Welcome to


"Hard WORk and discipline is Our culture"



NOLA MMA offers a comprehensive program that incorporates all aspects of mixed martial arts including Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Combat BJJ, Boxing, Wrestling, and Capoeira. We also specialize in running fight camps, conditioning, cornering, nutrition and safe weight cutting for those that wish to compete as well as casual training for those looking to stay in shape while learning effective self defense. We work with ALL experience levels.

Instructors Mestrando Cocada (BJJ Black Belt/Instructor, Capoeira Master/Instructor) and Ray Lopez (BJJ Brown Belt/Instructor, MMA Fighter/Instructor/Coach) have over 45 years of martial arts training between them and are fully invested in bringing out your full potential as a fighter.

Come train with us in a structured environment where the #1 priority is safety and hard work and discipline are the culture.



Ray Lopez

Head MMA instructor Ray Lopez grew up participating in martial arts from the age of 9, (specifically Kenpo under Master Art Beins) competing in the sport of wrestling (scholastic/freestyle/Greco-Roman disciplines under the tutelage of the late, great Miles Hahn of New Jersey) and is a current, high level competitor, coach and instructor in the sports of MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Ray is best known as an empathic, creative coach who loves challenging himself to bring out the best attributes of each individual student, and help them reach their full potential. A Muay Thai striker, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt and wrestler, Ray will show you how to handle yourself from any position-on your feet, on the ground and most importantly, the transition between them.

Whether you wish to fight competitively, train casually, or for self defense, Nola MMA has you covered! Ray is experienced working with the disabled, the elderly, assault survivors, bullying victims, at risk youth and more. He offers a unique perspective into the world of mixed martial arts for those who may not have otherwise explored this avenue.


Mestrando cocada

Rogerio Valencio da Silva, better known as Mestrando Cocada in the Capoeira world, began training at the age of 15 in his city of Goioerê, Paraná, Brazil . At the age of 18, Mestrando Cocada began training with Mestre Fran and opened his own academy in 1999. In conjunction with the local government, Mestrando Cocada implemented a social project in ten schools of Goioerê. The programs are highly successful today with over 500 students ranging from ages 5 to 15. In August 2008, Mestre Fran promoted Mestrando Cocada to the level of Mestrando, the second highest level in Capoeira. 

Since coming to the United States, Mestrando Cocada has traveled all over the country as a guest of great Capoeiristas. He has participated in events and workshops in New York, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Colorado, and Missouri. In 2005, Mestrando Cocada appeared in the Sergio Mendes and Black Eyed Peas video “Mas Que Nada.” He also appeared in the video “Miracles” with the group Arrested Development, which features Mestrando Cocada in a one-handed handstand.

Mestrando Cocada has trained, taught, and lived Capoeira for over 20 years and is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is now in New Orleans with the desire to introduce Capoeira, MMA and Brazilian culture to the people of this great city.



Trying any martial arts class for the first time can be very scary.


It’s probably a lot more intimidating if you’ve ever seen an MMA/UFC fight, been attacked before or if you are new to this type of training or exercise. 

The only thing scarier however, is being in a situation where you may need these skills and don’t have them... 

Let’s address a few frequently asked questions that many people have:

Do I need to be in shape?

If you are already in shape, we are going to push you to the limit and beyond. If you’re not - don’t worry! The majority of us aren’t on our first day of class or after a long layoff. Our instructors will tailor every movement to complement your skill level and before you know it, the improvements will be noticeable! The best way to get in shape for this... IS TO DO THIS!

Will I get hurt?

Like any physical activity, there is always risk of injury whether it's yoga, spinning, jogging, or boxing. We pride ourselves on conducting classes in a safe manner, never expecting students to do anything they aren't ready for, and keeping a low injury rate. 

What do I wear?

A t-shirt/rash guard (no tank tops during grappling classes), board shorts/athletic shorts/vale tudo shorts, spats and gi/sweat pants are all acceptable.

Do NOT wear anything with extra pockets, belt loops or baggy fabric. These are dangerous since fingers and toes can get caught in them. Baggy cargo shorts are a common example of what not to wear.

PLEASE NOTE: Personal hygiene is of the utmost importance! Make sure your finger and toe nails are well-groomed. If you have long hair, you’ll want to put it up in a ponytail or bun during class. You should also remove any piercings to prevent injuries. Please wash your training attire before using it again.

What is MMA?

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows both striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from other combat sports and martial arts including but not limited to Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling and Capoeira.

Equipment needed. Attire from above, mouthpiece 4 oz. gloves, Muay Thai shinguards. Headgear is optional.

What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art and combat sport system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves or another against a bigger, stronger, heavier assailant by using proper technique, leverage, and most notably, taking the fight to the ground, and then applying joint locks and chokeholds to defeat the opponent. 

Equipment needed. Attire from above, mouthpiece is optional.

What is Muay Thai?

Muay Thai or Thai boxing is a combat sport of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. This physical and mentally demanding discipline is known as "the art of eight limbs" because it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins, as well as being associated with good physical preparation that makes a full-contact fighter very efficient.

Equipment needed. Attire from above, mouthpiece 16 oz. gloves, Muay Thai shinguards. Headgear is optional.

What is Combat BJJ?

Combat Jiu Jitsu is a blend of grappling and striking. The rule set allows for fighters to use open hand slaps to any part of their opponents when the fight is on the ground. While on the feet, standard grappling rules apply. The basis for this is to better prepare grapplers for MMA and become a stepping stone to move from grappling to MMA.

Equipment needed. Attire from above, mouthpiece is recommended.

What is Wrestling?

Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is an intensely physical and mental competition, between two competitors who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position. There are a wide range of styles with varying rules with both traditionally historic and modern styles. Wrestling techniques have been incorporated into MMA and is considered a foremost pillar of the sport. 

Equipment needed. Attire from above. Wrestling shoes, mouthpiece and ear guards/wrestling headgear are optional.

What is Capoeira?

Please visit www.nolacapoeira.com for more info on the incredible Brazilian martial art!

Contact Us

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We are happy to help with any information you may not have already found on our site!

Name *



1016 North Broad St.

New Orleans, LA 70119

p. (504) 383-3577

e. info@nolamma.com