LA Boxing, the Santa Ana, Calif.-based fitness gym franchisor, has been sold to UFC GYM in Carlsbad.
LA Boxing, which calls itself the world's largest boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts gym, has 81 locations and another 50 in development. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The company began as a fighters' gym in 1992, but started attracting suburban professionals who wanted fitness workouts. One was Anthony Geisler, president of an online gaming and software company, who bought the company in 2003 and started franchising in 2004.
UFC GYM, in partnership with New Evolution Ventures LLC in Lafayette, Calif., has five full-service fitness studios in California and Hawaii. The firm plans to open locations in New York and Sydney, Australia, in April. The company said will change LA Boxing gyms, which average 5,000 square feet, to the UFC format.
UFC GYM is an extension of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a mixed martial arts organization owned by Zuffa LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing. UFC is the largest provider of pay-per-view live MMA events in the world. Its programming is broadcast to 800 million households in 30 languages in more than 145 countries. In 2012, UFC signed a seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group.
New Evolution Ventures, founded in 2008, specializes in the acquisition, development and operations management of fitness companies.
"The goal of UFC GYM when we launched it three years ago was to create a unique MMA-styled fitness experience for men, women and children that went far beyond the traditional workout," said New Evolution Ventures Chairman Mark Mastrov. "We were drawn to LA Boxing based upon the similarities in our brand DNA."
Geisler, who is now UFC franchise president, said, "Our new partnership will build upon LA Boxing's growth over the past 10 years in boxing, kickboxing and MMA. We will grow the franchise in the U.S. and internationally."
The first location under the new ownership is in Chicago's River North neighborhood.
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