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5 Oz. 2009 MMA Awards: Gym of the Year

Anderson SilvaLadies and gentlemen, it’s time! It has been an extraordinary year of ups and down for all of those involved in the rapidly growing world of mixed martial arts, but all things must come to an end, and it’s time for FiveOuncesofPain.com to dish out our official year end awards for the crazy year that was 2009.
We’ll be diving headfirst into a series of fifteen end of the year awards, with a new award being distributed every single day through December 31 with a special two part New Years Eve year-end award extravaganza.

In this edition we have FiveOuncesofPain’s top gyms of 2009:

1. Black House: Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Junior dos Santos, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

We’ll call this clan of bad ass Brazilians that help each other prepare for one another’s bout Team Black House for the lack of a better term. Silva, the Nogueira brothers and Machida all spend time at separate camps for large chunks of time, but usually come together when it counts and there’s no way this extraordinarily talented group of fighters wasn’t going to get the nod because of politics.

2. American Top Team (Coconut Creek, Florida): Thiago Silva, Ben Saunders, Mike Brown, Mark Bocek, Hector Lombard, Bobby Lashley, Tyron Woodley

3. Arizona Combat Sports: Ryan Bader, C.B. Dollaway, Aaron Simpson, Carlos Condit, Joe Riggs, Jamie Varner, Jesse Forbes, Jacob McClintock, Pat Runez, Elena Reid

4. Xtreme Couture
: Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin, Gray Maynard, Tyson Griffin, Jay Hieron, Vitor Belfort

5. American Kickboxing Academy: Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Cain Velasquez, Mike Swick, Daniel Cormier

21 COMMENTS
  • Nick Havok says:

    Definitely nailed it with Black House. Amazing group of fighters there.

    Easy pick for #1.

  • brandnewpride36 says:

    5 great teams, but what about Greg Jackson’s MMA? GSP, Rashad Evans, Keith Jardine, Nate Marquardt, Donald Cerrone, Leonard Garcia, Carlos Condit, and Shane Carwin…. i think i’ve said enough haha

  • nate says:

    jose aldo = black house now too…as if more of a case needed to be made.

  • Cory Brady says:

    Definitely considered Jackson’s long and hard bnp36, but Condit trained out of AZCS for most of 2009, and Carwin trains in Colorado almost exclusively. GSP trains out of Jackson’s, but he also trains out of Tri-Star for a majority of his time. Outside of those guys the thing that jumps out at me about the full time Greg Jackson fighters is Evans’ KO loss, Jardine’s KO loss, Cerone had a good year but he lost when it mattered, and of course Garcia’s pair of defeats. It’s a fantastic camp, they just haven’t had the best year.

  • MCM says:

    Nailed it for #1, but are the rest of those pics in order? And why no Greg Jackson or even Minnesota Martial Arts since you have Arizona Combat on there? I’d take Minnesota for talent over Arizona…Lesnar, Sherk, Larson, The Goat, Volkman, Tuscherer.

  • brandnewpride36 says:

    Brady, I can see where you’re coming from with a lot of the Greg Jackson’s fighters not all training there exclusively, but the simple fact that the top-tier mixed martial artists, though they may train elsewhere for the majority of their preparation, always finish off their training with Jackson as he is a tactical genius.

    I would say that Arizona Combat Sports was the breakout gym of the year, as they really put their name out there, but to each his own!

  • Cory Brady says:

    MCM: Nailed it for #1, but are the rest of those pics in order?And why no Greg Jackson or even Minnesota Martial Arts since you have Arizona Combat on there? I’d take Minnesota for talent over Arizona…Lesnar, Sherk, Larson, The Goat, Volkman, Tuscherer.

    Definitely considered Minnesota Martial Arts as well, but when you look at the facts, I don’t think they had the best year overall. Of course they have Brock, so that would make it a sexy choice, but out of the other guys you listed, Sherk lost to Edgar, Tuchscherer got his testicles kicked in and caught a beatdown from Gonzaga, Larson lost twice and got cut by the UFC, Volkman lost to Thiago and Thompson lost his last two as well. I don’t think that’s a really good year.

    But when you look at ACS, Bader won twice in the UFC, Simpson won twice in the UFC, Varner won a controversial decision over Cerrone, but he still won, Dollaway lost to Lawlor but rebounded with a win over Jay Silva, Forbes went undefeated and won FIVE bouts, Riggs went 2-0 with a win over Baroni, McClintock is still undefeated and Runez became the UWC flweight champ.

  • MCM says:

    can’t argue with that Cory.
    I think Minnesota has the better talent overall but they did have a crappy year.

  • Makington says:

    At first I thought it was crazy that Greg Jackson’s gym wasn’t on here, and I still believe it should be, but I see your points. Not very many fighters train exclusively there, but GSP and Marquardt had great years and it seems like every other fighter is training there. Greg has to corner like 6 fighters at any given PPV, and it’s for good reason. Tons of fighters are atleast going out there to train with him and get a bit of help, but I don’t know if you would exactly count that as being their gym now, Andrei Arlovski has been spending time with Greg Jackson so that he can fight again and still be able to chew his food the week after but he isn’t a full time Greg Jackson Submission Fighting member.

    ACS is one of the hottest gyms out there right now too, and I can only see them going up with their elite wrestlers.

  • Rece Rock says:

    ?? Greg Jackson’s Camp??

