One of the hardest parts about being a UFC fighter involves the training. To maximize their workouts and techniques, a great UFC fighter needs a great gym so they can train with the best in the sport. Here are some of the most famous UFC gyms in the world.
American Kickboxing Academy
- Located: San Jose, California
American Kickboxing Academy, or AKA, is more than just a kickboxing academy; it’s the stomping grounds of four UFC champions. Cain Velasquez, former heavyweight champion; Daniel Cormier, former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion; Luke Rockhold, former middleweight champion; and Khabib Nurmagomedov, current lightweight champion, all trained at AKA.
At AKA, fighters train in every style of the sport. Nurmagomedov and Cormier specifically like to train and improve their wrestling skills at this gym. Of course, as its name implies, AKA also teaches kickboxing, and Rockhold is a great kickboxer as a result. AKA’s head coach, Javier Mendez, often corners the champions he’s trained while they fight in the UFC.
American Top Team
- Located: Boca Raton, Florida
American Top Team, or ATT, is home to several champions and overall great fighters. A much larger gym than AKA, ATT actually has several locations, though its Florida one is where most UFC fighters train. Some of the best fighters from ATT include current women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes and former women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk.
ATT has also produced a lot of popular, highly skilled fighters, like Colby Covington, Yoel Romero, and Jorge Masvidal. This facility hosts many coaches, but the most successful one is Mike Brown, who trains Nunes and Masvidal among others.
- Located: Albuquerque, New Mexico
The home of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm, and several others, Jackson-Wink MMA is one of the most famous UFC gyms. Other prominent fighters, like Donald Cerrone, have also trained there.
However, asides from Jones and Holm, Jackson-Wink MMA hasn’t produced many other champions. Still, many fighters go to Jackson-Wink MMA and train under its two coaches, Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.
Team Alpha Male
- Located: Sacramento, California
Team Alpha Male, or TAM, has trained many great UFC fighters who typically fight at the lower weight classes. Urijah Faber founded TAM. Although he still fights in the UFC from time to time, he’s now the head coach at this gym. TAM hasn’t produced many champions; Cody Garbrandt is the only one so far.
However, TAM has helped create many great fighters, like Cynthia Calvillo, Darren Elkins, and Chad Mendes. Faber has also stated that he’s thinking about changing the facility’s name to Team Alpha MMA, as many women train there.
Hard Knocks 365
- Located: Boca Raton, Florida
Located near ATT’s headquarters, Hard Knocks 365 is a relatively new gym that replaced the famous Blackzilians gym. Some of the Blackzilians have joined Hard Knocks 365, but the facility has made a new name for itself, too.
The head coach of Hard Knocks 365 is Henri Hooft. Although Hard Knocks is a UFC gym, the Dutch kickboxing coach specializes in training his fighters on striking. As a result, some of the best UFC strikers, including current welterweight champ Kamaru Usman, practice with Hooft at Hard Knocks 365.