The historic TUF Gym in Las Vegas is set to close its doors shortly, paving the way for a new, larger facility that will house upcoming seasons of the Contender Series and The Ultimate Fighter.
It’s been a part of the UFC family for over a decade, but the TUF gym in Las Vegas is about the close its doors. Following the second season finale of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, UFC President Dana White confirmed that the facility was set to close in less than a week, after the filming of the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil.
But not to worry — a new facility is being put together right next door. A considerably bigger one. And it sounds as if The Ultimate Fighter will be back, despite speculation to the contrary.
“Right after this is over, we do the Brazilian TUF until Saturday, then this building goes away,” White said of the historic installation. “That’s the end of the TUF building.”
“We bought the building next door to us, which is like 130-something thousand square feet now, to add on to what we already have,” he added. “We’re building a state of the art facility for fights. So there’s going to be a new TUF, new Contenders gym. Next season we’ll be in a new gym. It’s going to be awesome.” That’s not to say that letting go will be easy, as White admitted. “There’s a lot of history in this building, it’s a very nostalgic place. So it’s going to be a little weird leaving this place. It’s like we’re starting everything over again fresh again. New offices, new TUF gym.”
As for the decor, “all this is going. Everything goes.”
Speaking on the history of the building, White said that “we came in and found this building in 2004, came in, gutted out, and built the gym, obviously which was much smaller than it is now. And then over the years, at TUF got bigger, we expanded. It’s been a hell of a ride. Just like our old office building, it was fun, it’s tough to leave.”
“I am actually pretty sentimental about that stuff.” Hard or not, however, the doors are about to close. “That’s it, on Saturday.”
And the new location? “It’ll look a lot like this gym, but a lot better,” White said. “And it won’t be as hot.”
While DWTNCS has long been known to be part of the upcoming ESPN deal (commencing in 2019), what of The Ultimate Fighter? Well, that, said White, will continue. Though maybe scaled back a bit. “The Ultimate Fighter will continue. There’s still a huge market for The Ultimate Fighter,” the UFC President stated, pointing out that overnight ratings for the show are often boosted by DVR numbers. Having said that, “we won’t do two a season, we’ll probably do one.”