MERRILLVILE | At the start of the year, the Ultimate Fighting Championship's UFC Gym brand extension had five locations. But the Las Vegas-based company sent that number skyrocketing when it acquired the L.A. Boxing franchise.
That included a location in Merrillville that on Saturday will have its grand re-opening as a UFC Gym. Earlier this year, the franchise location, at 5206 E. 81st Ave., started the process with a new exterior sign, as well as new interior branding.
Location owners Danielle and Paul Vale, who also run the Valparaiso-based Hoosier Fight Club mixed martial arts promotion, will host a daylong event at the site Saturday that features autograph signings, membership specials, tours, giveaways and more.
From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the location will have prize giveaways including gym memberships, equipment, apparel, HFC tickets and more. As part of the grand re-opening, the gym is offering no enrollment fees for new members. Plus, the gym is adding youth and teen MMA programs, as well as a new Brazilian jiu-jitsu program.
In addition, current UFC fighters Eddie Wineland, of Westville, and Darren Elkins, of Hobart, and former UFC fighter John Kolosci will be on hand, along with local boxers Angel Manfredy and Amy Yuratovac to meet fans and sign autographs.
The UFC is the world's largest MMA promotion and in 2013 will host more than 30 events around the world that air live on pay-per-view, the Fox network and FOX Sports 1 on cable.
For more information, contact the gym at (219) 947-2269.