American Kickboxing Academy

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American Kickboxing Academy
AKA Logo.png
Founded byJavier Mendez
Primary ownersJavier Mendez
Primary trainersJavier Mendez
Bob Cook
Leandro Vieira
Rosendo Sanchez
Current titleholdersDaniel Cormier (UFC Heavyweight Champion & Former Light Heavyweight Champion)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC Lightweight Champion)
Prominent fightersCain Velasquez
Gray Maynard
Mike Swick
Josh Thomson
Daniel Cormier
Luke Rockhold
Todd Duffee
Khabib Nurmagomedov
Bethe Correia
Daniel Puder
Training facilitiesSan Jose, California, U.S.
Phuket, Thailand

The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) is a martial arts gym based in San Jose, California. It is one of the pioneering schools of mixed martial arts (MMA). AKA headquarters is located in South San Jose. In 2014 AKA opened AKA Thailand Gym in Phuket Thailand. Prominent trainers include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Leandro Vieira, Bob Cook, Derek Yuen, Javier Mendez, and Andy Fong. Within the facility, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling and Boxing classes are taught. Additional programs include conditioning and circuit training with TRX Suspension and Combat Circuit. American Kickboxing Academy is one of the top professional MMA training camps. As of March 8, 2019, AKA roster includes both #1 and #3 ranked fighters in the official UFC pound-for-pound rankings.[1]

Dispute with the Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

In 2008, the AKA was involved in a brief dispute with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White over the exclusive license rights for a UFC video game.[2] Members of the AKA who were signed with the UFC, including Jon Fitch, Christian Wellisch, Josh Koscheck, and former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, refused to sign an exclusive lifetime contract for their video game likenesses over to the UFC, causing them to be cut from the UFC's roster. Within 24 hours, the dispute was resolved and all fighters signed back into the organization.[3]

AKA has also been criticized by MMA fans and journalists, as well as by Dana White, for what is perceived as an excessively high rate of training injuries leading to fight cancellations among its stable of fighters.[4]

Notable fighters[edit]

Mixed martial artists[edit]







    • 2015 Gym of the Year[5]
    • 2018 Gym of the Year[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fighter Rankings | UFC ®". UFC. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  2. ^ "Jon Fitch, Christian Wellisch and possibly others cut by UFC". November 19, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  3. ^ Martin, Damon (November 20, 2008). "24 Hours Later; Jon Fitch Back with UFC". Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  4. ^ "A Gym Culture of Injury? American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)". May 1, 2015. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  5. ^ "2015 Gym of the Year". Mmajunkie. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  6. ^ Matthew Petela. "AKA founder and head trainer Javier Mendez put together a run in 2018 that clearly established the American Kickboxing Academy as the premier MMA gym in 2018". Retrieved January 18, 2019.

External links[edit]