American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) doesn’t get credit a major management project. For starters, they’ve recruited and/or developed UFC champions at lightweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight (twice). Second, when stars like Luke Rockhold left to pursue training outside of the gym, he was able to keep his affiliation. When Cain Velasquez welcomed Daniel Cormier into the gym, Cormier agreed to compete in a different weight class as an extended thank you. Yet, Cormier is now the king of the heavyweights, albeit ready to pass the torch back. In short, everyone made sacrifices for each other’s needs knowing in the end their turn at opportunity would come. When it did, they generally made the most of it. That is an incredibly difficult balancing act to execute. Gym owner Javier Mendez has done as admirable a job as can reasonably be expected and then some.
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