In 1994, Josh and Justin Erdner began their perspective paths down the mixed martial arts world with two different disciplines...
Josh was involved with wrestling while Justin practiced Ishin Ryu Karate and Muay Thai Kickboxing. One fateful night, while at their good friend and neighbor’s house, they stumbled across a pay per view event like none other; The Ultimate Fighting Championship. After viewing the event they were amazed by the submission dominance displayed by Royce Gracie. They were determined to become complete mixed martial artists by adding this element to their arsenal. It was not long after this revelation that they constructed a cage in their parent’s barn and practiced daily. They gleaned information and instruction wherever they could find it including developing techniques on their own.
Whether it was traveling to New York to work with Mark Coleman or showing up at an unknown gym to be part of a Dan Severn seminar, the brothers expanded their MMA knowledge however they could. This led them to discovering a new MMA club being taught at the University of Pittsburgh by Hook n Shoot veteran Michael Willus. The three of them began training and teaching MMA and produced talent such as UFC season 8 champion Mac Danzig.
At this time the sport of MMA was on the rise. It wasn’t long before they began packing Trees Hall at Pitt as well as the now famous “Fight Barn” with students. They knew that one day the three of them were destined to own and operate a MMA gym and fitness facility. With the birth of Top Tier MMA, this dream is now realized.