(OH SNAP, THEY GOT THOSE ROPES THAT YOU WIGGLE UP AND DOWN?? I’M SO IN, SON. / Props: UFCgym)
Since the first UFC Gym opened in Concord, California, in January 2010, the branded fitness chain has expanded in slow, humble fashion — three more locations popped up in Cali, followed by the recently opened UFC Gym BJ Penn in Honolulu, and a Long Island outpost slated to open this spring. With the first wave now complete, it’s time for phase two of the invasion. Dana White confirmed today that the UFC has purchased the LA Boxing franchise, and will re-brand all of its gyms — more than 60 locations in 23 states — as UFC Gyms in the coming year.
“UFC Gyms has been huge for us,” said White. “It’s been an incredible, incredible business for us.”
Although the re-branding might increase the number of douchebags in your neighborhood who claim that they “train UFC,” this is a positive development for MMA awareness. Not only are the existing UFC Gyms massive (some up to 40,000+ square feet) and well-outfitted with the latest training equipment, they also feature a crapload of classes that help introduce members to the basics of MMA. For example, the class list for the Concord facility includes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai, Judo, MMA Wrestling, San Shou, and “Hot Hula,” the art of mesmerizing an attacker with your gently swaying hips before savagely kicking them in the balls. Children welcome!
No, these are not legit MMA training camps, and they don’t promote themselves to be. But for MMA fans who just want to burn some calories and learn a few techniques, these places look pretty sweet. I can’t speak from personal experience, though, so if any of you have had good/bad experiences with UFC Gyms that you’d like to share, please drop ‘em in the comments section, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to protect your anonymity.