Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Year Established: Jackson MMA(1992)/Jackson/Wink(2007)
Founder: Greg Jackson
Head Coach: Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn
Notable Title Wins: UFC Light Heavyweight Titles, UFC Welterweight Titles, UFC Women’s Bantamweight Titles.
How was Jackson-Wink MMA established?
Before the gym changed its name, the original name was Jackson MMA and it was founded by Greg Jackson. Greg founded the school after graduating high school and his only goal was to train his friends.
His gym started to get a little buzz around town and when MMA started growing, so did Jackson’s school. When the UFC first started exploding in popularity, people started to get accustomed to hearing about fighters from Jackson MMA.
Later on, Jackson wanted to add another element to his gym and added on long time friend Mike Winkeljohn. Winkeljohn was a highly skilled black belt in Karate that had been competing in kickboxing for years.
Jackson eventually made Winkeljohn a full partner within the gym and they renamed the gym, Jackson-Wink MMA Academy. An already elite MMA gym would go into another stratosphere after the partnership.
The gym has won numerous world titles within MMA, boxing, and kickboxing since the partnership between Jackson and Winkeljohn. They have a vast amount of fighters at the academy that train together everyday with Greg and Mike leading them.
Greg Jackson(Head Coach/Owner)
Greg Jackson is known as “Yoda” within the MMA world. He seems to have knowledge on just about everything.
He uses his incredible intelligence to craft perfect gameplans for his fighters. If you watch any UFC event since the early 2000s, you’ve probably seen Greg Jackson coaching at most of them.
Jackson has been widely recognized as one of the best MMA coaches of all time and has cemented his legacy.
Mike Winkeljohn (Head Coach/Co-Owner)
The other person that can be credited with the success at Jackson-Wink is co-owner, Mike Winkeljohn. Before partnering with Jackson, Winkeljohn was an accomplished professional kickboxer accumulating a 25-7-2 record.
After retiring from competition, Winkeljohn turned to coaching and shortly after that was approached by longtime friend Greg Jackson. Once they became partners, they went on to create the best MMA gym in the world.
2 years after making the partnership, Winkeljohn suffered a life altering training accident in 2009. During a training session, Winkeljohn was kicked in the eye and his eye was destroyed by a toenail.
The accident left Wink blind in one eye and altered his life. Although, the accident did not deter Wink as he soldered on and continued to train his fighters.
Winkeljohn has helped lead numerous Jackson-Wink fighters to the top of the sport. Including former champions Jon Jones and Holly Holm.
Ex Elite XC and Strikeforce fighter, “smokin” Joey Villasenor has been a long time member of Jackson-Wink. After retiring from fighting, Villasenor went right into the role of assistant coach at the gym.
Helping his teammates prepare for their fights and the younger fighters achieve their fight dreams.
Jackson-Wink MMA probably has had the longest running fight team in the sport with numerous high profile names. The gym has been home to nearly 10 UFC world champions and various other champions in kickboxing and boxing. Here are some of the most notable fighters.
Arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time is former UFC light heavyweight champ, Jon “bones” Jones. When Jones decided to make a run at becoming an MMA fighter, he chose Jackson-Wink to help him.
Jones has amassed an astounding 26-1 record that includes 2 world titles and a record number of title defenses. He should honestly be 27-0 if not for a questionable DQ lost to Matt Hamill.
In his decade of dominance, Jones basically cleaned out the 205lb division. Becoming one of the main faces of the UFC. He credits much of his success to the coaching he has received from Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.
Jones next goal is the heavyweight division will look to add heavyweight champ to his HoF resume.
Holly Holm has been a protege of Mike Winkeljohn ever since she was a teenager. The duo of Holly and Wink started out with a successful amateur kickboxing career, then pro boxing, and finally MMA.
After retiring from pro boxing, Holm set her sights on pro MMA. The woman’s divisions were just being promoted in the UFC and she already had the best striking of all the division.
She walked through her early competition earning numerous knockouts before getting to the UFC. The preacher’s daughter would shock the world in her UFC title fight knocking out Ronda Rousey in devastating fashion.
Holm has had one of the most accomplished combat sports athletes of all time. Winning championships in MMA, boxing, and kickboxing.
Georges St Pierre
During his career, Georges St Pierre had many of his training camps at Jackson-Wink MMA. Working closely with Greg Jackson for many years.
The newest fighter out of Jackson-Wink MMA is championship boxer Claressa Shields. Within boxing, Claressa has accomplished everything she could including 2 Olympic medals and multiple pro world titles.
At 26, she has now set her sights on MMA and will look to add MMA champion to her illustrious resume.
The legacy of Jackson-Wink MMA
Jackson-Wink MMA Academy has been considered the best MMA gym on the planet for the last 20 years. The way things are looking, they will continue being considered the best for the next 20 years.
This MMA gym has produced numerous world titles and every combat sport. They were also recognized at the World MMA Awards numerous times, where they won gym of the year.(2009/2015) Jackson and Wink’s gym has been gold standard for MMA gyms and will continue to be for a long time.