, Diego Sanchez, Georges St-Pierre, Frank Mir, Holly Holm, Donald Cerrone, and many many more.
#2. American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)
American Kickboxing Academy is a martial arts gym based in San Jose, California It is one of the most prominent and pioneering martial arts gyms in the world. The AKA includes prominent trainers include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Leandro Vieira, Bob Cook, Derek Yuen, Javier Mendez, and Andy Fong.
Moreover, the AKA includes top talent in the MMA World including tons of former champions like Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Other notable fighters include Luke Rockhold, Islam Makhachev, Cain Velasquez, and many more. With so much star power emanating from the AKA, its position as #2 is simply undeniable.
#1. American Top Team (ATT)
Quite simply put, American Top Team is the most stacked and competitive when it comes to MMA Training camps and gyms. The gym was founded by Dan Lambert, who brought in former members of Brazilian Top Team Marcus “Conan” Silveira, Marcelo Silveira, and Ricardo Liborio.
Moreover, ATT features professional fighters who have competed in many major promotions, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), PRIDE Fighting Championships, DREAM, K-1, Strikeforce, Bellator, and Professional Fighters League (PFL).
Additionally, ATT has won Gym of the Year for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Notable fighters include Andrei Arlovski, Renan Barao, Tyron Woodley, Jorge Masvidal, Dustin Poirier, Yoel Romero, Glover Teixeira, Petr Yan, and many more.
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