ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Jackson Wink MMA Academy, the storied mixed martial arts gym that has trained UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones, will begin offering mixed martial arts fans a chance to travel to the American Southwest and train like its fighters.
Gym co-owner Greg Jackson told The Associated Press recently he will start providing personalized packages for fans who want to train as a mixed martial artist in Albuquerque, New Mexico’s high altitude.
Trainees will get a chance to run in the Sandia Mountains, go through specialized exercises along the Rio Grande, and face outdoor routines through desert mesas, Jackson said.
“We want to give people the option to have a little different experience,” Jackson said. “Why not come to a place with a high attitude and train like some of the best fighters in the world? It can be really rewarding.”
Jackson said the gym has previously offered similar outdoor training sessions for celebrities preparing for movie roles, but he declined to give names. He said prices for personalized MMA packages would vary and stays could last a week to two weeks at a time.
Jackson said interested parties have been reaching out to him through hisInstagram account.
The move comes amid an increase in tourism across the country around exercise and outdoor recreation.
This year, New Mexico created an outdoor office as part of a push to build on hiking, biking and other recreational offerings across the state’s diverse landscapes.
Jackson Wink MMA Academyis sought out by mixed martial artists in the U.S. and from around the world. In addition to Jones (25-1-0), the gym has trained former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm (12-4) and former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
Jackson has been operating a gym for 27 years but teamed up with Mike Winkeljohn in 2007 to form the academy.
The gym has been featured in several sports documentaries and has been called one of the best MMA gyms in the world by various MMA magazines. Fighters come to the gym to train with Jackson and Winkeljohn, who use New Mexico’s high altitude for conditioning and the mountains for seclusion.
Located just off Route 66 in downtown Albuquerque, the gym regularly attracts MMA fans and tourists who take selfies outside the facility. The gym recently opened an MMA-themed cafe.
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