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Daron Cruickshank From the UFC to Michigan Top Team and still Going Strong.

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Daron Cruickshank: Life after the UFC




Daron Cruickshank, a former professional mixed martial artist, captured the hearts of fans with his explosive fighting style during his time in the UFC. Known for his lightning fast kicks and dynamic striking abilities, Cruickshank became a popular figure in the world of MMA. However, as his career in the UFC came to an end, fans were left wondering what lies ahead for this talented fighter. In this article, we explore Daron Cruickshank's life after the UFC and shed light on his current endeavors.


Daron Cruickshank, a former professional mixed martial artist, captured the hearts of fans with his explosive fighting style during his time in the UFC
Daron Cruickshank Sparring with Vince Murdock

Transitioning Beyond the Octagon

After beginning an amazing amateur run Daron jumped over to KOTC ( King Of the Cage) and then began an impressive run in the UFC, Daron Cruickshank decided to move over to the RIZIN FF but this wasn't the end of his competitive career either! Daron Cruickshank loves to smile and he loves seeing his fans smile so he brought his travels back home for a Local event in Michigan before heading off again to RIZIN FF as well as a Bellator fight and then finishing his travels at home with the XFC. While he left the UFC behind, his passion for martial arts continued to burn bright.


Now Daron has transitioned into a two fold training program. One is teaching students at Michigan Top Team and the other is at home teaching his two beautiful children the ways of life with his wife and fellow martial artist Malky Berlin Cruickshank. We will focus on the latter of the two.



Watch this Video for Some Action Inside Michigan Top Team!!


Opening Michigan Top Team


Cruickshank has turned his passion for martial arts into a business venture by opening his own martial arts academy Michigan Top Team. This academy provides a platform for aspiring fighters and martial arts enthusiasts to learn from his expertise. Through this academy , Cruickshank aims to pass on his knowledge and inspire the

Daron Cruickshank, a former professional mixed martial artist, captured the hearts of fans with his explosive fighting style during his time in the UFC
Kara Ro with the C.L.I.P. MMA Undercard Ringirls

next generation of fighters. On this endeavor into creating a top gym, he has taken on some great trainers to help out on the mats one of them being the brutal and stunning Kara Ro 17-0 boxer how are you going to turn your back on that experience! Kara also does some side work in the MMA world as a ring announcer and she is amazing at being an assistant coach getting these guys and girls ready for the cage and or just teaching some good healthy habits.

Daron Cruickshank, a former professional mixed martial artist, captured the hearts of fans with his explosive fighting style during his time in the UFC
Karo Ro showing her Love of Art at a local Art gathering





There is another name that cannot be left out by any means and she has earned her spot as assistant coach. That is the one and only Malky Berlin Cruickshank! Yes that's correct Daron's wife is one of the most dedicated assistant coaches in in Michigan ( I said one of so don't get offended if you are reading this LOL) the others we will talk about in another article. She took two wins in her MMA fights and has done plenty on the mats as well. Malky juggles being a Mom and a coach along side Kara as well she has her own endeavors too.



Daron Cruickshank, a former professional mixed martial artist, captured the hearts of fans with his explosive fighting style during his time in the UFC
Malky Berlin Cruickshank getting some work in with the Kettle Bells

Taking a visit to Michigan Top Team

This is a treat there is lot's of sweat and tears but mostly there are a lot of smiles on the men and women getting themselves battle ready. MTT also has a children's

program called Little Ninjas specially designed to work with young kids ages 5-12 and help them develop an understanding of mixed martial arts. The also do a outreach to Police officers called Adopt a Cop Program and quite literally the program is designed to adopt a police officer to train for free. This is brilliant because learning Jiu Jitsu and some MMA is beneficial to submission techniques that do not harm an assailant. Taking these courses can greatly benefit an officers ability to handle their job without deadly force. To be honest learning from this team of coaches I'd be careful if I was a criminal getting and arm bar or rear naked choke can feel just as bad as getting tasered. The pain is deep I know this.

Daron Cruickshank, a former professional mixed martial artist, captured the hearts of fans with his explosive fighting style during his time in the UFC
Daron and Malky rolling on the mats

Back in 2012 is where I came in and started befriending Daron. We have went out for sushi together with the team and talked about zombie apocalypses, which is a great story to tell. Truly I sit in admiration of Daron's diligence and perseverance through the years to continue helping in the MMA community especially throughout Michigan. On any given weekend you may find him donning his referee gear or just out at a show cornering someone from his team. I've personally seen Daron coach some of the best talent to come out of the state and beyond.

Event's come with a smile all the time and whenever I show up at the gym it's a warm welcome. I truly admire and respect Daron for the work he's done in the fight world and if you looked deep into his history you would too.

Daron Cruickshank, a former professional mixed martial artist, captured the hearts of fans with his explosive fighting style during his time in the UFC
Michigan Top Teams Floyd Jones taking a win and a Belt at WXC 63

Developing Personal Branding With a sizable following gained during his UFC career, Cruickshank recognized the importance of personal branding. He has embraced social media platforms to engage with his fans, sharing

insights into his life and promoting his various projects. By building a strong personal brand, Cruickshank ensures that his influence extends beyond the realm of competitive fighting.

Daron Cruickshank, a former professional mixed martial artist, captured the hearts of fans with his explosive fighting style during his time in the UFC
Daron with the Trijicon Gear out trying out some new Scopes!



Acting and Television Appearances

Daron Cruickshank has also explored opportunities in the entertainment industry, including acting and television appearances. His charisma and physicality make him a natural fit for action-packed roles and MMA-themed shows. His love for Shooting and the wild has also led him to Trijicon.Inc creating innovative aiming systems for shooting and hunting enthusiasts around the world.

Recognizing the impact he can make beyond the confines of the octagon, Cruickshank actively engages in charity work and youth outreach programs. He uses his platform and influence to inspire and empower young individuals, sharing his personal journey and the importance of perseverance and discipline. Cruickshank's dedication to giving back serves as a testament to his character and commitment to making a positive difference.




Daron Cruickshank's life after the UFC has been marked by new opportunities and ventures. Transitioning from a professional MMA career, he has embraced entrepreneurship, media, and entertainment, while also devoting himself to charitable endeavors. By diversifying his skills and exploring different avenues, Cruickshank continues to make an impact and leave a lasting legacy.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Daron Cruickshank still involved in martial arts?

Yes, even after his last fight in professional MMA, Cruickshank remains deeply connected to martial arts and has opened his own academy Michigan Top Team.


What is the legacy of Daron Cruickshank?

Cruickshank's legacy lies in his contributions to the world of martial arts, his

entrepreneurial pursuits, and his commitment to making a positive difference in the community.

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