Mixed Martial Arts is an individual sport, but fighters cannot become great without a great team of people around them. Elite fighters need to be trained by elite coaches, as they need to be pushed to the limit by elite training partners.

The saying, “Iron sharpens iron,” is cliché, but true. A fighter can only go so far when they are the superior at the gym. That’s why elite fighters have been flocking together to train and compete with one another, forming “super” gyms in the process.

There are many solid MMA gyms and training camps for fighters to choose from, but if a fighter wants to truly be the best, there’s a good chance they will be at one of the ten camps below.

Take a look.


#10 – MMA Lab

Located in Glendale, AZ, The Lab has quickly grown to become one of the sport’s premier training centers. Head Coach John Crouch, and his team of skilled coaches and trainers know how to get the most out of their fighters and they understand all of the aspects of the fight game. The Lab is home to former UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson, former WEC lightweight champion, Jamie Varner, and UFC flyweight contender, John Moraga, just to name a few.


#9 – Cesar Gracie Fight Team

MMA’s Cesar Gracie Fight Team is the home of the “Scrap Pack”; Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez. Everyone knows the Gracie name is synonymous with great BJJ, but what sets this gym apart is their dedication to technical boxing and toughness. Cesar Gracie fighters step into the cage to bring the fight to their opponent and are unrelenting in the process.


#8 – Alliance MMA

Located in beautiful Chula Vista, CA, Alliance MMA owners, Brandon Vera and Eric Del Fierro, have established their gym as one of the sport’s best. Some of the best fighters in the world have flocked to sunny San Diego to train with elite coaches with pro MMA experience. Fighters that call Alliance MMA home include former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and UFC light heavyweight contenders Phil Davis and Alexander Gustafsson.


#7 – Roufusport

Duke Roufus has made the transition for the elite kickboxer to accomplished trainer seamlessly as his gym, Roufusport, has become a go-to place for fighters looking to advance their careers. Roufusport fighters are known for having an exciting flare in the cage, but they all also have solid fundamentals. UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, Sergio Pettis and Alan Belcher all call Roufusport home.


#6 – Blackzilians

The Blackzilians are a “super” team that was created by fighters for fighters. With world class trainers and elite training partners, Blackzilian fighters are always prepared to impress. Blackzilian fighters include former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, Eddie Alvarez, Tyrone Spong and Anthony Johnson.


#5 – American Kickboxing Academy

Several years ago, AKA was regarded as one of the top three gyms in all of MMA. But due to some turnover, and declining fighters, AKA has taken a bit of a step back. With that said, coaches Javier Mendez, Bob Cook and Leandro Vieira still have one of the most talent-rich gyms in the sport. UFC heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, Josh Thompson and Luke Rockhold all train here.


#4 – Team Alpha Male

The departure of former head coach Duane Ludwig hurts Team Alpha Male’s overall ranking, but all in all, they are still the sport’s premier lighter weight gym. Team Alpha Male is known for producing some of the world’s best talent under 155 pounds. The team still needs a stable full-time head coach to lead them into the future, but their sheer talent and work ethic keep them in the top gym mix. UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber and UFC featherweight contender Chad Mendes all are members of Team Alpha Male.


#3 – Nova Uniao

Located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nova Uniao is one of the world’s most respected BJJ camps and they have grown to become one of the true elite MMA gyms. Under the direction of BJJ legend, Andre Pederneiras, Nova Uniao is home to some of the sport’s brightest talent. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao, Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas and Marlon Sandro all compete out of the Nova Uniao camp.


#2 – American Top Team

Located in Coconut Creek, FL, American Top Team is arguably the best gym in all of MMA today. The only thing keeping them out of the top spot is the lack of an elite champion. Ricardo Liborio and his team are working to change that. ATT easily has the largest collection of elite talent in the world, and for fighters looking for the best training partners, ATT is the place to be. Robbie Lawler, Tyron Woodley, Hector Lombard and Glover Teixeira all call ATT home.


#1 – Jackson-Winkeljohn

Taking the top spot in this ranking is none other than Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA. Trainers Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn have become the dynamic duo of MMA training, and the proof is in the pudding. Jackson and Winkeljohn make good fighters, great, and great fighters, legendary. Notable Jackson-Winkeljohn fighters include UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Alistair Overeem, Cub Swanson, Carlos Condit and Donald Cerrone.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.