images2It is shaping up to be a great week for the Motor City and the state of Michigan as a whole. Hot off the heels of GM’s successful initial public offering, the UFC is about to follow up with an economic “shot in the arm” tomorrow night with UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida emanating from The Palace of Auburn Hills. With the eyes of the MMA world on the Motor City tomorrow night for the UFC’s return to Detroit, we felt it would be a great opportunity to shine the spotlight on the MMA training facilities in and around the Detroit metro area.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is no stranger to Detroit, having hosted UFC 9: Motor City Madness in 1996 featuring a main event with Ken Shamrock facing off with Michigan’s own Dan “The Beast” Severn. Shortly after this event aired, Senator John McCain was successful in his attempt to derail the organization temporarily by getting a variety of national cable outlets to drop the UFC pay-per-view shows from their schedules. Under pressure from the public and national media leading up to the event, a number of sanctions were placed on the rules for this show, including a ban on closed fist strikes to the head and head-butts. It is safe to say that tomorrow night’s show will be a stark contrast to the UFC’s first venture into the Motor City.

Although the UFC has not visited Detroit in over 14 years, the MMA training scene in Detroit has a rich history with a number of facilities that are enjoying the boom in mixed martial arts popularity. Here is a look at some of the top MMA facilities in the area:

Cooper’s Muay Thai, MMA and White Collar Boxing Gym

16849 West Warren Avenue –

Cooper’s has been serving the fight game in Detroit since 1979, having specialized in boxing, muay thai and kickboxing well before mixed martial arts became popular in recent years. Cooper’s offers professional training in a very wide variety of disciplines and features a full size boxing ring and MMA cage at the facility. A number of programs for women and children are offered, too. The MMA portion of Cooper’s operates as “Michigan MMA”.


26575 West 8 Mile Road –

Established in 2008, MASH Gym specializes in muay thai and jiu-jitsu. Classes are led by Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Don Richard, muay thai fighter Matee Jedeepitak and pro fighter Todd Allee. A full size MMA cage is available at this facility.

Warrior Way

3100 Old Farm Rd. #1 (Walled Lake) –

Warrior Way, situated just North of Detroit’s core, specializes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay thai. The facility has a long standing affiliation with Caique, who holds a red and black belt in BJJ under Rickson Gracie. Caique holds classes at Warrior Way every three months, allowing students access to some of the best BJJ training in the country.

If you’re looking for more MMA training facilities in the Detroit metro area or in the broader state of Michigan, check out our Michigan MMA Gyms section in our MMA Gyms directory for a full list of training facilities in the state. has one of the most comprehensive MMA gym directories on the web, offering over 900 listings for gyms located in the US and Canada.