MMA Gym Review: Jackson Wink MMA Academy

Jachson Wink

Jackson Wink MMA Academy is 10,000-square-foot facility located in the small city of Albuquerque, New Mexico just a block from the historic Route 66.

Founded in 2007 by the partnership of Greg Jackson, a martial arts instructor who once shunned competitive fighting, and Mike Winkeljohn, a former kick boxer and 5th degree black belt in Kempo Karate, the MMA academy has transformed itself from a small gym to a world class sports training facility.

Jackson WinkIt has a team of great coaches that has seen it attract the greats in the field of MMA. Before the rise of MMA, the gym was a popular boxing training spot, producing such legends as Johnny Tapia and Danny Romero.

Now, big name fighters like; UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones, are just but a few who train here.

Jackson WinkCo-founder Mike Winkeljohn says that the advantage of having the gym in Albuquerque is that the low-key city doesn’t have the “distractions” that could “get fighters in trouble” as larger cities. He said each fighter gets individual attention, superstar or not.

A host of close to a hundred fighters train at the facility with most of them stating that they are attracted here due to good coaching and also for the city’s high altitude, nearby mountains and weather that complement all-year training.

Jackson WinkThe fact that the facility also has dormitories and apartments for athletes, make it more appealing


“You got to go where the best are to be the best,” said Dominic Waters, a UFC welterweight fighter who left California for Albuquerque to train at the gym. “That, in a nutshell, is why I’m here.”

“If you come to Jackson’s and you have the right attitude you’re not going to get star-struck. You come to Jackson’s because you want to be the best in the world,” said Phil Hawes, a former New Jersey resident and fighter with Titan FC.



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