“The Ultimate Fighter” gym is about to get a huge upgrade.
The UFC purchased the building just east of its current Las Vegas headquarters, as well as 20 additional acres and plans to build a state of the art production facility around a small arena that could seat as many as 1,700 people.
That arena, which will take about 60,000-square feet of the 130,000-square feet the UFC purchased, will host “The Ultimate Fighter,” “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” and other potential shows. UFC president Dana White said it could also be used to host smaller boxing events, as well.
White said that for small shows that won’t attract a huge crowd, instead of going to a casino and using its venue, the new facility will allow the UFC to host it on campus. But White said the company “absolutely, without a doubt,” will do one of its Fight Night cards from the new facility.
Crisci Construction in Las Vegas began work on Friday. It is estimated to be completed by July 1. Craig Borsari, the UFC’s executive vice president for operations and production, said it will be future-proof from a technology standpoint.
“Who knows what I’ll come up with fight-wise,” White said. “But we’re always trying to push the needle and come up with new things and having this facility is going to allow us to do so many more things. I always say, ‘Every year we raise the bar,’ and here we go again.
“It’s going to have everything. It will have my office and a parking garage and there are showers and a warm-up area and we’re building a gym. There will actually be a gym inside this facility for ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ or whatever else. Like I said, in building this, not only are we thinking of what we’ve done and what we’re doing, but what we might do in the future. This will have everything that we’d need. Anything we could possibly think of, this place will have it.”
The UFC begins a partnership with ESPN in January, and is required to produce shows that will air on ESPN. A lot of those shows can be recorded out of this new facility, including any studio shows.
It’s got full production capabilities, including a 20,000-square foot sound stage. And with 42-foot high ceilings, it will allow camera placement never available in its old facility near the Palms hotel it rented since 2005 to record “The Ultimate Fighter.”
“This facility is going to be so flexible and allow us to do so many things,” White said. “You could do boxing in there, for sure. You could do kick boxing, jiu-jitsu tournaments, anything we’d want to do. We could even let other promoters do fights in there. If you had a small fight, what better place to do it than here, where there would be anything and everything you could possibly need? Nothing in town is going to have what we have here.”