Firas Zahabi, Greg Jackson, Trevor Wittman, Javier Mendez, Mike Brown, Henri Hooft are the most recognizable names on the MMA coaching realm. Any young Amateur MMA fighter love to start there career at a world class gym and become a world champion.
Beside the popular MMA coaches there’s ten and more MMA Head Coaches that don’t get the worldwide appreciation for coaching some of the best fighters in the world.
Always interested in the underrated fighters, underrated promotions, Top prospects decided to make a list of the top ten
1. Eric Del Fierro The Alliance MMA
The Alliance MMA Head Quietly under the radar as he rather allow his fighters like Dominick Cruz to get the limelight.
-Coaching Dominick Cruz to WEC Bantamweight Title, Former UFC Bantamweight Champion. To become a great fighter need to have a great coach right beside you. Dominick Cruz is considered the greatest Bantamweight of All Time. 36 years old but has one more run in him. Big fight against Marlon Vera.
-Coached Phil Davis Former UFC Light Heavyweight Contender, Former Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion. Two fight winning streak defeating Yoel Romero and Julius Anglickas. Looking to get another Bellator Light Heavyweight title shot.
-Alexander Gustafsson Three Time Light Heavyweight Title Challenger, At his peak was one of the best Light Heavyweights in the world. Gave Jon Jones the toughest challenge. Any other time period he could’ve been a UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
Three of the most recognizable MMA names on the Alliance MMA stable.
2. Eric Albarracin Fight Ready MMA
Down at Scottsdale, Arizona Fight Ready MMA is becoming one of the best MMA gyms to hone your skills and become a champion.
Building a special gym watch out for them in next decade.
Leading the gym Eric Albarracin, Coaching all these great fighters that are traveling to Arizona get great lessons from Coach Eric and Coach Cejudo.
-Coaching Henry Cejudo to greatness from Olympic Gold Medalist to all around talented fighter. Watching the transformation in Wilson Reis fight to defeating Demetrious Johnson than Dillashaw, Moraes and Cruz. Looking to return defeating the Bantamweight Champion than challenge Volkanovski.
-Coaching Patricio Pitbull since 2010 after leaving Team Nogueira and now trains at own gym Pitbull Brothers. Arguably the pound for pound best Featherweight in the world, Multiple Time Bellator Featherweight Champion and Bellator Lightweight Champion. Significant wins against Michael Chandler, AJ McKee and Juan Archuleta. Pitbull has the amazing coach right by his corner.
-Paulo Costa UFC Middleweight Title Challenger, Not most likable fighter because of his cringe social media antics. However Costa is a tough talented fighter remembered for the Fight of the Night against Yoel Romero. Costa made his Light Heavyweight debut against Marvin Vettori, Smart decision for him to fight at 205 lbs easier weight cut for him and fighting in his prime now at 31 years old.
-Weili Zhang former Strawweight Champion is an assassin, Trains like a psychopath. Defeated Joanna Jędrzejczyk in her last fight, Looked very good all help of because Eric Albaraccin and Fight Ready MMA. Helping Weili become a better wrestler and become a UFC strawweight champion.
3. Duane Ludwig Bang Muay Thai
MMA is filled with nerds and he’s the biggest MMA nerd. Joe Rogan talks about having dinner with Duane Ludwig before the Renan Barao fight, Ludwig had a spiral notebook filled with notes on defeating Renan Barao.
-Dillashaw one of the best Bantamweights of all time fought the unbeatable Renan Barao, Defeating Cody Garbrandt twice and defeated Cory Sandhagen with Torn ACL. Dillashaw and Ludwig are a great fighter coach partnership. Challenging Aljamain Sterling for the Bantamweight title, Wins the title becomes a three time Bantamweight Champion.
– Juan Archuleta former Bellator Bantamweight Champion defeating Patchy Mix for the title. Main training partner for TJ Dillashaw. List of wins include Eduardo Dantas, Henry Corrales, Ricky Bandejas. Tough end of the stick in back to back losses but Archuleta always be in the mix for the title.
