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UFC Gym signs deal to enter Russian fitness market

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University of Brighton
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I'm sure that UFC Gym clubs operated by RFG will be popular, especially among the young

Franchise operator UFC Gym will enter the Russian fitness market this year.

The US-based chain – a brand extension of the world’s largest mixed martial arts organization, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – has signed a franchise agreement with Russian Fitness Group (RFG) to open 55 clubs across the country.

RFG is the market leader in the premium and luxury segments in Russia and already manages a large chain of fitness clubs under the ‘World Class’ brand.

The UFC partnership agreement comes six months after RFG received investment from a consortium of investors to help it grow its business in Russia, the CIS countries and Europe.

The consortium – which consists of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund; Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company; and other Middle Eastern investment funds – has acquired a 22.5 per cent stake in RFG from VTB Capital.

“Since the opening of the first World Class fitness club 25 years ago, we've been bringing the best of the world’s fitness industry, the most advanced equipment, and trendiest programmes," said Olga Sloutsker, RFG chair.

"In line with our mission, RFG is happy to offer Russians a new kind of training by UFC Gym. I'm sure that UFC Gym clubs operated by RFG will be popular, especially among the young, and we will do our best to make these training methods available in terms of cost.”

Andre Gromkovski, vice president of UFC Russia, added that the deal will strengthen the group's foothold in the country.

"The launch of UFC Gym is a very important step towards the development of the UFC brand in Russia,” said Gromkovski.

“In addition to live events, the UFC TV channel, YouTube channel, and consumer goods, our fans will now have the opportunity to live the UFC lifestyle every day.”

Since its launch in 2009, UFC Gym has opened more than 150 locations in 28 countries across the Americas, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

UFC Gym offers three formats – Signature, Core and Class – offering members the choice of full-range of functional fitness classes, group and private MMA training, group fitness, personal and group dynamic performance-based training, plus MMA youth programming.

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Franchise operator UFC Gym will enter the Russian fitness market this year.
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