Mixed Martial Arts is getting bigger every year, and the best MMA gyms in the world keep producing great fighters. Many of the more established MMA gyms are still on top, but other emerging teams are making a name for themselves.
Here’s a list of the best MMA gyms of 2023. Read below as we detail the history of these teams and their best fighters.
You can also check a list of the best Muay Thai
Best MMA Gyms
American Top Team
- Founders: Dan Lambert/Ricardo Liborio
- Head Coach: Marcus “Conan” Silveira
- Head Trainers: Mike Brown, Steve Mocco
- Established: 2001
- Location: Coconut Creek, Florida
- Notable Fighters: Dustin Poirier, Amanda Nunes (Former), Robbie Lawler (Former), Alexandre Pantoja (UFC Flyweight Champion), Johnny Eblen (Bellator Middleweight Champion), Yaroslav Amosov (Bellator Welterweight Champion)
American Top Team (ATT) has been a powerhouse of an MMA team for over twenty years. It has continued to thrive since Dan Lambert propositioned Ricardo Liborio to build the world’s best MMA gym in 2001.
ATT has continued their tradition of producing world champions and top MMA fighters. There have been generations of fighters to come from the gym in almost every weight class imaginable.
This includes being the training center for some of the greatest fighters of all time. American Top Team is able to continue this success due to the team being a tight unit.
Former fighters like head trainer Mike Brown have stayed on at ATT to help the next generation of fighters. This has been the formula for success at American Top Team.
It is also one of the best MMA gym affiliations in the world, with affiliates worldwide. ATT has shown no signs of slowing down and will continue to be one of the world’s best MMA gyms.
American Top Team – Headquarters, 5750 SR 7, Coconut Creek, Florida, 33073, U.S.
American Kickboxing Academy
- Founder/Head Coach: Javier Mendez
- Head Trainers: Bob Cook, Daniel Cormier, Cain Velasquez, Leandro Vieira, Rosendo Sanchez
- Established: 1985
- Location: San Diego, California
- Notable Fighters: Islam Mackhachev (UFC Lightweight Champion), Usman Nurmagomedov (Bellator Lightweight Champion), Daniel Cormier (Retired), Khabib Nurmagomedov (Retired). Umar Nurmagomedov, Ruslan Magomedov
Like ATT, American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) has continually been among the world’s best MMA gyms. They have produced countless champions and hall-of-fame fighters.
It is one of the oldest fight gyms in the world, producing world champions for five decades. The gym started as top kickboxing but evolved into a top MMA gym as the sport developed.
Mendez’s decision to make AKA an MMA gym turned out to be the correct choice. In nearly every generation of mixed-martial-arts, AKA has produced a world champion.
American Kickboxing Academy has long established itself as a top MMA gym with no signs of slowing down.
American Kickboxing Academy, 7012 Realm Dr, San Jose, CA 95119, U.S.
- Head Coach/Founder: Khabib Nurmagomedov
- Established: 2020
- Location: Daegastan
- Notable Fighters: Islam Mackhachev (UFC Lightweight Champion), Usman Nurmagomedov (Bellator Lightweight Champion), Umar Nurmagomedov, Ruslan Magomedov
Since retiring from MMA, former champion and MMA GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov has transitioned to being a successful coach. While a fighter, he also coached part-time at AKA and his home gym in Dagestan.
Khabib has now gone on to establish his own gym in Dagestan called Eagles MMA. It acts as a sister gym to AKA.
The Russian and Dagestani fighters train at Eagles when their home and AKA when they’re in the US. Nurmagomedov has proved to be an equally great coach and is now producing champions. We will definitely be seeing more from his fight team in the future.
Eagles MMA, Moscow, Russia.
- Founder/Head Coach: Rafael Cordeiro
- Head Trainers: Ricardo Testai
- Established: 2010
- Location: Huntingbeach, California
- Notable Fighters: Anderson Silva (Retired), Kelvin Gastelum, Yair Rodriguez, Giga Chikadze, Beneil Dariush
Kings MMA quickly established itself as one of the world’s best MMA gyms after being established in 2010. Founder Rafael Cordeiro was a long-time trainer at the legendary Chute-Boxe Academy in Curitiba, Brazil.
The renowned trainer moved to the US a decade ago and has continued training the world’s best fighters. Kings MMA has been home to legends and top fighters for the last thirteen years.
Even being the new home for boxing icon Mike Tyson, we’ve seen in videos doing pad work with Cordeiro. Kings MMA is known for producing top fighters and will look to continue this legacy.
