81°F
weather icon Clear

Show will go on for ‘TUF,’ but iconic Las Vegas gym not so lucky

“The Ultimate Fighter” may go on after all.

The iconic Las Vegas gym that has played a starring role on the reality show’s first 28 seasons and other prominent moments in UFC history, isn’t as fortunate.

UFC president Dana White told the Review-Journal this past weekend’s taping of the Brazilian version of “Contender Series” was the last event that will take place in the facility located in the office park just south of the Palms.

“That’s the end of the ‘TUF’ building,” he said. “We bought the building next door to (our headquarters in southwest Las Vegas), which is like 130,000 square feet now to add on to what we already have. We’re building a state-of-the-art facility for fights. Next season, we’ll be in the new gym and it’s going to be awesome.”

The facility will host Contender Series bouts and serve as a production set for other programs and projects. That could include future seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter,” despite previous reports the new season, which was filmed over the summer and begins airing this month on Fox Sports 1, would be the last as UFC’s new TV deal moves to ESPN.

‘The Ultimate Fighter’ will continue,” White said, indicating it may be housed on ESPN-Plus and switch to one season per year instead of two. “There’s still a huge market for ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ It still does well.”

White said most of the memorabilia from the walls will be moved to the new gym.

“There’s a lot of history in this building,” White said. “It’s a very nostalgic place. It’s going to be a little weird leaving. It’s been a hell of a ride.

“I actually do get sentimental about these things.”

White did promise the new building would have fully-functioning air conditioning, something that was not always the case in the warehouse.

Usman staying ready

Top UFC welterweight contender Kamaru Usman is preparing to fight on the UFC 228 card scheduled for Sept. 8 in Dallas.

He doesn’t have an opponent.

Usman, who is on a 12-fight winning streak, has been tabbed as a potential replacement for the main event should either challenger Darren Till or champion Tyron Woodley not be able to compete.

UFC officials are clearly concerned with Woodley’s health as he works his way back from injury and Till’s weight after he failed to make it twice in his last four fights.

“Just a deep feeling in my soul, September 8th I will be the new welterweight champion of the world!!!” Usman posted on Twitter.

Usman will submit medicals and weigh-in just as if he were on the card.

St. Pierre OK with celebrity fights

Former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St. Pierre is one of the greatest fighters to compete in mixed martial arts.

But he’s no purist.

The Canadian superstar said during a media appearance in Australia last week that he’s not opposed to the UFC putting on some sideshow type fights as long as its clear which fighters are legitimate athletes.

“Now, you can be the elite, but it’s like a reality show, too,” he said. “The world has changed, and I think we need to evolve with it.

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“(UFC) became more mainstream, and to attract more mainstream people, you need to have more mainstream athletes. I think it’s a good thing. But let’s not confuse who’s who.”

Some of the possible matchups mentioned pitting Jean-Claude Van Damme against Steven Seagal or a low-level fighter against a rugged hockey goon.

St. Pierre, who said he was just fine with Phil “CM Punk” Brooks getting two shots in the UFC, is interested in fighting the winner of the Oct. 6 bout between Conor McGregor and lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.

White said that was unlikely.