4. Jason Parilo RVCA Sport Training Center
Head Coach at The RVCA Sport Training Center in Costa Mesa, California. Former boxer turned MMA coach.
-Began being the Boxing Coach for BJ Penn in 2007 for the Jens Pulver fight. Lead to Penn being the Lightweight Champion and having three title defenses. Recognition of coaching BJ Penn would help coaching some of the best fighters in the world.
-Michael Bisping needed better coaching and discovered in California. Bisping always was a tough fighter, Win one lose one was his career. Life changing win defeating Anderson Silva than upset Luke Rockhold for the Bellator Middleweight title. Gave George St Pierre a tough challenge for three rounds. Putting GSP in trouble.
-Rafael Dos Anjos has the toughest MMA career ever, RDA is 37 years old but several years ago was the Brazilian Boogeyman. Former UFC Lightweight Champion. Defeating Cowboy Cerrone twice, Anthony Pettis, Benson Henderson, Kevin Lee, Robbie Lawler.
-Marlon Vera was always this tough Bantamweight, Enjoyed watching but didn’t expect Vera to become this killer. He’s completely changed red hot right now with a savage knockout against Frankie Edgar than dominant striking victory against Rob Font.
Upcoming fight against Dominick Cruz is a tough test for him, Few more fights away from a title shot.
Jason Parilo says Marlon Vera is obsessed right now, Working extremely hard in California. Mind body working as one.
5. Fernand Lopez MMA Factory
France MMA gradually will become a MMA hotspot as soccer players become fighters. Fernand Lopez will take advantage of the French talent and build a powerhouse.
-Francis Ngannou began his MMA career training at MMA Factory rising to the top of Heavyweight division with insane first round knockouts. Gym Fee disputes Ngannou decided to train at Xtreme Couture.
-Ciryl Gane pride and joy of MMA Factory is amazing fighter to watch. Masterpiece of a performance against Derrick Lewis for the Interim Heavyweight title.
Biggest wins against Alexander Volkov, Junior Dos Santos. Ciryl Gane upcoming fight against Tai Tuivasa is a Paris Headlining event. Looking forward to watching.
-Nassourdine Imavov born in Dagestan but trains at MMA Factory. Top 15 UFC Middleweight is gradually flying under the radar. Wins over Ian Heinisch and Edmen Shahbazyan.
Watch out for Imavov in 2022 as he’ll beat some bigger names.
-Abdoul Abdouraguimov #1 Welterweight Prospect in the world is UFC bound, ARES FC Welterweight Champion. Grappling nightmare for opponents, 8 out of 15 wins by submission.
6. James Krause Glory MMA & Fitness
MMA fighters have trouble discovering next passion after fighting but James Krause discovered his passion. Running his own gym Glory MMA & Fitness.
-Grant Dawson put Glory MMA & Fitness on the map before leaving to South Florida. Stinks he left but Krause has so much upcoming talent that it doesn’t matter.
-Tim Elliot is a gritty savage Flyweight always watching entertaining fight when he enters the Octagon. Elliot gave Might Mouse his first real tough test before Cejudo loss.
-Upcoming UFC prospect definitely watch out for is David Onama, Two fight winning streak against tough Mexican kickboxer Gabriel Benitez and Kill Cliff FC prospect Garret Armfield. Young stud is only 27 years old but Onama will gradually improve and become a rising star in 2022/2023.
-Trey Ogden recognizable MMA Prospect impressed Dana White on his show Dana White Looking for a Fight. Amazing fight against JJ Okanovich at Fury FC 53. Sadly lost in his UFC debut but will comeback strong against the Mexican MMA star Daniel Zellhuber. Odgen strength & pressure can lead to his first of many UFC wins.
7. George Hickman Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA.
Mastermind at Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand coached multiple champions in Valentina Shevchenko & Petr Yan to greatness.
Helped train Alexander Volkanovski in Thailand, Fine Tuning his all-around skills to help him become the pound for pound King.
