Top 10 Best MMA Coaches: Discover Elite Mixed Martial Arts Mentors

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A great MMA coach can make all the difference in a fighter’s success. They are the ones who can turn a raw talent into a champion. The best MMA coaches have a combination of knowledge, experience, and coaching skills that set them apart from the rest.

In this article, we will introduce you to the top 10 best MMA coaches in the world. You will discover the coaches behind some of the most successful fighters in the sport. Each coach has their own unique style and approach to training. Whether you are a beginner or a professional fighter, you can learn something from each of these mentors.

Greg Jackson – The Mastermind Behind Champions

Greg Jackson is one of the most renowned MMA coaches in the world, having trained some of the sport’s best fighters. He is known for his extensive knowledge of martial arts and his ability to develop game plans that can exploit opponents’ weaknesses. His coaching style is very cerebral, and he is known for his ability to outsmart opponents and prepare his fighters for any situation they may face in the Octagon.

Some of the top fighters that Greg Jackson has trained include Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Rashad Evans, Carlos Condit, and Holly Holm. These fighters have won multiple championships and are considered some of the best in their respective weight classes.

Greg Jackson’s approach is to customize each fighter’s training regimen based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. He also emphasizes mental preparation and focus, believing that fighters who are mentally sharp and focused are more likely to succeed in the cage.

Overall, Greg Jackson is a highly skilled MMA coach who has achieved great success in the sport. His fighters are consistently among the best in the world, and many credit their success to his coaching and guidance.

Firas Zahabi – The Brain Behind Tristar Gym

Firas Zahabi is known for his exceptional coaching abilities in mixed martial arts. He has helped many fighters reach their full potential and has contributed significantly to the success of Tristar Gym in Montreal, Canada. Zahabi learned from one of the best coaches in MMA history, the late great GSP coach, Kristof Midoux.

After Midoux retired from coaching, Zahabi took the reins at Tristar and started training fighters as well as developing a reputation as an exceptional coach. Tristar has become renowned worldwide for producing some of the best fighters in MMA history.

What makes Zahabi stand out from other coaches is his dedication to studying and analyzing the sport of MMA. He is known as a “brain” of the sport, able to break down fights and opponents with ease. Zahabi’s coaching philosophy is centered around constant improvement and adapting to the demands of the fight. He trains his fighters extensively in all aspects of MMA, including striking, grappling, and wrestling.

Zahabi has produced some of the top fighters in the sport, including Georges St-Pierre, Rory MacDonald, and Kenny Florian. His success as a coach has made him a highly sought-after trainer, with fighters from all over the world seeking his expertise.

Overall, Firas Zahabi is an exceptional coach who has made a significant impact in the world of MMA. His dedication to the sport and his fighters has helped produce some of the best fighters in history.

Javier Mendez – The Man Who Turned AKA Into A Powerhouse

If you’re a fan of MMA, then you’ve heard of Javier Mendez. He’s the mastermind behind one of the most successful gyms in the sport, American Kickboxing Academy (AKA). He’s trained some of the top fighters in the world, including Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. But what makes Mendez such a great coach?

For starters, Mendez has a wealth of experience in martial arts. He’s been involved in the sport for over three decades, and he’s trained with some of the best coaches in the world. Mendez is known for his focus on technique and strategy, and he’s helped his fighters develop a well-rounded skill set.

One of the things that sets Mendez apart is his coaching philosophy. He believes that fighters should focus on improving their weaknesses, rather than just relying on their strengths. He also emphasizes mental toughness and discipline, which has helped his fighters overcome adversity in the octagon.

Javier Mendez – The Man Who Turned AKA Into A Powerhouse.

Mendez has been the head coach at AKA since 2004, and during that time, he’s turned the gym into a powerhouse. AKA has produced numerous champions in the UFC and other organizations, and Mendez has become one of the most respected coaches in the sport.

One of Mendez’s most successful fighters is Khabib Nurmagomedov. Under Mendez’s guidance, Nurmagomedov became one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Mendez helped Nurmagomedov develop his wrestling and grappling skills, which allowed him to dominate opponents in the octagon.

Overall, Javier Mendez is one of the best MMA coaches in the world. His focus on technique, strategy, and mental toughness has helped his fighters reach the top of the sport. If you’re looking for a coach who can take your game to the next level, Mendez is a great choice.

Duane Ludwig – The Kickboxing Wizard

Duane “Bang” Ludwig is widely regarded as one of the best striking coaches in MMA. He has developed a reputation for honing the striking skills of some of the best fighters in the world, including former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

What sets Ludwig apart is his unique approach to striking. He emphasizes footwork, timing, and distance management, rather than just raw power. This allows his fighters to land precise strikes and avoid taking damage from their opponents.

Ludwig’s success as a coach can be seen in the consistent improvement of his fighters. TJ Dillashaw, for example, has credited Ludwig with helping him to refine his striking skills and become one of the most well-rounded fighters in the UFC.

In addition to his success as a coach, Ludwig was also a successful fighter in his own right. He held the fastest knockout record in UFC history for over six years, and was a standout kickboxer with over 40 professional wins.

If you’re looking for a coach to take your striking to the next level, Duane Ludwig is definitely someone to consider.

John Danaher – The BJJ Genius

John Danaher is a highly regarded BJJ coach based out of New York City. He is known for his scientific and analytical approach to coaching, which has helped produce some of the top BJJ practitioners in the world.

