10 Gyms That Every MMA Fan Needs to Pay Attention to

Rob Tatum@RobTatumMMAContributor IOctober 11, 2011

10 Gyms That Every MMA Fan Needs to Pay Attention to

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    Every fan of the sport of mixed martial arts has heard of gyms like Jackson's MMA, Xtreme Couture and American Top Team.

    And while those gyms have produced numerous title contenders and top-notch fighters, there are thousands of gyms throughout the the world that are looking to do the same thing.

    Each of the following gyms are producing world class talent and have had or currently have fighters in the UFC, Strikeforce and/or Bellator.  So take note and keep track of each of these camps if you're not doing so already.

Imperial Athletics

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    This Boca Raton, Fla. gym has become known as the home of the "Blackzilians." 

    A number of members of the famed American Top Team split from their previous gym and joined Imperial, putting the gym on the map.

    The gym is home to a number of Brazilian superstars, including Jorge Santiago, Danilo Villefort, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante.

    Additionally, the gym has become home to UFC fighters Rashad Evans, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson and Michael Johnson.

    Hence the nickname "Blackzilians."


Power MMA and Fitness

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    Former Arizona State wrestlers and Arizona Combat Sports teammates Aaron Simpson, Ryan Bader and CB Dollaway all made the decision to leave their camp and start their own gym.

    Now the UFC competitors are up and running and have recruited the likes of Robbie Lawler and Jesse Forbes to their roster.


AMA Fight Club

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    The New Jersey gym is home to a number of UFC fighters.

    Head trained Mike Constantino has groomed lightweight Jim Miller into title contention in the UFC, and along the way has made names for Jim's brother Dan, Charlie Brenneman and Ricardo Romero.

    Also on the roster is female slugger Amanda Nunes.


AMC Pankration/Kickboxing

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    Kirkland, Wash. based AMC Pankration is the gym of famed trainer Matt Hume.

    The gym is home to recent UFC bantamweight title challenger Demetrious Johnson.

    Other top names include middleweight Tim Boetsch and former DREAM featherweight kingpin Bibiano Fernandes.


Curran Martial Arts Academy

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    Grappling ace Jeff Curran's gym outside Chicago is producing talented upcoming fighters, as well as teaching some old dogs new tricks.

    Curran will be soon be making his UFC debut, while his cousin Pat has been making a name for himself in Bellator.  The younger Curran has won the lightweight and featherweight tournaments.

    The team also features former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver, WEC vet Bart Palaszewski and vaunted female Muay Thai stylist Felice Herrig.


Grindhouse MMA

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    Lee's Summit, Mo. is home to the GrindHouse.

    The gym is home to UFC vet Rob Kimmons, WEC and Bellator vet James Krause and recent TUF competitor Eric Marriott.

    The gyms most promising prospect is Anthony Gutierrez.  "Sharkbait" has amassed a perfect 4-0 under the Titan FC banner since turning pro.


Factory X Muay Thai

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    Located just south of Denver, Factory X is making a name for itself by winning one fight a time. 

    The gym is run by Muay Thai veteran Marc Montoya.  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is taught by J.J. Pugsley, a black belt under Dean Lister.

    On the roster is current Bellator featherweight title holder Joe Warren, Ultimate Fighter Season 11 alum and current UFC fighter Chris Camozzi and Tachi Palace Fights vet Chase Hackett.


The HardCore Gym

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    Run by brothers Rory and Adam Singer, The HardCore gym is the Athens, Ga. affiliate of American Top Team.

    The gym has trained the likes of former UFC champion Forrest Griffin and WEC bantamweight champ Brian Bowles.

    Also calling the gym home are veterans Stephen Ledbetter and Cale Yarbrough.


London Shootfighters

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    While gyms such as Wolfslair and Team Roughhouse garner plenty of attention from MMA fans, it's another UK gym that is quietly making a name for itself.

    The London gym is home to UFC fighters John Hathaway and Karlos Vemola.

    Also training at the facility are Strikeforce and DREAM fighter Marius Zaromskis and Bellator participant Zelg Galesic.


Wajyutsu Keisyukai

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    A slight departure from the rest of the gyms on this list, is Wajyutsu Keisyukai.  Not because the gym is based in Japan, but because it is actually a network of gyms.

    Calling the network home is recent UFC middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami, as well as former UFC star Caol Uno.

    Current Pancrase kingpin Katsuya Inoue and female veteran Roxanne Modafferi also train within the gyms.



    Rob Tatum is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. You can also find Rob’s work at TheMMACorner.com.  For anything related to MMA, you can follow Rob on Twitter @RobTatumMMA.