Kings MMA 7391 Warner Avenue Huntington Beach, California, U.S.
- Owner/Founder: Randy Couture
- Head Coach: Eric Nicksick
- Head Trainer: Dennis Davis
- Established: 2006
- Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Notable Fighters: Francis Ngannou, Sean Strickland, Marvin Vettori, Jiri Prochazka, Miesha Tate
In recent years, Xtreme Couture has reclaimed its spot as one of the world’s best MMA gyms. Although, during the early 2010s, the gym was in financial trouble, many of its top fighters left.
This was until Eric Nicksick took over as head coach and breathed new life into the gym. Under Nicksick’s leadership, Xtreme Couture would rise from the ashes, and top fighters began joining the gym.
One of the more notable fighters was former UFC champion Francis Ngannou. This success led Xtreme Couture and Eric Nicksick to win gym and trainer of the year in 2021.
Xtreme Couture has continued to ride this wave of success to remain one of the top MMA gyms.
Xtreme Couture 4055 W Sunset Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
- Founders: Eric Del Fierro, Brandon Vera
- Head Coach: Eric Del Fierro
- Established: 2007
- Location: Chula Vista, California
- Notable Fighters: Dominick Cruz, Alexander Gustafsson, Brandon Vera (Retired), Cat Zingano, Phil Davis
Since 2007, Alliance MMA has been one of the top training camps for MMA fighters. The gym has produced numerous world champions like Dominick Cruz and Brandon Vera.
On top of producing world champions, Alliance has also produced generations of top MMA fighters. The gym is now a full-fledged affiliation with affiliate gyms from California to the Philippines.
Alliance MMA 795 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista, California, U.S.
Serra-Longo Fight Team
- Founders: Matt Serra, Ray Longo
- Head Coaches: Matt Serra, Ray Longo
- Established 2001
- Location: Long Island, New York
- Notable Fighters: Aljimain Sterling (UFC Bantamweight Champion), Chris Weidman, Merab Dvalishvili, Matt Frevola, Al Iaquinta (Retired)
UFC Hall-of-Famer and former champion Matt Serra has been a respected coach for over twenty years. Serra and his best friend and business partner Ray Longo have produced numerous UFC champions.
Most recently, reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljimain Sterling has called Serra-Longo Fight Team home for years.
Since the original gym was founded in 2001, multiple affiliations have been established in the New York area. Most recently Long-Weidman MMA (LAW MMA), which is run by Longo and former UFC champion Chris Weidman.
Serra-Longo Fight Team continues to prove it one of the best MMA gyms in the world.
Serra-Longo Fight Team Long Island, New York, U.S.
Pitbull Bros Martial Arts
- Founders: Patricio/Patricky Freire, Eric Albarracin
- Head Coach: Eric Albarracin
- Established: Scottsdale, Arizona
- Notable Fighters: Paulo Costa, Henry Cejudo, Patricio Freire, Patricky Freire, Tracy Cortez
Eric Albarracin is one of the world’s top MMA and wrestling coaches. Through his work in TUF Brazil, he made a lot of connections with Brazilian fighters.
Two of the most notable were the Pitbull brothers, Patricio and Patricky. Through their success as fighters, the two and Alberaccin got together to establish Pitbull Bros Martial Arts.
It has quickly become one of the best MMA gyms in the world. Top fighters like Henry Cejudo and Paulo Costa have made the gym their home base. Under head coach Albarracin, Pitbull Bros will look to be a home for top fighters.
Pitbull Bros Martial Arts, R. Praia de Barreta, 280, Natal, Rio Grande do Nrote, Brazil.
Jackson Wink MMA
- Founder: Greg Jackson, Mike Winkeljohn
- Head Coaches: Greg Jackson, Mike Winkeljohn
- Established: 1992
- Location, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Notable Fighters: Clay Guida, Cub Swanson, Derek Brunson, John Dodson, Holly Holm
When you talk about the best MMA gyms in the world, you have to bring up Jackson Wink MMA. They have been the benchmark for excellence since MMA exploded in popularity.
For years, all the world’s best fighters have trekked to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to train under Jackson and Winkeljohn. They have produced countless world champions as coaches and continue to produce top fighters.
In recent years, they haven’t produced as many champions as many fighters have exited or retired. But any time you watch a UFC or Bellator event, you are bound to see a fighter from Jackson Wink MMA.
Jackson Wink MMA, 301 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, U.S.
ONXS Sports(Trevor Wittman)
- Founder/Head Coach: Trevor
- Location: Denver, Colorado
- Notable Fighters: Justin Gaethje, Kamaru Usman, Rose Namajunas
Some may dispute this choice as one of the best MMA gyms because ONXS is not an MMA gym. It is actually a company that makes the world’s best martial arts equipment that was founded by Trevor Wittman.
