As the popularity of Mixed Martial Arts surged globally, so did the fame of MMA stars. Ronda Rousey and Conor Mcgregor are two among household names that put the sport on the map. Australia goes to the next level when showing support for its fighters. And at this point, the MMA community in Australia and New Zealand set up the best MMA gyms to bring out the best MMA fighters.
If you’re reading this article, you may be a (soon-to-be) newbie about to start your fitness journey. Or perhaps you’re just about to begin your fighting career. Either way, you’re probably looking for inspiration and asking yourself – what’s the best MMA gym for you out there?
In this article, we’ll be talking about some Aussie and Kiwi MMA stars and highlight some of the best MMA gyms you may want to visit.
Israel Adesanya trains in City Kickboxing, which is probably Australasia’s best MMA gym. This Nigerian-born UFC fighter excels in more than just MMA. Aside from being an absolute monster inside the cage, Adesanya is also a well-known champion in kickboxing, boxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He holds records for his wins in various fights, making a huge name for himself.
Fans say Adesanya is as dynamic as Anderson Silva was in his prime. We’ve got nothing to say to that, except that 22 wins out of 23 is definitely a feat to accomplish!
The King of Walkoffs is one of New Zealand’s greatest prides. Mark Hunt earned the name by stopping attacks and walking away before the referee stops the match. Also known as the Super Samoan, Hunt has an atypical start to his MMA career.
Before he beat people up inside the cage, he beat people up outside of it. Hunt knocked out several people in a late-night altercation outside a nightclub. One of the bouncers was so impressed by the sheer knockout power that he brought him to the gym for formal training.
One week later, Hunt wins his first Muay Thai fight, and the rest is history.
Adesanya isn’t the only benchmark of his region when it comes to MMA. Alexander Volkanovski, the current UFC featherweight champion, also happens to come out of New Zealand’s best MMA gym.
Volkanovski began training in MMA and Greco-Roman wrestling at the age of 22. Initially, it was just to stay in shape during the rugby league off-season. However, he soon realized that he had a passion and affinity for the sport.
Soon enough, he was training MMA for real. Volkanovski became a good counter striker with a powerful overhand right. He was also a fantastic offensive wrestler.
He competed in several amateur fights in the middleweight division while adjusting from his rugby weight. Later, he would professionally compete at welterweight, lightweight, and finally, featherweight.
Dan Hooker is the King in the Ring Middleweight Kickboxing Champion. He was also the WBKF X-Rules Welterweight Champion, but he’s currently in Lightweight.
Hooker debuted in March 2009, though he had been coaching MMA a year prior. He amassed a record of 10-4 fighting in New Zealand before he went into the UFC.
Aside from his experience in the UFC, he’s also an accomplished kickboxer and grappler. In 2018, he started a gym to pass on his expertise. Combat Academy in Auckland is a well-equipped gym with a full-sized boxing ring and an octagon.
Robert Whittaker is a former UFC middleweight champion who beat some of the most feared fighters in his division. A New Zealand born Aussie, ‘Bobby Knuckles’ made his UFC debut representing Australian, European, Māori and Samoan heritage.
Whittaker will go down in history as Australia’s first UFC title holder when he defeated Yoel Romero in 2017 at UFC 213.
He is still active in the UFC and is considered one of the most dangerous top tier middleweight athletes. While he’s spent some time training at one of the worlds best MMA gyms – Tristar Gym, he’s based in NSW at Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Smeaton Grange.
Ray Sefo has six Muay Thai World Championships in his arsenal. But earlier in his career, Sefo was already putting together an awe-inspiring record. He was unbeaten as an amateur and professional in the Oceania kickboxing league. He went on to earn 80 bouts in three different fighting styles.
It’s too bad for those still anticipating to see him take over the ring – Sefo announced his retirement back in 2018. But he didn’t do so without fulfilling his dreams. Today, he’s the president of the Professional Fighters League, an MMA promotion company competing with the UFC.
Sefo couldn’t have said it better himself: “I’m a perfect example of what following your dreams is. I was head down and just did the work.” He’s a product of a life he could have only imagined, and now he’s living it.
Australasian MMA Gyms
Whether you’re looking to get fit or get fighting, you’ll want nothing but less than the best instruction. That’s why you’ll want to get into the best MMA gym in your area. You may have to do some research to identify it, but here’s a few to look into:
This gym in New Zealand gave rise to some of MMA’s biggest talents. Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski are good examples. If you’re looking to jumpstart your fighting career, City Kickboxing is the place to go. Their highly effective training routines will do more than just get you in shape!
The Fight Centre
In Australia, we have the up-and-coming TFC. The Fight Centre is the best MMA gym for beginners and those looking to compete further down the road. We’re still pretty young, but we’re growing plenty of young talents that’ll take over the MMA industry in a few years!