The UFC is opening a second, larger Performance Institute, in a territory it is slowly working to gain a foothold in: China.
When the UFC opened its Performance Institute in Las Vegas in 2017, it instantly became a factor for athletes like Francis Ngannou, Misha Cirkunov, and others, who have taken advantage of the PI’s many offerings. Those include top-of-the-line coaching, physical therapists, nutritionists, and other training benefits, all made available free of charge to fighters under contract with the UFC.
But what about those overseas, who can’t make the trip to Vegas on the regular? On Monday, the UFC announced that is set to construct a second Performance Institute, in Shanghai, China. The facility will absolutely dwarf the Las Vegas incarnation, which is a 30,000 square foot complex. UFC Performance Institute Shanghai, however, will be over three times that size, clocking in at 93,000 square feet.
In a press release on its official website, the promotion included digital renderings of the planned facility. Speaking to ESPN, UFC President Dana White said that “There is over a billion people in China and that economy is booming, it’s a big initiative for us. And the way you make a market grow is find a world champion who is from there.”
Finding that champion starts, it seems, with grooming talent. That’s something the new Performance Institute should help with. White told ESPN that “I think building this facility — not everybody who goes through there will be a world champion, but you know what it will do? It will create some great coaches who will go out and open a jiu-jitsu studio somewhere, or a muay Thai school. That’s how you ignite the sport and get it to grow.”
“This is another game changer for the sport, UFC, and potential athletes throughout Asia,” White was quoted as saying in Monday’s press release. The promotion is also reportedly targeting Mexico for a third facility, though no time frame has been announced.