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Stipe Miocic, UFC, & Modelo Are Rejuvenating Gyms for International Fight Week

Working alongside community revitalization g Rebuilding Together, special renovations the group is bringing some special renovations to MMA gyms in four US cities.

With International Fight Week now upon us in the run up to Saturday’s UFC 276 in Las Vegas, longtime UFC partner Modelo announced Tuesday will re-up its gym revitalization program in collaboration with nonprofit organization Rebuilding Together.

The three organizations will refurbish local gyms this year in four new locations. Denver, Colorado, Charlotte, North Carolina, Las Vegas, Nevada, and New Orleans, Louisiana were selected. 

Modelo, Rebuilding Together and the UFC provided Las Vegas’ Fight Capital Gym with new jiu-jitsu mats, speed bag mounts, boxing bags, and flooring. After helping to renovate the gym, UFC commentator Jon Anik and former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic taught a special MMA seminar.

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In its rookie year, the three partners spruced up gyms in Cleveland, Ohio, Austin, Texas, and Seattle, Washington. The northeast Ohio connection particularly resonated with Micoic and was more than enough to convince him to return for year two — he was born in the Cleveland suburbs and still lives there today, working as a firefighter paramedic in Cuyahoga County when he’s not throwing fists in the cage.

“It was awesome and great to see them giving back,” Miocic told Boardroom in a Zoom interview. “To see the look on their face when they get the help they need is beautiful. What they’re doing is making gyms a lot better. They went to four cities last year and they went to four cities this year to help a lot of these gyms out so a lot of these kids can go there. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Miocic, who lost his heavyweight crown to Francis Ngannou in his last fight 15 months ago, is anything but retired, but declined to drop any hints to Boardroom about when fans can expect to see him in the octagon again. “I’ll probably be in the ring this Friday in Vegas at the Fight Capital Gym, so you can check me out there,” he said with a smile.

(We’ll give him a free pass for humbly keeping all things focused on the gym renovations and teaching his seminar.)

As Greg Gallagher, Vice President of Brand Marketing at Modelo, said on the occasion:

“Modelo is excited to reignite and build upon the incredible work we accomplished during the first year of this program with UFC and Rebuilding Together. Access to the services provided by local gyms strengthens communities and ensures everyone can nurture their own Fighting Spirit, which is why we’re so proud to be involved in an initiative that breathes new life into those crucial spaces.”

Following the climax of the 10th Annual UFC International Fight Week at Saturday night’s UFC 276 card, the initiative will go on the road with UFC fighters Justin Gaethje, Stephen Thompson, and Dustin Poirier also joining Modelo, the UFC, and Rebuilding Together to help with renovations at local gyms in Denver, Charlotte, and New Orleans.

The fighters’ efforts to give back promise to leave a lasting impact on the communities they serve — communities that help to make up the very fabric of MMA culture in the US.

“Working together to make a positive impact on the gyms that breed the next generation of fighters gives deeper meaning to our longstanding partnership with Modelo,” said Paul Asencio, UFC Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships, in a release. “We’re especially excited to launch year two in Las Vegas – a city that means so much to our fans and fighters. Since the UFC wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of the Las Vegas community, it’s important for us to partner with Modelo to give back in meaningful and long-lasting ways.”

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