While fighting is an individual sport, it takes a team to build a fighter. Without the proper training partners, coaches and team behind them a fighter is only going to go so far.

We are hitting a bizarre stage in MMA however, where fighters from the same camp are willing to face each other, and aren’t even necessarily switching camps when they do. Fighters are training at camps separate from their own so often its tough to tell how closely fighters on the same team actually train with one another.


This became an issue at American Top Team, when longtime ATT members Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler fought for the title. Even though they each have ATT affiliations, Woodley is based in St. Louis with ATT’s Evolution team, while Lawler trains mainly out of Coconut Creek. Despite being teammates, they are said to have only trained together a handful of times.

Gone are the days of closed-door training camps and teams, and now large “corporation camps” are under the same banner and operating in numerous locations.

With that in mind let’s take a look at the top 7 most successful MMA gyms…


7. Cesar-Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

The big 4 on the Cesar-Gracie Fight Team are: Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez and Nick and Nate Diaz. They are said to be a closed-door group and not overly open to the idea of training elsewhere, or welcoming in outsiders. They are an old school group in that way.

While Shields’ UFC career didn’t quite go as planned, he is still considered one of the best pure grapplers in the sport today. Gilbert Melendez, while he lost his lightweight title shot to Raphael Dos Anjos, is still one of the top 155lbs fighter in the world.

As for the Diaz brothers, Nate Diaz is now super-rich, something that even championship quality fighters aren’t able to accomplish. If Nate could choose between being super-rich or being a champion he’d probably choose being super-rich. Nick Diaz may have not won a fight in awhile, but he has become something of a folk-hero ever since the athletic commission attempted to suspend him for 5-years for marijuana. With his suspension now up, rumours are linking Diaz to a possible rematch with Georges St. Pierre upon his return.

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Ian is a MMA writer based out of Toronto, ON Canada. An avid mixed martial arts enthusiast and passionate fan since he was born, Ian has been writing about mixed martial arts for over 5 years.