More MMA: Follow all of our MMA and UFC coverage online at CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Dana White signs four fighters to the UFC - Video
Four fighters were put under contract with the UFC following their performances at Dana White's Contender Series on Tuesday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Contender Series fighters react to being signed to the UFC
After making history as the first batch of winners to all earn contracts following their performances at Dana White's Contender Series, the fighters react to making it to the UFC.
Dana White signs all five winners at Contender Series
For the first time in the three-season history of Dana White's Contender Series, every winning fighter earned a UFC contract. Maki Pitolo, Joe Solecki, Antonio Trocoli, Hunter Azure and Jonathan Pearce impressed the UFC brass and were awarded contracts by the UFC president.
Jones says he was confident he secured a win over Santos at UFC 239 - Video
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones continued his reign by taking a split decision victory over Thiago Santos at UFC 239. He discusses the close call and entertains the idea of a trilogy bout with Daniel Cormier. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 recap: Jones and Nunes retain their titles - VIDEO
Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes both retained their titles at UFC 239. Jones took a decision over Thiago Santos in the main event and Nunes scored a first-round knockout of Holly Holm. Jorge Masvidal also made promotional history on July 6 by scoring a 5-second knockout over Ben Askren. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Amanda Nunes on her win over Holly Holm at UFC 239 - Video
Amanda Nunes talks about continuing her reign as a two-division champion in the UFC after defeating Holly Holm with a head kick in the first round of their title bout at UFC 239. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239: Masvidal makes UFC history with 5-second knockout - Video
Jorge Masvidal discusses his history-making knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239 and makes his case for a shot at the welterweight title next. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fighters at UFC 239 react to the 7.1 earthquake - Video
Fighters at UFC 239 talk about what they experienced when the 7.1 earthquake was felt in Las Vegas on Friday night. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 Ceremonial Weigh-in Staredowns - Video
All fighters competing at UFC 239 on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena faced off against each other one last time before their bouts take place. In the main event, Jon Jones will put his light heavyweight belt on the line against Thiago Santos. In the co-main event, Amanda Nunes will look to continue her reign as the women's bantamweight champion when she takes on Holly Holm.
UFC 239: Jon Jones says he wants to make a statement - VIDEO
Prior to UFC 239, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones says he's trying to challenge himself, set his own records to establish his legacy and explains how he's become comfortable with where he is in his career. He will put his title on the line in the main event against Thiago Santos. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 Official Weigh-in Results
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 239 on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena made weight at the official weigh-in at the New York-New York hotel-casino on Friday. The main event features UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones putting his belt on the line against Thiago Santos. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 Preview: Jones vs. Santos
Prior to UFC 239, the Review-Journal's Adam Hill and Heidi Fang break down the main event between Jon Jones and Thiago Santos for the light heavyweight title, the co-main championship tilt between Holly Holm and reigning bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes, and preview a feature bout between Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 media day: Masvidal says he has faced tougher competition than Askren
Ahead of facing rising UFC welterweight Ben Askren, promotional veteran Jorge Masvidal says he's faced tougher opponents in the past. Askren says don't be shocked by his approach to the fight at UFC 239 on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 open workouts: Jones thanks fans for support through his dark times
At UFC 239 open workouts, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones thanked fans for their support during his "controversial moments" and says he wants to be more active through 2020. His challenger Thiago Santos says he will "shock the world" on July 6 and be the new division champion. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 open workouts: Holm wants to shock her naysayers
Holly Holm will look to reclaim the UFC women's bantamweight title when she faces two-division champion Amanda Nunes in the co-main event of UFC 239 at the T-Mobile Arena on July 6. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
White: I'm looking for different things on this show - VIDEO
UFC president Dana White spoke with media following the second episode of the third season of his show "Dana White's Contender Series". He explained why he signed the two fighters he did after their performances and discussed the heat he's taking for not signing Brendan Loughnane last week. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC's Francis Ngannou says he never doubted himself after losses - Video
UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou will face Junior dos Santos at UFC on ESPN 3 in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 29 in a bout that could determine the next title contender. After losing in a title bout to Stipe Miocic in 2018, Ngannou says he never doubted himself. He also talks about meeting former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dana White on Contender Series contracts: "I'm looking for killers." - Video
On opening night at the UFC's newest facility, the UFC Apex, the promotion signed Punahele Soriano and Yorgan De Castro to contracts after their performances on Dana White's Contender Series. UFC president Dana White explains why he signed the fighters he did. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC Apex is the promotion's newest cutting-edge facility - VIDEO
The UFC Apex will officially open as Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series kicks off on June 19. Here's a look at what the promotion's newest facility in Las Vegas has to offer. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC President Dana White on the UFC Apex, ESPN deal, when Conor McGregor could return and more - Video
UFC President Dana White gave the Review-Journal an exclusive interview where he spoke about the promotion's new facility, the UFC Apex, their new deal with ESPN, when Conor McGregor may return to the octagon and more. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST