7 Best MMA Gyms in the World | Simply Explained

In this article we will go over the best MMA gyms in the world, what fighters are in these gyms and what makes the gym unique.

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Table of Contents

  1. American Top Team
  2. ONX Sports
  3. City Kickboxing
  4. American Kickboxing Academy
  5. Sanford MMA
  6. Kings MMA
  7. Serra Longo Fight Team

1. American Top Team (ATT)




Coconut Creek, Florida.

About the Gym

One of the largest and most recognizable gyms in the world today, ATT has formed a roster of absolute killers.

Founded in 2001 by Dan Lambert, in a period of 20 years he's assembled arguably the best gym in the world and developed multiple world champions and countless contenders.

Although the renowned gym is located in Coconut Creek, they have over 40 other 'chains' of ATT gyms around the world.

Notable Fighters

  • Dustin Poirier
  • Amanda Nunes
  • Petr Yan
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk
  • Jorge Masvidal
  • Yoel Romero
  • Thiago Santos
  • Aleksandar Rakic
  • Kayla Harrison
  • Glover Teixeira
  • Junior Dos Santos
  • Austin Vanderford
  • Adriano Moraes
  • Renato Moicano
  • Douglas Lima
  • Amanda Ribas

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2. ONX Sports


Denver, Colorado.

About the Gym

Trevor Wittman was a coach at several gyms prior to creating his own and settling down with ONX Sports.

One of the unique aspects to his approach is that he focuses on coaching only a few fighters, in order to give them all of the attention necessary.

This allows him to be able to formulate game plans tailored to each fighter, and help them improve on their skills on a daily basis.

The same can't be said for other gyms, where there are so many fighters that coaches have to delegate days to certain fighters in order to keep up with all of their fighters.

Notable Fighters

  • Kamaru Usman
  • Rose Namajunas
  • Justin Gaethje

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3. City Kickboxing


Auckland, New Zealand.

About the Gym

City Kickboxing was founded in 2007 by Eugene Bareman and Doug Viney.

This gym has gained massive notoriety in recent years from the emergence of champions Adesanya and Volkanovski.

For a long time, it was thought that the best MMA gyms were only in the United States, Brazil, and Thailand.

City Kickboxing has proven that this is untrue as their fighters continue to have massive success.

Notable Fighters

  • Israel Adesanya
  • Alexander Volkanovski
  • Dan Hooker
  • Brad Riddell.

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4. American Kickboxing Academy


San Jose, California.

About the Gym

Founded in 1985, AKA has produced champions and studs for quite a long time.

Ironically despite the name, most of the dominant fighters it produced have been known for their dominant wrestling along with their ground and pound.

Both Khabib and Daniel Cormier have become coaches (after retirement) at this gym alongside another coach and owner, Javier Mendez.

Notable Fighters

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • Daniel Cormier
  • Cain Velasquez
  • Luke Rockhold
  • Islam Mahkachev

5. Sanford MMA


Deerfield Beach, Florida.

About the Gym

A fairly recent gym, Sanford MMA opened in 2017 and was founded by Henri Hooft and Greg Jones.

Hoof actually left the now defunct 'Blackzilians' and some of the fighters who originally had trained there, followed him to Sanford MMA.

In a short time, this gym has created a solid roster composed of former champions and a roster full of contenders.

Notable Fighters

  • Gilbert Burns
  • Michael Chandler
  • Luke Rockhold
  • Robbie Lawler
  • Vitor Belfort
  • Vicente Luque.

6. Kings MMA


Huntington Beach, California.

About the Gym

Founded by Rafael Cordeiro in 2010, Kings MMA is widely regarded as one of the top gyms in the world.

Cordeiro was a successful martial artist in Brazil before moving to the United States and founding his gym.

Naturally he has attracted a lot of successful Brazilian fighters, but he has also had a lot of recent success with fighters from all over the world including American, Italian and Georgian fighters.

In only a period of around 10 years, this gym has been able to assemble a roster full of very competitive fighters at the top of the rankings, world champions and others contending for world championships.

Notable Fighters

  • Cris Cyborg
  • Rafael Dos Anjos
  • Marvin Vettori
  • Kelvin Gastelum
  • Beneil Dariush
  • Giga Chikadze

7. Serra Longo Fight Team


Long Island, New York.

About the Gym

Originally formed by Matt Serra and Ray Longo, they've expanded to having two gyms below it including Serra BJJ Academy and Longo-Weidman MMA.

Matt Serra scored one of the biggest upsets in UFC history at UFC 69 to beat George St. Pierre to become the welterweight champion.

Upsets may just run in this gym as a few years later Chris Weidman would score another giant upset vs Anderson Silva to become the middleweight champion.

This gym is growing very fast and they are someone to keep an eye on.

Notable Fighters

  • Matt Serra
  • Chris Weidman
  • Aljamain Sterling
  • Al Iaquinta

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