    I def. am not a big fan of most of his fighters but they all look prepared and pretty good most of the time and he does do a good job so I think he should have been mentioned.

  • Nick Havok says:

    What about Cesar Gracie’s fighters out of California?

    Jake Shields: Undefeated in 2009 with a stoppage over Robbie Lawler and a win over Jason Miller to capture the Strikeforce middleweight title. Not bad.

    Gilbert Melendez: Undefeated in 2009. Gilbert started off the year by smashing Rodrigo Damm and then went on to avenge both loses in his career by defeating Ishida and then Josh Thomson for the Strikeforce lightweight belt in what was one of the most exciting bouts of the year.

    Nick Diaz: Undefeated in 2009 with devastating wins over MMA legend Frank Shamrock and potent striker Scott Smith. He did so good in 2009 that he is slated to battle it out with Marius Zaromskis for the Strikeforce welterweight belt in January 2010.

    Nate Diaz: Although only going 1-2 in 2009, Nate was never beaten up or got embarassed in any of his 2 losses. Guida and Stevenson had to resort to ‘holding’ Nate down the entire time as to win by way of judges scorecards. But then he bounced back with a nice submission win over Guillard…but can I also say that 2 of Nate’s 3 fights in 2009 were main events with the UFC. That says a lot to me.

    So to sum up, we could very well see 3 seperate Strikeforce champions fighting under the Cesar Gracie banner here in a month…which is pretty remarkable. Definitely worthy of being recognized as one of the hottest camps of 2009.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    No way Acs should beat out Jacksons, Acs has a former wec champ that is a midlevel fighter at best in the UFC and some up and comers. Jacksons has one of the best line ups period. If you count Lyoto as blach house even though he mainly trains at home you need to count GSP with Jacksons and with the #1 or 2 p4p fighter in your camp along with a former king of Pancrease and #1 MW challenger, and a #1 HW challenger a #1 FW wec challenger compared to ACs come on Corey, I think you are voting a little to close to home on that one.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Great post Nick, I think a little recognition for Gracie’s camp is well deserved.

  • Cory Brady says:

    Yeah, I agree with you on Gracie’s in California Nick. You made a really good case for them being in the top five.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Nick Havok- you got a great point there…
    and it kills me to say that because I truly dislike the Diaz brothers and that’s not me saying that to be a trendy asshole, I just really do not like there personas at all, they can fight well but there greatest opponents are themselves sometimes.

  • Nick Havok says:

    Rece Rock: Nick Havok- you got a great point there…and it kills me to say that because I truly dislike the Diaz brothers and that’s not me saying that to be a trendy asshole, I just really do not like there personas at all, they can fight well but there greatest opponents are themselves sometimes.

    I can see that side of it. The Diaz brothers are very polarizing dudes. You either love them or hate them.

    I’m glad that even though you dislike them that you are still able to recognize their talent as fighters though.

    …and finally I will agree that the Diaz Bros. are the masters of staying things that don’t reflect well upon themselves. But some people are just better talkers than others…and I don’t think what they say translates the Diaz Bros. into being bad people or anything like that. They just aren’t well spoken guys…they are fighters. I mean God knows the dumb shit I’d be saying if I had a mic shoved up in my face.

    And I can’t speak for Nate here, but I think Nick’s biggest opponent isn’t his mouth…but instead his addiction to marijuana.

    Seriously, I am so sick and tired of Pot getting in the way of Nick’s fighting career. He has lost a lot of things in his career because he simply refuses to quit smoking. Like wins, money and fights.

    I’m a big smoker myself, so I don’t hate him for it. But it’s sad to see him throw so much away just so he can be high all the time.

  • nate says:

    i think some people are missing the point of these rankings. it isnt best overall gym as far as stable of fighters. its a ranking of whos’ gym was most successful this year. i.e victories in the cage. i think the list is dead on. maybe has the cesar gracie camp tied for 5th

  • felrod says:

    No hammer house?!? Seriously Ground and pound is all you need.

  • felrod says:

    Hammerhouse: MArk Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Brandon Lee Hinkle, Mark Kerr….I rest my case as far as uber dominating gym.
    PS before you click on disagree and rip me a new one for being an “uneducated piece of ______” kindly reference the word “Sarcasm” in your nearest dictionary and try to appreciate my poor attempt at it.

  • Nick Havok says:

    felrod: Hammerhouse: MArk Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Brandon Lee Hinkle, Mark Kerr….

    Don’t forget about Wes Sims.

  • Sans_Peur says:

    Cory Brady: Definitely considered Jackson’s long and hard bnp36, but Condit trained out of AZCS for most of 2009, and Carwin trains in Colorado almost exclusively. GSP trains out of Jackson’s, but he also trains out of Tri-Star for a majority of his time. Outside of those guys the thing that jumps out at me about the full time Greg Jackson fighters is Evans’ KO loss, Jardine’s KO loss, Cerone had a good year but he lost when it mattered, and of course Garcia’s pair of defeats. It’s a fantastic camp, they just haven’t had the best year.

    I agree with Black House being number 1, Cory, but by the logic that those fighters all end up back at Black House and thus it’s a legitimate training team, shouldn’t we honor the fact that Jackson’s guys end up back there for their training too and be able to include GSP et al? Just seems like a bit of a contradiction to me. Otherwise, though, I’m right on board – all solid picks, just surprised me to see that Jackson’s wasn’t on there at all.

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