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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 1 year ago

UFC Gym welcomes its first fighters

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Located just east of Ocoee, UFC Gym Orlando is gearing up for its grand opening later this month
by: Brittany Gaines Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY Although the gym has only been open a few weeks, some classes already have a waiting list. Earlier this summer, a UFC Gym opened at 7649 W. Colonial Drive, just east of Ocoee and adjacent to the West Orange area, but the gym is about more than just training fighters, said the gym’s community liaison, Chris Bryant.

“We’re not your typical gym at all,” he said.

An iconic UFC Octagon sits in the center of the gym, but it is surrounded by all varieties of gym equipment. On one side is a section of traditional fitness machines and free weights. On the other side, several rows of punching bags hang in a cluster. In the center aisle of the gym is a turf where intense training classes are held.

Membership at the gym has reached more than 130 and some of the perks of being a member include having a personal training, a nutritionist and access to the gym’s numerous classes, from Brazilian jiu-jitsu to boxing techniques and an MMA-inspired fitness class.

The ultimate goal is to help everyone meet their fitness goals, whether it’s losing weight or being able to pack a punch. 

“Everybody has a fight,” Bryant said. “We want to train the entire person; we want to help them overcome their fight.”

In an unusual turn of events, the gym has not only drawn the attention of new members but has also captured the attention tourists who simply want to stock up on UFC gear at the gym’s shop, Bryant said.

But when it comes to membership, the gym has garnered a significant number of female members - 60% of the membership base is  female.

“We have a lot of new moms who are trying to lose their baby weight,” Bryant said.

The gym also offers a Brazilian jiu-jitsu class to children, and already both classes are full and a wait list is beginning to accumulate.

“We cater more to families because we want to be a family gym,” Bryant said.

Bryant said that he is hoping to get the gym connected deeper into the community so it can assist in supporting other local businesses. Already there is talk of offering scholarships to students, starting youth sport groups, helping the homeless in the community and creating fundraising events for breast cancer awareness. Additionally, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has already held recruiting events at the gym and members of the Winter Park Police Department have joined the gym to train themselves.

“It’s really important for us to invest into the community,” Bryant said.

Classes are on the smaller side with up to 15 people in each class, allowing trainers to work with each person individually. Peak class time is around 7 a.m. and between 5:30 and 9 p.m. on weekdays. 

In the coming months, Bryant said that the gym will be open 24 hours a day to members. Additional classes will also be added to the schedule once the gym celebrates its grand opening, including fight classes. The gym’s grand opening will be held the last week of August.

 

Contact Brittany Gaines at [email protected].

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