The Ultimate Fighting Championship will begin construction at the beginning of next year on a 184,000 square foot facility that will include a UFC Athlete Health and Performance Center.
The promotion held a ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday to launch a project that will begin in January 2016 and be completed in approximately 15 months. The UFC campus will be located in the organization’s hometown of Las Vegas.
The facility will include offices for more than 360 employees as well as a multimedia center which will allow the UFC’s production team to create content. The centerpiece of the headquarters, however, is the aforementioned Athlete and Performance Center, which will be available to UFC fighters free of charge.
According to UFC.com, the two-story, 30,000 square foot facility “will contain an Octagon, a boxing ring, mat space, an indoor sprint track, Olympic lifting platforms and a media center. There are also consultation and treatment rooms, a physiotherapy and rehabilitation gym, as well as performance technology and sports science areas.”
“The first thing we need to do is to make sure that we can provide the very best knowledge of what’s happening in sports science research, to enable our athletes to rehabilitate, to prepare, and prevent injuries,” UFC Chief Global Brand Officer Garry Cook told UFC.com. “There is so much happening in the space of biomechanics and biometrics, and the sophistication that exists today in sports is something that we think we can take a leadership position on because our sport is very fragmented, considering the number of gyms that are in existence. The gyms do a great job, the athletes do a great job, but maybe we can take some lessons from the sports science research around the world and this facility will be the home of that knowledge.”
It’s no secret that injuries have ravaged countless UFC events in recent years, from the bottom of the prelims to the most anticipated pay-per-view headliners. UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta hopes the new center can help alleviate some of those issues.
“It’s really about the athletes’ overall health, and what we found over the years is that, unfortunately, mixed martial arts training, in our opinion, just hasn’t evolved as training has in other professional sports,” Fertitta said. “We need to make sure that we’re teaching, and that all of our athletes have the ability to see new training techniques firsthand so that they can not only perform better, but hopefully help prevent injuries and really have a facility no different than any other major professional sport has. It’s a place where they can come and either train or rehabilitate themselves, and it’s just another example of us investing in our athletes and investing in the future of our sport.”