Danaher’s coaching philosophy emphasizes the importance of efficient and effective techniques that work for all body types and skill levels. He also places a strong emphasis on strategy and game planning, helping his fighters develop a well-rounded approach to grappling.

Some of the top fighters that have trained under Danaher include Georges St-Pierre, Garry Tonon, and Gordon Ryan. His success as a coach has earned him a reputation as one of the top BJJ coaches in the world and a must-see coach for any serious grappler.

Rafael Cordeiro – The Muay Thai Maestro

One of the most respected coaches in MMA, Rafael Cordeiro has a long career in both coaching and fighting. He was the former MMA fighter and trainer of Chute Boxe Academy and has trained some of the best strikers in the game.

Cordeiro is a master of Muay Thai, and his fighters are known for their aggressive striking style. One of his most successful fighters is former UFC Middleweight champion, Anderson Silva. Under Cordeiro’s guidance, Silva became one of the most dangerous strikers in the UFC.

Another fighter who has benefited from Cordeiro’s coaching is former UFC Featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg. With Cordeiro’s help, Cyborg has become one of the most dominant female fighters in the sport.

Cordeiro’s coaching philosophy emphasizes the importance of hard work and discipline. He pushes his fighters to their limits and instills a never-give-up attitude. His approach to coaching has enabled his fighters to become some of the top strikers in MMA today.

The Rafael Cordeiro Guide to Successful Striking

If you want to improve your striking skills, here are some tips based on Cordeiro’s coaching style:

  • Practice your technique over and over until it becomes second nature.
  • Develop a strong work ethic and push yourself to the limit every day.
  • Focus on footwork and movement to create angles and openings for strikes.
  • Develop a well-rounded skillset that includes punches, kicks, knees, and elbows.
  • Always stay disciplined both inside and outside the gym.

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Rafael Cordeiro

By following these tips and working with a coach like Rafael Cordeiro, you can improve your striking skills and become a better MMA fighter.

Mark Henry – The Boxing Virtuoso

Mark Henry is a highly successful MMA coach known for his expertise in the field of boxing. He has worked with some of the top fighters in the sport, including Frankie Edgar, Eddie Alvarez, and Chris Weidman. Under his guidance, these athletes have achieved notable success in the octagon.

His Coaching Philosophy

Mark Henry approaches coaching in a unique way, focusing on the individual strengths and weaknesses of each fighter. He believes that every fighter has their own style and works to enhance their natural abilities rather than trying to mold them into something they’re not.

“I don’t teach my fighters to fight my style, I teach them to fight their own style,” says Henry. “I believe that every fighter has something special to offer and it’s my job to bring that out.”

Henry also places a strong emphasis on mental preparation and has developed techniques to help his fighters stay focused and confident leading up to a fight. He understands the importance of mindset and works to instill a winning mentality in his fighters.

Notable Fighters

Fighter Accomplishments
Frankie Edgar Former UFC Lightweight Champion, Former UFC Featherweight Title Challenger
Eddie Alvarez Former UFC Lightweight Champion, Former Bellator Lightweight Champion
Chris Weidman Former UFC Middleweight Champion

Mark Henry’s success as a coach is evident through the accomplishments of his fighters. Each of the athletes listed above achieved significant success under his guidance and helped to cement his status as one of the top MMA coaches in the world.

Trevor Wittman – The Striking Savant

Trevor Wittman is one of the most respected coaches in the MMA world, particularly when it comes to striking. He is known for his innovative techniques and ability to enhance the striking skills of even the most experienced fighters.

Wittman’s approach to striking is unique in that he places a heavy emphasis on biomechanics and body mechanics. He is known for his attention to detail and his ability to break down complex techniques into simple, easy-to-understand movements.

Some of the top fighters who have trained under Wittman include former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, current UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, and former UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas.

Wittman’s Coaching Philosophy

According to Wittman, his main goal as a coach is to help fighters become the best versions of themselves by focusing on their strengths and weaknesses. He believes that every fighter has their own unique style and that it is his job to help them unlock their full potential.

Wittman is also a big proponent of mental preparation and often works with his fighters to help them develop a strong mindset. He believes that having a positive attitude and a strong work ethic is just as important as physical training when it comes to success in MMA.

Fighters who have Trained with Trevor Wittman

Fighter Organization Division
Anthony Pettis UFC Former Lightweight Champion
Alexander Volkanovski UFC Featherweight Champion
Rose Namajunas UFC Former Strawweight Champion

These are just a few of the top fighters who have trained with Trevor Wittman. His unique approach to striking and mental preparation has helped many fighters reach the top of their divisions in the UFC and other MMA organizations.


Q: What should I look for in a good MMA coach?

A: A good MMA coach should have experience in a variety of fighting styles, a solid record of success with their fighters, and a coaching philosophy that aligns with your training goals and values. It’s also important to find a coach who you feel comfortable working with and who can provide individualized attention and feedback.

Q: Can a beginner train with a top-level MMA coach?

A: Yes, beginners can certainly benefit from working with a top-level MMA coach. However, it’s important to communicate your skill level and goals with the coach to ensure they can provide appropriate instruction and guidance.

Q: What are some additional resources for learning about MMA coaching and training?

A: There are many online resources available for learning about MMA coaching and training, including podcasts, blogs, and training videos. Some recommended resources include The MMA Coach Podcast, Bloody Elbow, and Fightcamp.


Choosing the right MMA coach can make a huge difference in your training and success as a fighter. By researching and considering the top coaches in the industry, you can find a mentor who can help you achieve your goals and reach your full potential.