Image Credit: UFC / Twitter

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is turning heads throughout the combat sports industry today, following the announcement that it is going to build a massive Performance Institute in Shanghai, China.

In advance of its Fight Night card in Beijing on Saturday, the UFC has announced it is building a 93,000 square feet Performance Institute in Shanghai. That’s three times bigger than the PI in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In the official statement announcing the new PI, the company also had this to say:

UFC Performance Institute Shanghai will serve as a training hub to develop and support MMA athletes from mainland China and the greater Asia-Pacific region. UFC will also utilize the building as its headquarters in Asia, housing UFC employees and UFC Performance Institute staff, including experts in the fields of MMA, strength and conditioning, sports science, physical therapy and nutrition.

UFC Performance Institute Shanghai will also have built-in advanced production capabilities with spectator seating that will allow UFC to produce and distribute live events and other original programming.

Further, the facility will have two floors and will include things like a hypoxic lab, cryotherapy chamber, two regulation Octagons, a regulation boxing ring and 4,000 sq. ft. of mat area. UFC President Dana White was quoted saying:

“I could not be more excited about the UFC Performance Institute opening in Shanghai,” said UFC President Dana White. “We know there is a ton of talent throughout Asia and now we will be able to find them and offer them all the incredible training, nutrition, and physical therapy that UFC fighters are getting in the Performance Institute at our headquarters in Las Vegas, right there in China. This is another game changer for the sport, UFC, and potential athletes throughout Asia.”

Now, chances are this news won’t really resonate with casual fans in North America or Europe, but it’s big news nonetheless. Clearly, the UFC understands the need to create a foothold in the Asian MMA market, not only in terms of making more UFC fans in the region but to cultivate and sign talent from Asia as well.

This is also extremely interesting from an industry perspective since ONE Championship, currently, the largest promotion in Asia, has been making commitments to expansion in China too. So, you can’t help but wonder how much ONE’s growth in recent years has contributed to the UFC’s decision here. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this all plays out.

UFC Beijing will take place on November 24th, and will feature Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou 2 in the main event.