THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN TOP TEAM
By Damon Martin, FOX Sports
In the earliest days of the UFC, most of the competitors who were fighting in the Octagon came from traditional martial arts camps and schools. It was Karate vs. Tae Kwon Do. Boxing vs. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
A few knockouts and several submissions later, fighters figured out that to get better they were going to have to work with other martial artists to have a truly well-rounded skill set. Teams began forming out of necessity because the only way to get better was to work with other top fighters while training in multiple disciplines.
While super camps like American Kickboxing Academy and Blackhouse are commonplace in MMA these days, in those first few UFC shows there weren't many notable teams outside of the Gracie Family and Ken Shamrock's Lion's Den.
Two years after that first UFC event, the first bricks were laid in a foundation for a camp that would eventually become one of the most well-known and successful teams in all of MMA, but its origin actually lies in professional wrestling and not professional fighting.