UFC GYM is on a mission to build the biggest Jiu-Jitsu community in the world and is rolling out a new training programme at its gyms in Dubai, with further launches expected in Kuwait and Lebanon.
A special event was held at the Business Bay branch of the UFC GYM to mark the brand’s expansion. Speaking at the launch event Mauricio ‘Tinguinha’ Mariano, Senior Director of the UFC GYM Global Jiu-Jitsu Program said: “We are on track to build the largest Jiu-Jitsu team in the world. In fact, we are expanding our program across the globe.”
Jiu-Jitsu is a martial arts form of self-defence, which is grounded on the principle of using technique, leverage and skill in an efficient and effective way to control your opponent. Mastering the art is particularly effective for smaller and weaker individuals who will be able to defend themselves against a bigger, stronger, heavier person through the utilisation of proper technique and leverage.
Also present at the Business Bay launch was Ghazi Sebil Almadani, Acting Director of Sports Events Department at Dubai Sports Council and Hamad Al Sayer, CEO, UFC GYM Middle East and Senior Management of UFC GYM Middle East, to announce the gym is now one of three private gyms in the UAE authorised by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation to compete under the UFC GYM banner in local competitions.
The facility also announced that they will be selecting five underprivileged children aged between seven and nine years old from Oman, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE to participate in the youth Jiu-Jitsu program and help further develop their physical and social skills.
“We are pleased to announce the launch of our structured UFC GYM Jiu-Jitsu program across all of our locations in the region,” said Hamad Al Sayer, CEO, UFC GYM Middle East. “These are truly exciting times for us with the soft launch of our Egypt club taking place and with future expansion in progress for Kuwait and Lebanon allowing better accessibility to this fantastic sport.” He continued: “With heightened health concerns for youth and adults in the region, our team and regional partners are so proud to be part of a business that allows us to make a difference and help improve the community’s overall health and wellbeing as we grow.”
Darren Till’s UFC fight with Stephen Thompson will still go ahead in Liverpool on Sunday even though Till missed the weight.
The Englishman’s hometown welterweight bout with American Thompson looked like being called off after Till was 3.5lbs overweight at Saturday’s weigh-in.
Till was even given an additional hour to make the weight, after citing a family emergency as a reason, but still came in too heavy.
However, Thompson has allowed the fight to go ahead and the pair will headline as on Sunday as Liverpool’s Echo Arena hosts the first UFC event ever to be held in the city.
Till will give 30 per cent of his fee to Thompson by way of a fine and he must also be no heavier than 188lbs at another weigh in on Sunday morning.
The 25-year-old Merseysider, unbeaten in 17 MMA contests including five in the UFC, is set to face an opponent whose own 17-fight record, featuring 12 UFC bouts, shows two losses, both on points, and who is the number one- ranked welterweight contender.
In front of a partisan Rio crowd at the Jeunesse Arena, Nunes stopped the No2 ranked women’s 135lbs challenger in the fifth round following four rounds of brutal leg kicks and stinging right hands.
It was far from the slickest performance of the Brazilian’s career but the champ was effective, although the contest could have and perhaps should have been finished earlier than the final round.
Indeed, Pennington’s nose was busted and broken by a series of knees towards the conclusion of the fourth stanza and realising the result was beyond her, told her coaches during the break “I’m done”.
Pennington’s corner, however, refused the plea and convinced her to fight on. To the American’s credit, she attempted to unload in the final round but was soon taken to the ground. Nunes smelt blood and soon exploded a fountain of it after landing elbows on top before referee Marc Goddard stepped in, something the corner should have already done.
“It’s sad,” Nunes said post-fight. “(Teammate) Nina (Ansaroff) told me. I didn’t even know. Nina told me in the locker room. It’s sad because you could avoid something. She went to the hospital. It might be a bad injury for her to go to the hospital. I already asked Nina to text her – if she needs anything I’m here. It’s sad.
“If she didn’t have the right conditioning to fight then the coach should have thrown in the towel for sure.
“I think my coach wouldn’t let me go through that. It’s sad. Everyone must be saying a lot of bad things about him on social media, but I really think she needs to surround herself with people who want the best for her so she can really evolve for her next fights. Unfortunately, tonight (the cornerman) failed.”
AND STILL 🏆— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 13, 2018
Amanda Nunes beats Raquel Pennington by 5th round TKO for 3rd straight defense of UFC Women’s Bantamweight belt pic.twitter.com/RTG9yohQCf
Elsewhere on the card, Kelvin Gastelum launched himself into middleweight title contention with a split-decision win over Jacare Souza while Mackenzie Dern, who missed weight for her 115lbs clash with Amanda Cooper by a wide 7lbs, extended her unbeaten MMA record with a first-round rear-naked choke submission.
The most stunning knockout of the night arrived when Lyoto Machida front-kicked Vitor Belfort into retirement but on the ground Alexey Oleynik produced a classy finish of his own with a first-round Ezekiel Choke submission of Junior Albini.