The UFC has been working on building their new high tech headquarters with a built in gym for a while now, and they're now far enough along with construction to give the press a look at how it's coming along. This is our first official glimpse inside the UFC Performance Institute, and it seems pretty cool.
"Our goal is simple here yet ambitious," UFC vice president of operations James Kimball said. "And that is to accelerate the evolution of the MMA athlete, while also becoming a leader in the sports performance community. And we're going to do that by proving best-in-class holistic performance optimization services for our athletes, efficiently, all under one roof."
That might sound like a big bowl of synergistic corporate buzzword salad, but the UFC seems really committed to creating a super high tech facility that will help their fighters train smarter and more scientifically. If you don't believe Kimball, take a listen to Forrest Griffin as he explains some of the cool features of the place.
"One of the things that makes this Octagon better than any other is it's going to be mounted with high speed, high def cameras," Griffin told reporters. "So you'll be able to practice and then watch it immediately back, the whole wall is going to be covered in play back monitors."
"You get hurt a lot sparring, so you want to minimize your sparring. But you still have to spar, you still have to what we call 'game speed.' So you'll do that, and to get the most out of it, you'll break it down. We'll do film study here. You're encouraged to do film study here, like in every other major sport. That's why we're building this, to be on parity with every other major sport."
Seeing this video with Forrest really makes it apparent why he was the only fighter on Dana White's corporate payroll to survive the recent round of deep staffing cuts. The guy has thrown himself into the UFC business harder than he used to brawl it out in the cage. And as a fight worn veteran, he'd understand better than most the advantages of keeping your body's mileage as low as possible during training.
It's nice to see the UFC still investing so much money into this kind of thing ... although it is worth noting that the entire UFC Performance Institute idea was another ambitious Fertitta plan, not something coming from the new owners. But hey, if the folks at WME-IMG don't dig it, maybe Lorenzo Fertitta can buy it back from them. I hear he may have a sports team soon that could use a facility like this.