The UFC, undoubtedly, is the most popular mixed martial arts promotion company in the United States. The company just began in 1993 and already has a strong fanbase, and has become the biggest mixed martial art promotion in the world.
Though most people would like to give credit to the vicious fighters who have made the competition so popular, the coaches are often underrated. To speak the truth, a fighter always contains a reflection of his coach.
So, to acknowledge the contribution of the coaches, we made the list of the 10 best UFC coaches of all time. Their contribution is immense to the growth of UFC.
Here Are The 10 Best UFC Coaches
|Coach Name||Institution Name|
|Trevor Wittman||Grudge Training Center|
|Jason Parillo||RVCA Training Center|
|Mark Henry||Ricardo Almeida Jiu-Jitsu|
|Mike Brown||American Top Team|
|Eugene Bareman||City Kickboxing|
|Tito Ortiz||Punishment Training Center|
|Jason “Mayhem” Miller||Millennia MMA|
|Conan Silveira||American Top Team|
|Firas Zahabi||Tristar Gym|
1. Trevor Wittman
|Full Name||Trevor Wittman|
|Date of birth||March 5, 1974|
|Place of birth||Colorado, United States|
|Training style||Striking (boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai) and defense|
|Coaching Academy||Grudge Training Center in Denver, Colorado|
|Notable players||Rose Namajunas, Justin Gaethje, and Shane Carwin|
Trevor Wittman the name may not sound much familiar to casual fans, but he is quite known to hardcore UFC fans. He has trained players like Rose Namajunas, Justin Gaethje, and Shane Carwin.
Wittman is the founder and head coach of the OnX Sports Training and Grudge Training Center. He has a reputation for being one of the most innovative and technical coaches in the sport. He has a deep understanding of striking and a meticulous approach to coaching.
Wittman is on top of the list for another reason- innovation. Wittman is not just passing what he learned in his initial career. Instead, he has developed several unique techniques and training methods, such as his “touch” system for striking and his use of virtual reality technology for training.
Wittman has another unique quality. He focuses on not only physical training but also mental and emotional preparation. It helps a fighter keep their posture even under pressure. With such a deep understanding of the game, no surprise Wittman is our number among the best UFC coaches.
2. Jason Parillo
|Full Name||Jason Parillo|
|Date of birth||June 11, 1974|
|Place of birth||New York|
|Coaching Academy||RVCA Training Centre|
|Notable players||Michael Bisping, Cris Cyborg, Kevin Holland, B.J. Penn, Tito Ortiz, Chael Sonnen, and others.|
Well, if Wittman is not your number-one pick, then most probably Parillo is. Many consider Parillo the leader of the best UFC coaches. He has a long career in combat sports. Before becoming a coach, he also competed in the ring many times.
Parillo has worked with many top-level fighters, including former UFC champions Michael Bisping and Cris Cyborg, as well as Kevin Holland, who is currently doing great in the UFC.
So, what makes Pariollo so special as a coach? His ability to understand and adapt. He can understand a trainee very quickly and point out what are the barriers they have. He then applies the most suitable methods to overcome them. He does not train everyone in the same method.
Just like Wittman, Parillo also focuses on developing the mental and emotional strength of a fighter along with physical training. He has a reputation for being a supportive and calming presence in the corner. He does not create pressure on them. He surely deserves to be on this list.
3. Mark Henry
|Full Name||Mark Henry|
|Date of birth||August 29, 1968|
|Place of birth||Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, USA|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)|
|Training style||Striking and wrestling|
|Coaching Academy||Ricardo Almeida Jiu-Jitsu|
|Notable players||Frankie Edgar, Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez, Corey Anderson|
Mark Henry is a mysterious man. Would you believe it if an owner and chef at a Pizza restaurant came to you and claimed that he is one of the best UFC coaches of all time? Won’t you laugh at the poor fellow?
You should not laugh if the chef is Mark Henry. The man really works as a chef in his restaurant and is quite good at it. It is hard to believe someone who can cook with so much love can also teach you how to break the nose of your opponent in the ring.
