The UFC has revealed plans to plant seeds in New Zealand soil on the back of the success of its Kiwi stars.
New Zealand will become the 30th country to house a branch of the UFC Gym, looking to capitalise on the ever growing popularity of mixed martial arts Down Under.
The gym already operates in 10 locations across Australia, and UFC GYM Australia chief executive Maz Hagemrad said it was a natural progression to move into New Zealand in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
"We are excited to bring the best of the UFC Gym brand into the New Zealand market where we are confident the 'train different' philosophy will be welcomed and embraced," Hagemrad said.
In the last 12 months, New Zealand's active UFC stars have fought to a 12-1 record, led by rising middleweight Israel Adesanya who won five bouts in the octagon within the space of a year.
Adesanya and City Kickboxing teammates Shane Young and Kai Kara-France were on display at UFC 234 in Melbourne at the weekend, with all three fighters winning their respective bouts by decision.
As well as producing rising stars, 79 per cent of the market is aged between 15 and 54 according to the IBISWorld Gyms and Fitness Centres New Zealand Market Research Report from April last year, which is newfound territory for UFC GYM and MMA fans.
UFC Gym senior vice president of global franchising Tamer El-Guindy said with the continued annual and projected growth in the New Zealand market, it was the ideal place to set up the next location.