Top 10 Best MMA Gyms in 2019 for MMA training
Iron sharpens iron, or so the saying goes. Just ask UFC legend Randy Couture, who has the phrase – albeit in Latin – tattooed on his arm. By definition, MMA is an individual sport – there are no tag team matches in the Octagon – but since the dark ages of the sport in the mid-1990’s, the best fighters in the world have been teaming up to train together in order to improve their skills. MMA gyms are also commonly known as UFC gyms because of the large popularity of the fighters and event itself.
Well over 20 years on from the heyday of Ken Shamrock’s Lions’ Den and Mark Coleman’s Hammer House, the sport is still largely ruled by super-camps comprised of the world’s best fighters training and sparring together.
In no particular order, here are 10 best MMA training camps in the world today.
#1 American Top Team
The Florida-based American Top Team has been around for the best part of two decades now, after being formed by Dan Lambert and former UFC fighter Marcus ‘Conan’ Silveira back in 2001. Interestingly enough, despite its name, the most prominent fighters training there in its early days were Brazilian – names like Jorge Santiago, Thiago Alves and Wilson Gouveia.
Now of course, ATT is a huge, internationally-flavored team that top fighters from around the world call their home – with 40 affiliates worldwide also representing the American Top Team banner. Over the years, ATT has produced countless numbers of champions across multiple organizations, and the gym was able to finally boast a UFC champion when Robbie Lawler captured Welterweight gold in 2014.
While ATT is clearly a world-class facility with tremendous coaches such as former UFC stars Din Thomas and Mike Brown, what really makes the Florida-based gym stand out is its longevity. Successful teams that started in the same era like Team Miletich and Brazilian Top Team largely fell apart years ago, but ATT has remained a constant.
#2 Roufusport Martial Arts
Formed by former kickboxing champion Jeffery ‘Duke’ Roufus, the Roufusport Martial Arts gym is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has risen in prominence over the past decade to become recognized as one of the best in the sport. Roufus-trained fighters have been around in the UFC for years – dating back to Alan Belcher, Pat Barry and Eric Schafer in the mid-2000’s – but it was Anthony Pettis who really put the gym on the map in his WEC days.
Anthony Pettis, who became famed for his creative striking style, came into the UFC in 2011 and captured the Lightweight title in 2013, giving Roufusport their first UFC champion. Since then, the likes of Tyron Woodley, Matt Mitrione and Ben Rothwell have spent time training with Roufus – as did former WWE Superstar CM Punk when he decided to embark on an MMA career.
These days Roufusport can also call upon the skills of one of the best grapplers in the sport in the form of Ben Askren, who serves as a wrestling coach for the team amidst his own fight training. Interestingly too, Roufusport also offers an online training academy.