The mixed martial art promoter, UFC inaugurated a performance institute for Asian athletes in Shanghai on Thursday.

The Sanghai brunch is three times bigger than the one in Las Vegas. Fighters from Mainland China and Asia-Pacific can train and develop their skills at the Sanghai-based institute.

The opening coincided with the launch of UFC’s inaugural Academy combine, where 50 athletes competed at Sanghai facility to win a scholarship to UFC Academy, an MMA talent development program created and managed by the UFC Performance institute.

Dr. Duncun French, the vice-president of performance at UFC performance institute said, “The academy combine has been developed to support the assessment of MMA Talent using a series of skill-based evaluations, profiling exams, and physical performance tests. The first iteration of the UFC Academy Combine will be structured so we can conduct it ‘in-house’ at one of our facilities. The larger vision is to then develop a ‘field-based’ version of the combine, which can be implemented anywhere around the world and generate scores for comparison between MMA fighters from different countries.”

UFC President, Dana White said the facility could help develop a Chinese UFC champion. White said, “As a promoter that is one of the things you dream about, and this is the place that can make a difference. If someone becomes champion, the entire group of people will follow.”

“We are waiting for that from this country and I don’t think anyone here can wrap their heads around how big that would be.”


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Aspiring journalist working for and exploring the juncture of sports, business and technology. Interested in sports economy and logistics of sports policy-making.

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