‘State-of-the-art’ technology vital for fights at UFC APEX
UFC APEX outside (UFC)
On Saturday, May 30, The UFC returned to Las Vegas, NV for UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns. The night of fights took place in the UFC APEX facility, entertaining a crowd of thousands despite the only present audience being UFC employees, coaches and some media members only. This action, among others, are part of the UFC’s safety initiative to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Saturday’s UFC 250 will be the first time a pay-per-view event will be held in the facility.
The APEX is more than just a room with an octagon in it. The building is 130,000 square-feet with offices, meeting rooms, production areas, and more.
When the UFC opened the facility in June 2019, UFC President Dana White said that the facility would revolutionize the field.
“UFC APEX is going to be a massive game changer for combat sports and for UFC,” White said in a 2019 release by UFC. “This facility gives us the flexibility to try new things and push the envelope on producing and distributing combat sports all over the world.”
It is impossible to know if White envisioned full-on pay-per-view events being held in the facility, but he made it very clear that this facility was made for fighting.
“This place was built and designed for fighting,” White told media in a facility walk-through in 2019. “Literally every room was thought out. Every square inch of this place was built and designed for fighting.”
With 50,000 square feet dedicated to arena and production space, this building is equipped to handle everything needed for the UFC to showcase events live to fans across the world. Craig Borsari, UFC Executive Vice President of Production, along with White, made special note of the control room on their walk through tour.
“With UFC APEX, we’re future-proofing the way we produce and distribute our content,” Borsari said in a 2019 release by UFC. “The combination of state-of-the-art technology, with this enormous highly configurable space, gives us the opportunity to host other live events…”
This production capability extends far beyond UFC 250 and other fights during the COVID-19 pandemic. The technology that the APEX possesses allows the UFC to connect Las Vegas to anywhere in the world.
This innovative new model represents a revolution in field that will change the future of live broadcasting. Not having to bring the control center to the actual location of the fights grants the UFC and the fighters far more flexibility in timing and schedules, potentially allowing for intense matchups that may have otherwise been prevented by time or location conflicts. As Borsari mentioned, the organization plans to use this facility for more than just fighting.
Without the UFC APEX, it is hard to tell if the organization would be able to put on fight in Las Vegas during the pandemic.
After UFC 250, who knows what major events will be held at UFC APEX in the future.