In addition to coaching Rafael Fiziev, Arman Tsarukyan and Timofey Nastyukhin. Success leaves clues and George Hickman is one of the best coaches in the world.
Hickman brothers decided to split from Tiger Muay Thai and start there own gym Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA. Bringing with them there notable students helping the fighters become world champions.
Watch out for Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA to recruit the Russian, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, South East Asia MMA fighters.
8. Fedor Emelianenko Team Fedor
Fedor Emelianenko top 5 MMA fighter of all time is now coaching the next generation of Russian MMA fighters. Team Fedor has a talented stable of talent, Once Fedor fully retires. Him and his team can recruit all the athletic and mentally strong Russians.
-Leading the Team Fedor roster is Vadim Nemkov protégé of Fedor and the Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion. Some argue he’s the best Light Heavyweight in the world. Defeated Ryan Bader for the Bellator Light Heavyweight title. Impressive wins include Phil Davis and Liam McGeary. Nemkov will rematch Corey Anderson in 2022 or beginning of 2023.
Win over Corey Anderson can prove he’s #1 Light Heavyweight and will look to continue his reign over the division.
– Next up is Valentin Moldavsky former Bellator Heavyweight Champion lost to Ryan Bader for the unified Heavyweight title, However young in his career with only 13 MMA fighters losing to highly experienced fighter. 30 years old considered young for a Heavyweight, He’ll only improve from here and in the future will dominate the Bellator Heavyweight division.
-Anatoly Tokov bound to have Bellator Middleweight title shot, 29-2 record is an assassin defeating tough guys like Gerald Harris, Alexander Shlemenko. Definitely deserves it after impressive 7 fight winning streak
9. Siyar Bahadurzada Evolve MMA
Former UFC fighter was selected as the Evolve MMA Head Coach in 2020, Leading the charge for now on as Chatri Sityodtong owns the academy. Coaching bunch of great fighters who are still young in there career.
Core of Evolve MMA fighters were champions but Siyar continues to make them improve.
-Christian Lee dominated Timofey Nastyukhin in the first round, Having one of his best performances. Didn’t expect Timofey to lose early as I thought it would go least three rounds. However Christian Lee proved to me and everyone else how talented the young man is.
-Angela Lee returning to the cage after three year layoff because of pregnancy fought a talented well-rounded Stamp Fairtex. Fighting a world class striker and submitting her in the second round.
-Jingnan Xiong Woman’s One Championship Strawweight Champion is definitely a underrated fighter on the roster. Since Siyar took the helm she’s defeated World Class Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Michelle Nicolini and Ayaka Miura Third Degree Black Belt.
Siyar Bahadurzada and Evolve MMA will continue to make the Lee Siblings the best fighters in the world.
10. Mark Sangiao Team Lakay
Godfather of Philippine MMA is the best MMA coach out of Asia in my opinion. Doesn’t get the recognition he deserves but the stable of talent he has at Team Lakay will SHOW.
-Eduard Folayang Two Time One Championship Lightweight Champion. Defeating Shinya Aoki for his first title victory. Most fights in One Championship history with 23.
-Kevin Belingon former One Championship Bantamweight Champion remembered for the four fights with Bibiano Fernandes. Seven Fight winning streak before beating Martin Nguyen for the title. Four fight losing streak but he’s a respected One Championship fighter.
– Stamp Fairtex world class Muay Thai and Kickboxing fighter, Winning the atomweight titles aiming to become Atomweight MMA champion as well. Came a long way from only being a great striker to All-Around MMA fighter. Came up short against Angela Lee but in no time she’ll be back to challenge Angela again. Stamp one of my favorite fighters on the roster.
Missed the cut
Sayif Saud Fortis MMA Geoff Neal, Alex Morono, Ryan Spann, Miles Johns.
Danny Castillo and Chris Holdsworth Team Alpha Male Coaches- Josh Emmett, Song Yadong, Lance Palmer, Maycee Barber.
Dave Lovell Team Renagade BJJ coaches- Leon Edwards, Fabian Edwards, Jai Herbert, Aiden Lee.