About Victory Gyms MMA Franchise

The History:

A 20-year veteran Navy SEAL and MMA coach, Brian Sargent first brought his vision of an all-inclusive, state-of-the-art MMA training center to Joe Mannino in June, 2007. With the goal of capturing the largest market possible, Joe, a 30-year veteran health club owner, matured the concept over the next few months, combining traditional fitness center operations and amenities with the cutting edge MMA-based model. Joe and Brian then created a business plan based on MMA and health club industry standards. 

A private offering raised the necessary capital, resulting in the formation of Action Management and Consulting LLC (a present owner of Victory MMA and Fitness) in November, 2007. A 22,000 Sq. Ft. former health club in San Diego was leased and renovated in the subsequent two months, allowing for a grand opening on January 1, 2008. While there was no time to conduct pre-sales, 532 memberships were sold in the first month, the business broke even in seven months, and finished the year with 1,133 members. In February, 2010 the Victory MMA and Fitness “Mobile Personal Training” business was launched, bringing the full array of fitness and MMA-based training (boxing, kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, weight training, etc.) to the client’s home or other desired location. That same month, the company chose to adopt the franchise model as their strategy for the national expansion of what they believe to be are the first real MMA-based franchises in the world, offering five franchise models throughout the United States.


The Facility:

We have a 22,000 square foot facility offering an array of fitness activities, services, and products, with an emphasis on group exercise classes centered around Boxing, Kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, and MMA, as well as cardio equipment, weight machines, free weights, personal training, and various retail products. The facility’s layout includes eight separate training areas, and is outfitted with a 20” MMA cage, a MMA ring, 7,000 square feet of mats, and every piece of exercise equipment you could need. There is also a men’s and women’s locker rooms, a sauna, and a retail and refreshment area. Each instructor is certified by Victory Training Systems in one or more of the following disciplines: grappling, striking, Jiu Jitsu, group exercise, physical fitness, and Yoga.


The Team:

Joe Mannino - Founder and CEO

Mr. Mannino is one of the founders and is our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), a position he has held since our inception. In this role, he has headed up the first ever conversion of a traditional health club, into the nation’s premier MMA-based fitness and training center. Subsequent to the creation and operation of Victory MMA and Fitness, Mr. Mannino operated a Multi Purpose Fitness Facility for ten (10) years, and earlier helped develop one of the first racquetball-based health clubs in New York City.


Jocko Willink – Founder and Operations Officer

Mr. Willink has been our Operations Officer since our inception. From September of 1990 to the present, Mr. Willink was a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander and Seal Task Unit Commander leading hundreds of operations in combat. He earned his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from world champion Dean Lister, competed at the national level in Submission Grappling, and has trained dozens of professional fighters. He has also coached and cornered fighters in numerous King of the Cage, Pride, and UFC events.


Brian Sargent – Founder and President

Mr. Sargent is a founding Member of the Company and has been its President since its inception. Until our inception Mr. Sargent was a 20-year veteran and decorated Master Chief in the Navy Seals where he led many combat missions. He has been heavily involved in Mixed Martial Arts since 2000, training and coaching MMA Fighters on all levels, including cornering and training fighters for UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, MFC, and King of The Cage events all around the world. Mr. Sargent was also a founding member of each of our Affiliates.


Audrey Thifault - Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Thifault has been our Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since our inception. From July of 2003 to July of 2007 Ms. Thifault was the Executive Assistant to the President at San Diego Fitness Ltd. From July of 2007 to the present she has also been and continues to be the Controller of both the AMC Affiliate and the Mobile Affiliate. Ms. Thifault has formed and managed the financial operations of numerous health and fitness facilities, as well as numerous other business entities.


Dean Lister – Partner and Founder

Mr. Lister has been is a founding member of our team. He is an American mixed martial artist and a former King of the Cage champion. He currently fights at the Middleweight division after moving down from the Light Heavyweight class and currently holds the rank of black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, given to him by Jeffrey Higgs, who holds a black belt under Fábio Santos. Lister is a two-time U.S. National Sambo champion, a four-time U.S. Machado National Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion (weight class and open classes), and a National Gracie Jiu Jitsu champion. Lister was invited three times (2000, 2003, and 2005) to the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) championship, a prestigious grappling tournament consisting only of the top 16 grapplers in the world of each weight class. Lister won the Abu Dhabi Absolute Division championship in 2003, as well as two Superfights in 2003 and 2005; in addition, he set a tournament record by defeating 4 of his opponents consecutively (3 by submission) in 2003.


Jason Mannino - Franchise Sales

Jason Mannino has been our franchise seller since our inception. From 1995 to the present he has been and continues to be a professional racquetball athlete based in San Diego, who has captured every title in the sport of Racquetball, including two US Open Championships, Pro National Champion, World Doubles Champion, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Player of the Year, and the most coveted International Racquetball Tour’s “2003 World Champion.” Mr. Mannino was appointed the Commissioner of the International Racquetball Tour in 2009, and presently holds that position.

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