Behind The Scenes At The UFC APEX Facility Reveal

Always the industry leader, UFC APEX gives the world’s largest MMA promotion more leverage.

The UFC has always been on the cutting edge.

From becoming the first combat sports promotional organization to invest in streaming service with UFC Fight Pass and buying almost all their competitors, they are the gorilla in the space.

However, today they’ve endeavored on a new path that might justify the $4 billion price tag paid for by the organization.

The UFC just announced the opening of UFC APEX, a new state-of-the-art 130,000 square foot production facility in Las Vegas.

More than just a combat sports organization, this move allows the UFC to become a total entertainment powerhouse.

Endeavor, formerly WME-IMG, is helmed by famed entertainment impresario Ari Emanuel. With a roster of celebrity clients like Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the Williams sisters of the tennis game, Emanuel quickly turned them into UFC investors.

That Hollywood integration has allowed UFC fighters like Tyron Woodley to become talking head fixtures on platforms like TMZ and enter acting like Woodley did in the movie Straight Outta Compton.

The building, which contains more than 50,000 square feet of production space and over 70,000 square feet of office space officially opens its doors today for its first event, Dana White’s Contender Series.

“UFC APEX is going to be a massive game changer for combat sports and for UFC,” said UFC President Dana White.

“This facility gives us the flexibility to try new things and push the envelope on producing and distributing combat sports all over the world. We are limited only by my imagination. When you think of where we started and where we are now, it’s pretty incredible, but we haven’t even scratched the surface of how big this will become.”

Game Changer

UFC APEX has built-in, advanced production capabilities with an arena space that can be configured to accommodate a variety of live events, including other sports competitions, concerts, stage shows, esports tournaments, and more.  The arena can also be converted into a sound stage for use as a rehearsal space for entertainment acts booked throughout Las Vegas.

A new IP-based control room will be installed in UFC APEX in 2020 that will allow UFC to produce live events remotely from any location in the world and broadcast them in 4K resolution.

“With UFC APEX, we’re future-proofing the way we produce and distribute our content,” said Craig Borsari, UFC Executive Vice President of Production.

“The combination of the state-of-the-art technology, with this enormous highly configurable arena space, gives us the opportunity to host other live events beyond combat sports.  UFC APEX allows us to branch out into creating other forms of in-demand sports and entertainment content and distribute them anywhere in the world.”

In addition to the primary arena space, UFC APEX will also feature a smaller 50’ x 50’ sound stage that can accommodate a variety of smaller productions, including live pre- and post-event studio shows, and original programming that can be distributed on a variety of platforms, including UFC FIGHT PASS.

If you are looking for a game changer in sports and entertainment, the UFC is giving to you on a silver platter. It also shouldn’t be any coincidence that it comes 6-8 months before the unveiling of the new Raiders stadium also coming to Las Vegas.

Bye, bye casino arena dependence and hello to the future of 360 production.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.