MMA Coaching: The Sport's Most Underrated Coaches

Joshua CareySenior Analyst IJune 6, 2011

MMA Coaching: The Sport's Most Underrated Coaches

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    Photo by Rebecca Lee

    Every sport has coaches who receive enormous amounts of attention for their work.

    The NFL has larger than life coaches in Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan. Mike D'Antoni and Doc Rivers are two gentlemen who are frequently in NBA headlines.

    The same can be said for Mixed Martial Arts, Greg Jackson will go down as one of the greatest coaches of all-time, and most recently, Firas Zahabi has seen his exposure skyrocket.

    That being said, the sport features some of the most talented and hardest working coaches in all of sports who receive little attention from the public for their efforts.

    So, here's to the gentlemen that deserve attention for the countless hours they spend in and out of the gym helping their fighters chase their dreams.

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Ed Buckley

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    Courtesy of Krzysztof Soszynksi -

    Coach Buckley has been involved with martial arts for the better part of 20 years.

    He currently works with UFC light-heavyweight Krzysztof Soszynski and is the Muay-Thai instructor for Team Quest.

    Since his time on the Ultimate Fighter Season 8, Soszynski has seen his striking improve drastically and has shown a well-versed striking game since he and Buckley paired up

    Buckley originally came out of San Diego's Black Tiger Thai Boxe and has produced multiple MMA and Muay-Thai world champions throughout his coaching career.

Justin Mccully

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    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    McCully received his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt from the great Carlson Gracie and earned his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under eight-time national champion Allan Goes.

    McCully teamed with former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion BJ Penn for his past two fights, and "The Prodigy" looked to be back in dominant form by nearly defeating top-five ranked Jon Fitch and scoring a first-round knockout over hall of famer Matt Hughes

    In addition, TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove has worked with coach McCully and has made strides in his game as well. Grove has lost back-to-back fights, but with McCully's knowledge and experience, fans should expect Grove to successfully bounce back in the near future.

    McCully's Jiu-Jitsu expertise and his 12 years of experience as a professional mixed martial artist provides him with the knowledge needed to properly assist his fighters.

Gil Martinez

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    Martinez works with the likes of Gray Maynard, Mike Pyle, Jay Hieron and Michael Chandler at Xtreme Couture.

    Maynard and Martinez started working with one another in 2008, and the sport has seen Maynard's striking grow leaps and bounds over the span.

    Martinez helped Hieron and Chandler to become tournament champions in this season of Bellator's welterweight and lightweight tournaments.

    Pyle is currently on a three-fight win streak and defeated both of his previous two opponents when he was labeled as the underdog leading into the fights.

    Martinez’s expertise in boxing has benefited many of the world class fighters at Xtreme Couture, and fans should expect to see excellent striking come from Martinez's fighters.

Eric Del Fierro

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    Coach Del Fierro leads the team at Alliance MMA, which features UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, UFC heavyweights Travis Browne and Joey Beltran and UFC light-heavyweight Phil Davis.

    Since Del Fierro and Cruz started working together, the pair has seen nothing but success, as Cruz is riding an eight-fight win streak that dates back to early 2008.

    In addition, rising star Travis Browne recently notched a first round knockout over Stefan Struve at UFC 130, and Phil Davis continues his ascent to the top of the light-heavyweight division.

    Del Fierro has spent the past 15 years around the sport and has helped mold his fighters into arguably the best young talent in the sport today.