By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE ULTIMATE Fighting Championship (UFC) has expanded its presence in the country with the opening of the first UFC Gym in the Philippines in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
Located at the Molito Commercial Complex, the 2,000-square meter (sq.m.) UFC Gym Alabang is the first of five which UFC Gym Philippines aims to open within the year, and one of the 30 it targets to put up nationwide in the next 10 years.
Anchored on its mantra “Train Different,” the UFC Gym is angling to be a “game-changer” in the Philippine fitness scene by going beyond “limitations” with several fun and effective ways of achieving one’s fitness goals.
“We are all fighters. That is the first thing I was told when I first entered a UFC Gym. If you look at the UFC it has champions who all inspire us, be it the young ones, the middle-aged or old people. They are the most elite athletes in the world. And the training that they are having is the same training we will share with our members,” said Mark Dayrit, UFC Gym Philippines president, during the media sneak peek at the Alabang gym late last month.
In line with this thrust, UFC Gym is offering access to the latest strength and cardio equipment, functional and sports-specific training, and group classes in several martial arts like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, muay thai, and boxing, all under one roof.
One need not buy multiple memberships from various gyms or clubs for a specific type of training as the UFC Gym offers them in one single membership.
The people behind the gyms also said that the facilities to be opened in the country are rooted as well in the concept of family and community, with training programs geared toward the entire family including kids as young as three years old, making it a fit for the Philippines.
“The concept of the UFC Gym is perfect for the Philippine culture because it really involves family and community. So when you sign up with the UFC Gym, you and your family get the classes and sessions just like world champion fighters. It is really an amazing concept and it fits here,” said international fitness expert Jeremy Storm, who is the vice-president for programs of UFC Gym Philippines.
UFC Gym Philippines also takes pride in having coaches who are “very committed” to bring out the champion in every member.
It has enlisted managers and coaches who are also champions in their own fields — bodybuilding, judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay thai, and the like.
“The level of commitment of the coaches here is amazing. The coaches will plant the seeds in a fun and engaging way. It definitely complements that growth of mixed martial arts here because members get to taste things from the start. Everything is here put altogether,” said UFC Gym’s Senior Director of MMA and former World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion “Razor” Rob McCullough, who graced the opening of the Alabang gym and helped train the local coaches.
SOUTH OF MANILA
While the Alabang gym was not intended to be the first to open, Mr. Dayrit said it is one of the areas that were top-of-mind for them, seeing it as having a good market for what they are offering.
“Well, actually our first target gym was in Makati, in Glorietta. It was supposed to be our signature gym. It’s a huge gym at more than 2,000 sq.m. but because of some technical delays this one was the first to be made available. But as we talk now, all the four other clubs are under construction and in the coming weeks and months we will start rolling [out] one after another,” said Mr. Dayrit.
“We believe we have a good market here. In the Alabang area we get both individuals and corporations who are into fitness. The biggest consideration for us is the size of the place. If you talk about the gyms now, the typical size is 300 to 400 sq.m., but for the UFC Gym the criteria is at least 2,000 sq.m. for us to really deliver what we want,” he added.
UFC Gym Alabang is open from 6 a.m. to midnight (Mondays to Fridays), 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Saturdays), and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sundays and holidays).
Annual membership is P64,000, inclusive of unlimited use of the state-of-the-art gym and cardio facilities, unlimited use of group fitness classes (Daily Ultimate Training, Circuit, MATRX, etc.), unlimited MMA classes (boxing, muay thai, jiu-Jitsu, judo, Krav Maga, etc.), and unlimited worldwide access.
The gym is also offering other membership and payment terms.
After the Alabang gym, other the UFC Gym Philippines set to open are in Glorietta in Makati, Robinsons Galleria in the Ortigas area, UP Town Center and Vertis in Quezon City.