Ask any MMA fan to list off the premier gyms in the world for fighters to hone their crafts at and there’s little doubt American Top Team will come up every single time. Situated in Coconut Creek, Florida and with branches all across the United States, ATT is home to a number of the sport’s top guys including champions and top contenders alike.
“The name says it all, but I think we’re not just the best team in America – we’re the best team in the world,” explained UFC lightweight Cole Miller in a recent conversation with Inside MMA.
“We eat, sleep, and breathe MMA, continued former WEC featherweight champ Mike Brown. “We have so many world class fighters, so many world class training partners, and then we have a lot of great coaches… many of them all give you little bits and pieces. I think my game is like a mosaic – you take a little piece from here, a little piece from there, and a little piece from there and you put it all together, then you have a painting.”
Brown’s sentiments were echoed by a number of his peers who also fly the famous ATT flag including heavyweight Jeff Monson and lightweight Jorge Masvidal.
“We have 40 or 50 blackbelts here that I train with. Every week there’s someone new coming here from Brazil or someone else who wants to join the team. They come in here and kick my butt. I grapple with them and I’m like, ‘I’ve never heard of this guy and he’s submitting me,” said Monson who knows a thing or two about tapping people out himself given his credentials and success on the mat.
Meanwhile, Masvidal, who is next in line to challenge for the Strikeforce lightweight belt, agreed in principle, stating, “One thing you can’t get anywhere else, at any other gym unless you go to Brazil, is the amount of blackbelts we have here.”
The group’s greatness starts at the top with Ricardo Liborio, a BJJ blackbelt under Carlson Gracie for nearly twenty years with a decorated career as a grappler including memorable showings in ADCC and Brazil’s famous Mundials.
“He always has something positive to add, something good to say to you. He just wants you to do well,” revealed hard-hitting UFC welterweight Thiago Alves.
“He’s our leader. American Top Team goes as Liborio goes,” said Monson on ATT’s keystone, with Miller adding, “He’s very much a father figure and mentor, not just with me but with the whole team.”
ATT’s ridiculously talented roster can be found on display at nearly every major event regardless of promotion. Other members of the team include Thiago Silva, Brian Bowles, Tyron Woodley, Mark Bocek, Ben Saunders, Hector Lombard, and many more.