podcastsmall business war stories

Jackson Wink: Building a Top MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico | Michael Lyubimov


This week, we interview Michael Lyubimov of Jackson Wink MMA Academy. The academy has been around since 1992 and has grown into a world renowned and premier Mixed Martial Arts training academy. It is home to some of the best MMA fighters to ever grace the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.

Coach Greg Jackson began in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Jackson’s Fitness and MMA.  Jackson then met Mike Winkeljohn and together built a movement of fighters and champions in many different combat sports. They opened the War Zone gym and gained a great deal of attention after winning UFC belts and training many champions, including Diego Sanchez.

This led to fighters from around the world coming to train with them, but many were unable to stay because of housing arrangements. To solve this, they built what is now Jackson Wink MMA Academy. Not only is it an acclaimed facility for training, but they also house about 55 fighters at a time.

This week on Small Business War Stories, Michael Lyubimov joins us from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Three reasons to tune in this week: 

  • Learn how this academy grew to what is it today organically.
  • Learn how Jackson Wink MMA Academy uses the internet to promote their academy and connect with fighters around the world.  
  • Learn about the origins of the Jackson Wink MMA Academy.   

Listen to the podcast:


This episode is part of the Soul of America tour sponsored by Freshbooks. During October 2017, I took my second tour of America. I drove with my puppy Muddy Waggers, my guitar, and my podcasting equipment with the goal of recording podcast episodes with small business owners throughout the heart of America.

If you have any questions or comments about today’s episode, please leave them below.


Pablo Fuentes

Pablo Fuentes was the Founder and CEO of Proven. He was also the host and producer of the Small Business War Stories podcast. Pablo is currently the Founder of makepath, a spatial analysis firm. He is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and UCLA. He loves dogs, film photography, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is also a blues guitar player and builder.

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