You must know the name of the former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. He was coached by Henry in his early stage. Henry helped Edgar to develop a unique style that blends boxing and wrestling and has been instrumental in Edgar’s success in the UFC.
Henry has some other students who have shined in the UFC, such as Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez, and Corey Anderson. He has a reputation for paying attention to detail and his ability to develop strategies that exploit his fighters’ opponents’ weaknesses.
Henry is highly respected in the MMA community, and students from different states come to his academy to learn from the great coach.
4. Mike Brown
|Full Name||Michael Thomas Brown|
|Date of birth||September 8, 1975|
|Place of birth||Portland, Maine, USA|
|Height||5 ft 6 in (167 cm)|
|Training style||Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and striking|
|Coaching Academy||American Top Team|
|Notable players||Robbie Lawler, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Dustin Poirier, Colby Covington|
A champion knows how to breed champions. Mike Brown is a perfect example of that. He has worked with some of the best fighters of the present time. He has already worked with UFC champions like:
- Dustin Poirier
- Amanda Nunes
- Colby Covington, and others.
Brown has been a welterweight champion in his fighting career and is sharing his experience with the present and future generation fighters in American Top Team. Brown’s coaching career only started in 2013, and he has already earned the title of one of the best UFC coaches within a decade. He is that good.
Brown’s specialty is that he can develop well-rounded fighters. He encourages his trainees to have a complete skill set and works with his fighters to develop their striking, wrestling, and submission skills.
5. Eugene Bareman
|Full Name||Eugene Bareman|
|Date of birth||26 August 1979|
|Place of birth||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Training style||Striking, specifically kickboxing and Muay Thai|
|Coaching Academy||City Kickboxing|
|Notable players||Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker, Alexander Volkanovski, Kai Kara-France|
Did the name surprise you in any way? Well, a lot of fans are still unfamiliar with Bareman. Despite not being in the United States, the New Zealander coach founded City Kickboxing, one of the fastest-growing academies.
Bareman founded the gym for his personal training. However, after his retirement, he decided to become a coach. And oh boy o, boy, within a short time, he has found more success as a coach than as a fighter.
City Kickboxing has earned a reputation as a technical powerhouse with a concentration on striking techniques under Bareman’s direction. Bareman has a thorough understanding of Muay Thai and kickboxing and has created a distinctive style that combines these fighting styles with conventional boxing and other methods.
Bareman works closely with his fighters to develop their mental toughness and focus, helping them to stay calm and confident in the high-pressure environment of the UFC. Given that he has only started, soon he will climb up the list, no doubt.
6. Tito Ortiz
|Full Name||Jacob Christopher Ortiz|
|Date of birth||January 23, 1975|
|Place of birth||Huntington Beach, California, USA|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Training style||Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Coaching Academy||Punishment Training Center|
|Notable players||Cris Cyborg, Chuck Liddell, Glover Teixeira, Fabricio Werdum|
Who doesn’t know Tito Ortiz? If someone says he doesn’t know who Ortiz is, then he is not an MMA fan, let alone UFC. Ortiz was a UFC heavyweight champion from 2000 to 2003. He is a dominant and aggressive champion.
Naturally, young boxers were keen to learn from the great champ, and soon he transitioned into coaching. From his initial period of coaching, he was popular among the trainers. His flashy career was enough to draw attention to his academy.
Ortiz has the ability to motivate and inspire his fighters. He puts an emphasis on mental preparation, helping his fighters to build confidence and resilience in the face of adversity. Just like him, his students resemble aggressiveness and dominance.
7. Jason “Mayhem” Miller
|Full Name||Jason Nicholas Miller, known as “Mayhem”|
|Date of birth||December 24, 1980|
|Place of birth||Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Training style||Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Coaching Academy||Millennia MMA|
|Notable players||Dominick Cruz, Danny Castillo|
Sometimes only the coach’s name will get the students’ attention. They simply want to benefit from the coach’s knowledge. And one such coach is Jason Miller. He had a prosperous MMA career, which helped him quickly establish a solid reputation as a coach.