Coach Wittman has long been considered one of the best MMA coaches in the world. He used to run his own gym in Denver but has since shut it down to run ONXS Sports.
Trevor doesn’t take up training many fighters, but when he does, they usually become champions. Some of his personal students include Justin Gaethje, Rose Namajunas, and Kamaru Usman. All former world champions and top fighters in the world.
ONXS Sports 3550 Frontier Ave Unit D, Boulder, Colorado, 80301, U.S.
The MMA Lab
- Founder/Head Coach: John Crouch
- Head Trainers: Benson Henderson, Rob Emerson, Maria Henderson, Chris Zubrycki
- Established: 2007
- Location: Phoenix, Arizona
- Notable Fighters: Sean O’Malley, Benson Henderson, Alex Caceres, James Nakashima
Another team that’s long been established as one of the world’s best MMA gyms is The MMA Lab in Arizona. Head coach John Crouch established his gym in 2007 and would immediately establish The Lab as a top MMA gym.
The Lab has been a hotbed of MMA talent for 16 years. It is the home of former UFC champion and future hall-of-famer Benson Henderson, who helped The Lab become internationally recognized.
Today, The Lab is still producing some of the top fighters in the world. Sean O’Malley is looking to be their next UFC champion.
The MMA Lab 2710 W Bell Rd #1150, Phoenix, AZ 85053, U.S.
Kill Cliff FC(Formerly Sanford MMA)
- Founder/Head Coach: Henri Hooft, Greg Jones
- Head Trainers: Henri Hooft, Greg Jones, Jason Strout
- Established: 2017
- Location: Deerfield Beach, Florida
- Notable Fighters: Michael Chandler, Kamaru Usman (Former), Gilbert Burns, Michael Johnson, Aung La Nsang, Tyrone Spong
Kill Cliff FC (Formerly Sanford MMA) is the crew that once led the Blackzilians Fight Team. After the Blackzillians gym shut down, trainers Henri Hooft and Greg Jones moved on to establish Sanford MMA.
They recently partnered with Kill Cliff and renamed the name of the gym. Under Hooft and Jones’ leadership, the gym has established itself as one of the best MMA gyms on the planet.
This includes former team member Kamaru Usman, who trained at the gym for most of his reign. Kill Cliff FC now has over 40 members to their fight team and looking to develop more champions.
Kill Cliff FC, 366 Hillsboro Technology Dr. Deerfield Beach, Florida, 33441, U.S.
- Founders: Eugene Bareman, Doug Viney
- Head Trainers: Eugene Bareman, Doug Viney
- Established: 2007
- Location: Auckland, New Zealand
- Notable Fighters: Israel Adesanya (UFC Middleweight Champion), Alexander Volkanovski (UFC Featherweight Champion), Kai Kara-France, Dan Hooker, Shane Young, Brad Riddell
The gym that man considers one of the current best MMA gyms in the world is City Kickboxing. Head trainers Eugene Bareman and Doug Viney opened their small New Zealand gym in 2007.
They could not have envisioned the success that their small gym would achieve in a short time span. Their crew has become one of the best fight teams in the world.
Led by UFC world champions Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski. Not just current champions but two fighters that many consider all-time greats.
City Kickboxing has more top fighters like Kai Kara-France, who’s on the hunt for UFC gold. The gym is currently at its height and looking to keep its place as one of the world’s best MMA gyms.
City Kickboxing, 14 West Street, Newton, Auckland, New Zealand.
- Founder/Head Coach: Matt Hume
- Head Trainers: Demetrious Johnson, Gabe Walton, Matt Michaels
- Established: 1991
- Location: Woodinville, Washington
- Notable Fighters: Demetrious Johnson (ONE Bantamweight Champion), Bibiano Fernandes
The MMA pioneer Matt Hume has been considered a top coach for decades. He has produced countless champions at AMC Pankration. One of the best MMA gyms in the world.
This gym is home to MMA great Demetrious Johnson and former world champion Bibiano Fernandes. AMC Pankration is known for its excellence and has been successful for decades under Hume’s leadership.
Mat Hume’s expertise is so revered that he became the VP of ONE Championship. He also had a hand in the establishment of Evolve MMA based in Singapore.
When you’re one of the world’s best MMA gyms for decades, you belong on any best MMA gym list.
AMC Pankration 15327 140th Pl NE, Woodinville, WA 98072, USA.