Fighting The High Life
Some of the best fighters in the world started their careers in spit and sawdust set-ups that lacked even running water. However, a new wave of training facilities has arrived, and they are palatial in comparison to the hole in-the-wall gyms many of us still use. Check out the five most luxurious MMA gyms in the world.
The UFC Gym certainly lives up to the name of the world’s leading MMA promotion. Their flagship facility is a 40,000-square-foot monster packed with state-of-the-art equipment. Patrons can choose from 800 classes a month in everything from mixed martial arts to power yoga. As you would expect, there is a regulation-size UFC Octagon where you can hone your moves. The UFC Gymblends the elegance of a high-end health club with the down-to-earth ruggedness of a real training center.
A shining light among basement gyms, Urban Kings is an ultra-modern facility located in the heart of central London. Designed by a top architectural firm, the gym combines sharp steel and bare concrete to create a serious vibe. A boutique-sized facility, the gym maximizes the space by keeping the equipment to a minimum, allowing you to focus on your fighting moves. You’ll find sleek black, white, and gray equipment throughout, and the granite-floored changing rooms (complete with sauna) are out of this world.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The only facility of it’s kind in the Middle East, Contender MMA is located in the wealthy kingdom of Dubai, which is home to the world’s tallest skyscraper and the world’s most expensive hotel, so it is only fitting that their first MMA gym has high standards. With generous mat space, cutting-edge training equipment, and luxurious changing facilities, it attracted the attention of Hollywood action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, who chose to prepare there for his upcoming kickboxing bout.
SOUTH EAST ASIA
Home to the local branch of the famed Sityodtong Muay Thai network, this stylish gym was conceptualized by one of the top design firms in Singapore. The largest training facility of its kind in Asia, the 12,000 square feet of temperature-controlled space houses imported equipment from the United States and Thailand, but it is the luxury amenities that make this gym stand out from the crowd. Each of the 27 shower units come with rain forest shower capability, while guests can use complimentary Apple Mac Internet stations between sessions.
Owned by UFC middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama, this gym is big by Japanese standards but still cozy in comparison to others on this list. Still, the gym houses ample training space and was one of the first in the country to install a caged training area. A subtle, organic black and orange theme runs throughout the interior. A style icon in Japan and Korea, Akiyama has obviously applied his innate coolness to the fitting out of his gym.