Miller is renowned for turning forth warriors who are well-rounded, competent, and well-trained. He has trained fighters like
- Dominick Cruz, a former UFC bantamweight champion
- Danny Castillo, a former UFC lightweight contender.
Miller can comprehend his students’ potential and what is preventing them from using it because of his ability to connect with them. He is a multi-dimensional coach rather than a linear one. He uses various strategies to hone the fighting prowess of various wanna-be fighters.
8. Rashad Evans
|Full Name||Rashad Anton Evans|
|Date of birth||September 25, 1979|
|Place of birth||Niagara Falls, New York, USA|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Training style||Wrestling and striking|
|Coaching Academy||Blackzilians, formerly Jaco Hybrid Training Center|
|Notable players||Anthony Johnson, Kamaru Usman, Michael Johnson, Vitor Belfort|
Who wouldn’t want to train under the guidance of Rashad Evans? The former light heavyweight champion is one of the hottest coaches at present. His experience in the ring lures trainees from different states and countries.
Evans knows how to reach close to his students through effective communication and motivates them. He wants to establish a close bond with his pupils so that they can absorb more of his knowledge. His training methods are geared toward honing his fighters’ abilities and assisting them in realizing their maximum potential.
Evans has coached several notable fighters, including:
- Tyron Woodley, a former UFC welterweight champion
- Islam Makhachev, UFC lightweight contender
Evans trains his disciples to become well-rounded and skilled and improve their ability to adapt to different styles and opponents.
9. Conan Silveira
|Full Name||Conan Silveira|
|Training style||Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Coaching Academy||American Top Team|
|Notable players||Dustin Poirier, Junior Dos Santos, Thiago Alves, Edson Barboza|
We understand that Conan Silveira is not one of the most popularly known coaches. But he deserves more recognition and attention. This man is clearly one of the, if not the best, coaches in the American Top Team.
Perhaps you did not know that Silveira is considered a pioneer of modern MMA. He has over three decades of experience in MMA. He has gained a deep understanding of the sport from his long experience. And he also knows the necessity of the mental and emotional aspects of competition.
Silveira focuses on developing a strong team culture and providing his competitors with a positive work environment. Instead of concentrating only on personal accomplishment, he urges his warriors to support one another and work together to accomplish their objectives.
Silveira’s long experience, well-rounded coaching style, connection with fighters, and team-focused coaching philosophy have made him one of the best coaches in the UFC.
10. Firas Zahabi
|Full Name||Firas Zahabi|
|Date of birth||February 5, 1980|
|Place of birth||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Training style||Mixed Martial Arts|
|Coaching Academy||Tristar Gym|
|Notable players||Georges St-Pierre, Rory MacDonald, Kenny Florian, Francis Ngannou|
Firas Zahabi is often referred to as the wisest coach in the history of UFC. He has a high analytical skill that he uses to measure the weakness and strengths of the opposition. Many people do not know that Zahabi has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. Things are making more sense now, right?
Fighters who have worked with him have shared their different experiences. Zahabi focuses on mental ability very much. Yes, other coaches also do the same, but Zahabi is dead serious about the mental growth of the fighters.
His approach is still not clear to others. Only the man knows how he motivates his trainees like no one else. He has worked with some of the popular figures of the UFC like
- Georges St-Pierre
- Rory MacDonald
- Kenny Florian, and
- Francis Ngannou
Zahabi does not only train. He teaches his trainees to analyze opponents. He shows videos of opponents and points out the style of the fighters. It helps the fighters prepare better before a match.
With his innovative approach, Zahabi cements his position among the best UFC coaches in 2023.
So, this was our list of the 10 best UFC coaches. These coaches have produced top-class fighters who have made the UFC so popular in such a short time. Though they contribute behind the scenes, their contribution is as important as that of the fighters.