In the ever growing market for mixed martial arts, The Ultimate Fighting Championship opened its doors to the first UFC Gym in Concord, California on Saturday. The new gym opened with a full day of events including an autograph session with fighters and technique demonstrations.
Much like its monopoly on the mixed martial arts world, the UFC’s plan is to take the gyms not only global, but to reestablish the fitness industry.
In attendance for Saturday’s grand opening were UFC President, Dana White, as well as former champion Chuck Liddell, along with fighters, Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, and Brandon Vera.
“Most of us growing up, our parents got us into a Karate class or a Tae Kwon Do class. Now its MMA,” said White. This puts everything under one roof man. This is not a fighter gym. This is a gym for you, your family, it doesn’t matter what age or what you’re into.”
The gym was designed to be family-oriented, including a kid’s gym that will teach introductory MMA training, using a wide range of disciplines like Muay Thai kickboxing, jiu jitsu and self-defense.
This is another step for the UFC and mixed martial arts, as it’s slowly being widely accepted into everyday culture. “This is a sport, nine years ago me and my partners got into this business that had absolutely no respect, had a bad stigma attached to it, was a very, very misunderstood sport to say the least,” said White.
The UFC has a second, 40,000 square foot location in Rosemead, Calif. opening in June, with plans of 10 gyms opened by the end of 2010.
“This thing crosses boarders just as well as the UFC does,” said White. “We’re gonna be everywhere.”