Former UFC middleweight Champion, Michael Bisping officially opened the UFC GYM in Nottingham, the first of its kind in Europe.
The martial arts legend flew all the way from the US, where he currently resides, straight to Huntingdon Street, Nottingham to open the grand official launch of the gym.
Nottingham was chosen to launch the first UFC gym due to its ideal central location in the country and because of its rich history in nurturing the most talented mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters from the UK.
In an exclusive interview with Staffs Live, Bisping said: “I started my mixed martial arts career in Nottingham actually. This is where I decided training with the actual goal of being an MMA fighter in mind so it’s kind of ironic that it worked out that Nottingham was our first location.
“There’s a lot of history here, you know you got Dan Hardy, Paul Daley, Jim Wallhead, amongst many others and as I said its kind of ironic that this is the first location, nice and central in the country as well.”
The establishment of UFC gym Nottingham will undoubtedly grow the sporting brand however the main purpose is to provide a gym for people of all ages and all abilities.
As well as the gym, members will be offered fitness classes, group and private MMA training, dynamic performance-based training, group classes and MMA youth programming.
Bisping said: “Realistically what we’re trying to do is provide a great place for the entire family, for children, for women, for everyone to come down do something positive, be in a positive environment, learn some new skills, burn some calories, exercise for mental health and physical health.
“Of course, if you want to learn some martial arts along the way, that’s fantastic but you don’t have to do that, that’s not a prerequisite. Of course, with state-of-the-art fitness facility with UFC branding, you know the energy when you walk in, the music’s pumping. It inspires you to want to work out and train.”
Along with the wide range of classes and activities, the UFC gym really shines when it comes to its state-of-the-art equipment which is second to none. There is a real UFC octagon for MMA training and sparring as well as a cryotherapy room, where members can recover their body after a workout. Furthermore, there is a dojo for more MMA classes especially for martial arts like jiu-jitsu and a sauna to relax your body. All up to the highest professional standards.
Timothy Betts, the boxing coach at UFC gym Nottingham said: “The people understand about the UFC and the martial arts but often they are very much taken aback by the quality of the gym.”
Boxing coach Betts added: “A lot of people are very excited about the gym. A lot of people have used it actually as a reason to get into it. I’ve had people say, I’ve never gone to the gym, never done any martial arts, the UFC is here so why not get into it. A lot of people are using it to return to like I used to do karate for ten years.”
The UFC Gym franchise launched in 2009 and has since been set up in many countries, including the US, Australia, Canada, Hawaii and Mexico but had never entered the European continent until now.
The Nottingham studio is the first of a targeted 105 UFC clubs to open across the UK and Ireland over the next 10 years.
Owners include UFC legend, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping and former British karate champion, Joe Long.
Boxing coach, Betts seemed enthusiastic for the future saying: “The public response has been really exciting. Now its finally open and people are really loving it. I just got a text a minute ago saying I loved your class. So really well-received and hopefully going one way in terms of the number of members that we’ve been getting through.”