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Debating with your friends who’s the best Mixed Martial Arts coach?

Greg Jackson, Javier Mendez or Firas Zahabi?

Here is our list of the best Mixed Martial Arts coaches of all time.

Do you agree with our picks?

Best Mixed Martial Arts Coaches:

  1. Greg Jackson
  2. Javier Mendez
  3. Firas Zahabi
  4. Duke Roufus
  5. Rafael Cordeiro

#1 Greg Jackson

  • πŸ† Achievements: Coached numerous UFC champions and title contenders
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1992–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Jackson Wink MMA Academy
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Greg Jackson is one of the most respected coaches in the mixed martial arts community, having developed several world champions and top contenders in the UFC. Jackson’s coaching is rooted in a philosophy that combines various martial arts styles, creating versatile and well-rounded fighters.

His Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has become a mecca for fighters looking to train under his guidance. The gym is known for fostering a close-knit team atmosphere while pushing the boundaries of training and strategy in MMA.

Considered a pioneer in the realm of MMA coaching, Jackson’s influence extends beyond his own gym. His fighters are known for their strategic approaches, mental fortitude, and adaptability, hallmarks of Jackson’s training regimen.

#2 Javier Mendez

  • πŸ† Achievements: Coached multiple UFC champions, including Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1980s–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Javier Mendez, the founder of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), is another giant in the world of mixed martial arts coaching. Under his tutelage, AKA has produced a number of UFC champions, with Khabib Nurmagomedov being one of the most notable stars to emerge from the gym.

Mendez’s training methods emphasize a blend of high-level striking with elite wrestling and grappling, making his fighters formidable opponents in all aspects of the sport. The success of AKA under Mendez’s guidance is a testament to his ability to evolve fighters’ skillsets and prepare them for the highest levels of competition.

His impact has extended internationally, influencing not only the fighters he directly coaches but also the standards of training methodologies worldwide in the sport of MMA.

#3 Firas Zahabi

  • πŸ† Achievements: Coach of Georges St-Pierre and other top MMA talents
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 2007–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Tristar Gym
  • 🌐 Nationality: Canadian

Firas Zahabi is widely known as the long-time coach of former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre. Zahabi has been the head of Montreal’s Tristar Gym, where he has developed a reputation for his intellectual approach to fight strategy and training.

His coaching philosophy focuses on a cerebral approach to combat, emphasizing technique, strategy, and a strong mental game. Zahabi’s Tristar Gym has become a destination for fighters seeking to hone their skills under a coach known for his analytical approach to combat sports.

Zahabi is also recognized for his contribution to MMA through his detailed instructional videos and seminars, which have influenced countless fighters and coaches around the globe.

#4 Duke Roufus

  • πŸ† Achievements: Renowned for his development of striking skills in MMA fighters
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 2006–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Roufusport MMA Academy
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Duke Roufus, a former professional kickboxer, transitioned into one of MMA’s top striking coaches. He is the founder of Roufusport MMA Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he has honed the stand-up skills of many prominent MMA fighters.

His coaching style integrates traditional Muay Thai with Western boxing, kickboxing, and other striking arts, adapted specifically for the MMA landscape. Roufus’ fighters are known for their technical striking, footwork, and ability to deliver fight-ending strikes.

The success of his gym and fighters at the highest levels of MMA competition attests to Roufus’ expertise in crafting effective striking strategies and his ability to elevate the striking game within MMA.

#5 Rafael Cordeiro

  • πŸ† Achievements: Coach of Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, and other MMA legends
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 2001–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Kings MMA
  • 🌐 Nationality: Brazilian

Rafael Cordeiro is the mastermind behind Kings MMA, having established himself as a top coach with a history of training some of the most successful fighters in the sport. He has influenced the careers of legends like Anderson Silva and Wanderlei Silva.

His expertise in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, two foundational pillars of MMA, has allowed him to develop fighters who are efficient in both striking and grappling. Cordeiro’s training environment encourages relentless improvement and innovation in technique.

Cordeiro’s coaching methods and ability to foster champions have garnered respect within the MMA community. His influence on the sport and his fighters’ successes have cemented his legacy as one of the best coaches in MMA history.

For more visual content, check out these mixed martial arts YouTube channels for tutorials, fight analyses, and behind-the-scenes footage.


Who is the greatest Mixed Martial Arts coach of all time?

Greg Jackson is often hailed as the greatest MMA coach, guiding numerous fighters to UFC titles with his strategic and holistic approach.

Who was the most successful Mixed Martial Arts coach?

Greg Jackson is deemed the most successful MMA coach, having trained champions like Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, and Holly Holm, among others.

Kelly is a travel lover, and an adventure and sports enthusiast, and lover of all things wine. Kelly’s passion lies in exploring Canada and other parts of the world and sharing her experiences with others. As a senior traveller, Kelly aims to inspire others to live their best life and not be afraid to venture out into the world on their own. She encourages solo travel and offers tips and advice on how to do it safely and confidently. In sports, she was one of the MVP provincial champs in volleyball, have 4 years recreational experience in beach volleyball and was an MMA black belt and former instructor.

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