why arent there gyms dedicated to wrestling like mma

why arent there gyms dedicated to wrestling like mma

Wrestling, as a combat sport, has a long-standing history and a dedicated fan base. However, unlike MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), there aren’t many gyms solely dedicated to wrestling. This article aims to explore the reasons behind the lack of wrestling-dedicated gyms, considering various aspects of the sport and its market demand.

Lack of Commercial Appeal

One reason why there aren’t many wrestling-dedicated gyms is the sport’s limited commercial appeal compared to MMA. While MMA has gained popularity through high-profile events and media coverage, wrestling struggles to attract mainstream attention. As a result, investing in a wrestling-only gym may not seem financially viable to entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, wrestling lacks the entertainment value that MMA offers. MMA incorporates various martial arts disciplines, making it visually appealing and exciting for spectators. On the other hand, wrestling primarily focuses on grappling and lacks the striking elements that draw casual fans to MMA.

Availability of Facilities

Another factor contributing to the scarcity of wrestling gyms is the availability of suitable facilities. Wrestling requires specific equipment such as mats, padded walls, and a spacious area for training. These requirements make it difficult to establish a wrestling gym without a substantial investment in infrastructure.

In contrast, MMA gyms can be set up in more versatile spaces, utilizing existing martial arts facilities or even regular fitness centers. This flexibility allows for a lower barrier to entry, making it easier to establish MMA-focused gyms compared to wrestling-specific ones.

Participation Numbers

The number of active participants in wrestling is significantly lower than those in MMA. This disparity in participation affects the demand for dedicated wrestling gyms. With fewer individuals actively involved in wrestling, the market size for wrestling-specific gyms becomes limited.

MMA, on the other hand, has experienced a surge in popularity, attracting a larger pool of participants. This increased demand has led to the establishment of numerous MMA gyms, catering to the growing number of enthusiasts.

Collegiate Wrestling Programs

Collegiate wrestling programs play a significant role in the development and training of wrestlers. Many aspiring wrestlers seek opportunities to compete at the collegiate level, where they can receive scholarships and gain exposure to professional opportunities.

Colleges with wrestling programs often provide training facilities and coaching staff, eliminating the need for dedicated wrestling gyms in the immediate vicinity. Wrestlers can rely on their college programs for training, making the establishment of wrestling-dedicated gyms less necessary.

why arent there gyms dedicated to wrestling like mma

Wrestling as a Supplemental Training

Wrestling is often seen as a foundational skill in various combat sports, including MMA. As a result, many MMA gyms incorporate wrestling training into their programs. This integration allows MMA enthusiasts to learn wrestling techniques while also training in other disciplines.

Since wrestling can be effectively practiced in a broader MMA training environment, the demand for exclusive wrestling gyms diminishes. MMA gyms provide a more comprehensive training experience by offering a variety of combat sports under one roof.

Cost Considerations

Establishing a wrestling-dedicated gym can be financially challenging due to the specific equipment and facilities required. Wrestling mats, wall padding, and spacious training areas can be costly to install and maintain.

In contrast, MMA gyms can operate with more affordable equipment, such as punching bags, gloves, and training pads. This lower investment cost makes MMA gyms more appealing to entrepreneurs and investors.


While wrestling has a dedicated fan base and a rich history, the lack of wrestling-dedicated gyms can be attributed to several factors. These include the sport’s limited commercial appeal, the availability of suitable facilities, participation numbers, collegiate wrestling programs, the supplemental nature of wrestling training in MMA gyms, and cost considerations. Understanding these factors helps explain why wrestling-specific gyms are not as prevalent as MMA gyms in the fitness industry.

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