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Roufusport: Building Champions



Special to Chicago’s MMA

You are who you hang around with. This old adage is true across the board and no different when it comes to your MMA training. Your choice of coach can define your skillset and ambitions for yourself as an MMA competitor, that’s why all of today’s top contenders and champions choose to work with coaches that are world-renowned and have the experience necessary to lead them into a successful competitive career.

However, finding a coach that lives up to the hype is not an easy task. There is a reason why the top champions in most major fight organizations come from just a handful of gyms across the USA and Brazil. These gyms are run by legends of the sport who have taken their knowledge and carefully handed it down to their students to produce dome of the greatest fighters to ever stand inside a cage.

MMA Training - Conor McGregor

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One coach that comes to mind and stands out among all the others is Duke Roufus. Himself a student of the martial arts, brought up by his father who was an active Karate practitioner, Duke and his brother, Jim Roufus, both took to the martial arts scene and it was Duke that later became the shining star of the family with his competitive kickboxing career leading to accolades from around the world.

Looking around a professional sparring and pad session at Roufusport will have your eyes settle on the likes of King of the Cage champion Jordan Griffin and RFA champ Chico ‘the King’ Camus. VFC middleweight champion Mike “Biggie’ Rhodes and VFC contender Raufeon Stots are always on the mats getting it done. UFC contender Tyron Woodley chooses the Roufusport team for his training camp and can be found training with other up-and-coming stars like future Bellator MMA featherweight champion, Emmanuel ‘El Matador’ Sanchez and UFC fighters Erik Koch and Sergio ‘The Phenom’ Pettis. The talent is there everywhere you look and Duke has named his group of pro students ‘The RouTangClan’ after the hip-hop group ‘The Wu-Tang Clan’, infamous for their connection in their music to the martial arts styles. The clan chooses Duke for their training for two core reasons and it is these two factors that have put Roufusport on the map and thrust them to the top of all MMA gyms in the world.

McBryde Mats - Roufusport

Duke realised that today’s professional MMA fighter needs to be a hybrid of various skillsets. Gone are the days of being dependent on one form of martial arts to define your entire style of fighting. Today’s athletes need to be well rounded in stand up striking, as well as be able to handle their selves on the ground. It was this realisation that led Duke to form a coaching team at Roufusport that is like no other, with championship instructors providing championship training. Scott Cushman is a legend in the game of striking in combat sports and has taught so many champions over the years that anyone having the privilege to be under his instruction is guaranteed the very best technique available in the game today. Coach Cush works directly with the fighters and has sharpened the skills of all of the students to a championship level that produces some of the top fighters across all the major leagues.

McBryde Mats - Roufusport

In MMA, ignoring the ground game will cost you titles. That’s why Duke sought out Brazilian Jiu-jitsu master and competitor, Daniel “Big Dog’ Wanderley. The professor, as he is known by his students, is a jiu-jitsu champion in his own right and a third-degree black belt under the legendary Carlson Gracie. Also known as ‘The Recife Shark’ for his vicious technique that feels like a shark bite with every hold and choke, Wanderley has given the Roufusport team the edge they need to remain competitive in their ground game at the highest levels of competition.


The second factor that makes Roufusport a gym that produces champions are its training facilities. Duke understands the demands of pro-fighters and has built their training environment to cater to their training needs. The entire Roufusport compound has been custom fitted by the world’s foremost experts in sports surfaces, McBryde Mats. The CEO Clayton McBryde, spent hours with Duke analysing the fighters’ training needs and designing the perfect gym floor for the compound. The end result left Roufusport with the best-equipped gym surface in the world and the RouTangClan know they are protected in their practice sessions, allowing them to push boundaries with their training that give them that championship edge.

UFC The Ultimate Fighter

Duke gained notoriety on the UFC’s popular reality show, ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. In its twenty-first season, Team Pettis, featuring lightweight contender Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis, went on to claim the UFC’s lightweight title and burst Roufus onto the scene as the world’s top striking coach. Duke has gained such a reputation as the go-to coach for all-around MMA skills development that former WWE superstar CM Punk selected Roufusport for his training camp, and Duke as his coach for his upcoming professional MMA debut at UFC 203.

With so many quality fighters being churned out of the Roufusport camp, it’s no surprise to learn that Duke has received a huge following all over the globe. This led Duke to create his latest training revolution, ‘The Duke Roufus striking university’ An online portal that offers training tips to anyone with access to an internet connection and a mobile device now have the opportunity to go through hours of content featuring top instruction from the Roufusport team. This is Duke’s vision for the sport and the aspiring fighters all across the globe, to have Roufusport be influential in their successful application of striking techniques and to build the sport of MMA all over the globe.

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