Top 5 MMA Training Camps
Team fighting hasn’t been heard of since the pitiful days of the International Fight League, but there are teams in MMA. Team members usually help train other fighters for their upcoming fights and corner their teammates.
Fighters can go ahead and switch training camps at anytime, but most tend to stay loyal to their original team. Sometimes fighters can lose personal relationships over who is the leader of the training camp or who owns the rights to the team.
Part of Team Quest is an example of this.
Fight teams are usually ranked upon success and title belts. Sometimes they are ranked upon potential.
This list is a little bit of both.
5. Reign/Kings MMA
Reign/Kings MMA is a relatively new training camp that includes some tough fighters from all over the world. The team is led by Mark Munoz, who is coming off of a TKO win over Chris Leben earlier this month.
Notable fighters that currently train or have trained at Reign/Kings MMA include Fabricio Werdum, Babalu Sobral, Wanderlei Silva, Mayhem Miller, Krzysztof Soszynski and Jake Ellenberger.
The West Coast is a hot spot for MMA training camps as this camp is located in California. While none of the current members hold titles, the future seems pretty bright.
4. American Kickboxing Academy
American Kickboxing Academy, better known as AKA, is loaded with great fighters from big to small. AKA is based out of San Jose, Calif.
The team once had three of the top six or so welterweights in the world at same time. This list includes Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and Mike Swick.
AKA caught a lot of heat after the members said they would not fight each other in the octagon. The team features former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, former Olympian Daniel Cormier, Josh Thomson, Bobby Southworth and UFC 139’s Cung Le, just to name a few.
Former NFL player Herschel Walker also calls AKA home.
AKA has seen their fair share of success, but they are without a major title. They may be waiting a while if Daniel Cormier doesn’t end up winning the pointless Strikeforce heavyweight tournament.
3. Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
The Cesar Gracie-run training camp is one of the most prestigious in all MMA.
The team likes to call themselves “The Scrap Pack” and boy do they live up to their name. They proved it after the Jake Shields/Dan Henderson Strikeforce fight in Nashville, Tenn., on April 17.
Let’s just say punches were thrown at anyone and everyone after Jason "Mayhem" Miller decided to crash the post-fight interview.
The team is assembled of fighters such as: Nick and Nate Diaz, Gilbert Melendez, Shields, David Terrell and Daniel Roberts. Shields is unlike any of the others, but it has to feel good to have guys around you that would jump an old lady if she attacked you.
The potential of this group of guys is unbelievable.
Nick Diaz left Strikeforce as the welterweight champion, Shields did the same with the middleweight crown, and Melendez currently holds the lightweight title in Strikeforce. The UFC title picture may soon be overrun with Cesar Gracie guys.
2. Jackson's MMA
Greg Jackson has been labeled as the guru of MMA when it comes to training. It is nearly impossible to watch a UFC card and not see Greg Jackson smiling in the corner in at least one fight.
While Jackson lost Rashad Evans in one of the biggest fallouts in MMA history, he still has a stellar roster. He trains current champions Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones. He also trains contenders such as Clay Guida, Melvin Guillard, Brian Stann, Shane Carwin and Donald Cerrone.
The one knock on Jackson could be the fact that his camp was accused of spying on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s camp before Rampage and Jon Jones’ title fight. Don’t expect the guru to fade off of TV anytime soon.
1. Black House/Team Nogueira
There is always a little bit of confusion when talking about the best team in the world.
Is the camp’s name team Black House or Team Nogueira? Who really cares?
They could be team My Little Pony for all I care.
The team out of Brazil is head over heels better than any other camp in the world.
The team holds three of the seven UFC title belts, more titles than any other camp. You know it is a good sign when one of the worst members of the team is Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
The team consists of Anderson Silva (middleweight champion), Jose Aldo (featherweight champion), Junior Dos Santos (heavyweight champion), Antonio Minotauro Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Lyoto Machida and Feijao Cavalcante.
I wouldn’t want to meet any of these guys on the streets of Brazil or even at the local Chuck E. Cheese. If the IFC ever made a comeback I would bet the farm on Team Nogueira.
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