Skip to Content

Why Are MMA Gyms so Expensive?

Why Are MMA Gyms so Expensive?

Whether you’re a professional mixed martial arts fighter or are just looking to get started, you may wonder, why are MMA gym so expensive?  And although the answer may seem obvious, below we are going to review the details and explain just why MMA gyms are so expensive and what other options may be available to you.

If you are new to the world of mixed martial arts, then be prepared to shell out anywhere from $100 to $250 per month on an MMA gym membership.  And although that is a steep monthly fee, the benefits, individualized training, and equipment you will use will be well worth the payment.

However, before committing to an MMA gym, make sure that you fully understand what the gym offers and what level of training you can expect.  Some MMA gyms are a bit more bare bones and simply offer the basic necessities, while others are full-fledged MMA training centers that can help you prepare for an upcoming match.

What is MMA?

Before we get into discussing why MMA gyms are so expensive, it is important to understand what mixed martial arts is and what it is not.  Mixed martial arts, MMA, cage fighting, no holds barred, and ultimate fighting are all terms that can be used to describe MMA.

MMA is a form of fighting that includes striking, grappling, ground fighting, and the use of hands and feet against an opponent.  It is a full-contact, combat sport that occurs within a set stage between two individual fighters, with few rules.

And although MMA incorporates aspects of boxing, kickboxing, and martial arts, it is more of a hybrid fighting style.  That is, although MMA has aspects of boxing and kickboxing, it is a unique form of fighting and requires differing strengths to be successful in.

Why Are MMA Gyms so Expensive?

What do MMA Gyms Provide?

Although many of us began our fitness journeys via regular, commercial gyms such as LA Fitness, Golds Gym, and even Planet Fitness, we may graduate to more advanced, specific, and niched ones to serve a specific purpose. 

And MMA gyms are no different.

MMA gyms offer their members more specific instructions, courses, training, and equipment related to the sport than commercial gyms do.

For instance, MMA gyms offer their members one-on-one training, a plethora of boxing and speed bags, and the opportunity to train with other members both within the ring and outside of it. 

In addition, MMA gyms are solely focused on the sport of mixed martial arts.  This niched focus helps members, both amateur and professional, to advance their skills and fully encapsulate what is needed to be a good, well-rounded MMA fighter.

Gym Space is Expensive

Perhaps the single biggest reason as to why MMA gyms are so expensive is due to the fact that gym space is expensive.  On average, a fitness studio will require just over 3,800 square feet of space to fully operate and to provide members with ample spacing for their needs.

With average commercial spaces renting for $25 per square foot, an MMA gym with 3,800 square feet of space is looking at a yearly rental of $95,000.  Divided by 12, or the monthly rate, MMA gym owners are typically on the hook for over $7,900 per month.

Mixed Martial Arts is a Niche Sport

As mentioned above, commercial gyms such as LA Fitness and Planet Fitness typically attract wide swaths of the population to their gyms.  Similarly, these gyms have tens of thousands of members, each paying monthly fees ranging from $10 to $50.

However, due to their sheer volume of members, these gyms are able to keep member costs lower and are thus able to attract more members.

MMA gyms, however, do not have that luxury.  Mixed martial arts is a niche sport that attracts less individuals due to cost, time commitment, and a simple disinterest in the sport.  These reasons make it difficult to remain profitable without maintaining a higher monthly cost than other gyms.

Similarly, the number of members at an MMA gym is significantly less than at a commercial gym.  Whereas commercial gyms are able to attract tens of thousands of members, many MMA gyms are only able to attract a few hundred.

Coupled with the fact that rental rates for a commercial space are so expensive, MMA gyms are forced to charge higher monthly rates to their members for access.

MMA Equipment is Expensive

In addition to the above costs, MMA gym owners will need to outfit their gyms to attract new members.  This includes the basics such as floor mats to more specific attractions such as the MMA ring.  These attractions are all costly and eat into any potential profits for the owners.

With many MMA gyms have a number of rings, boxing and speed bags, gloves, head mats, and other MMA necessities, the costs can quickly add up.

Few Individuals Are Properly Certified to Offer MMA Training

Whereas commercial gyms are generally laissez-faire events, in that members are generally in charge of their own workouts, MMA gyms are not.  Typically, individuals will join an MMA gym looking for specific instructions and guidance.

As MMA is a niche sport, there are few qualified individuals that are able to offer that one-on-one instruction.  As such, these trainers generally garner higher rates, which need to be factored into an MMA gym owner’s monthly expenses.

Similarly, these MMA instructors are typically the main attraction. Skimping out on a certified MMA trainer will lead to distrust from members and their eventual exodus from the gym.  It is, therefore, in an MMA gym owner’s best interest to invest in multiple, certified MMA trainers for their members.


As the topic of why MMA gyms are so expensive continues to be discussed, we hope that the above references offers a unique point of view to any individual looking to join one.  Although the cost for access is higher than a commercial gym, it is not due to an greed or exploitation.

Rather, MMA gyms are niche gyms which must offer specific services and equipment to attract a smaller subset of users.  These costs can add up quickly.  However, if you are truly looking to get into the sport, or take your skills to the next level, then the monthly cost is well worth it and your efforts will be rewarded.