“To give you a little back story, I get to travel around the world to do this. I’ve been to almost every continent except for Africa – which we’re about to open – and Antarctica; apparently penguins don’t like to do MMA.”
Rob McCullough has travelled the globe certifying coaches for UFC GYM and after spending five-days on location at UFC GYM Nottingham, the Senior Director of MMA has commended the newest set of recruits for their incredible passion and eagerness to learn.
Retired professional mixed martial artist, McCullough, 42, came on board with UFC GYM in 2012 when it acquired Rob’s then home, LA Boxing Franchise. Initially starting as Director of Instructor Training, he rose the ranks and is now in charge of certifying UFC GYM coaches worldwide.
McCullough told UFCGYM.co.uk that when he first joined the international franchise, he felt he had the blueprint and necessary knowledge – through his extensive background in mixed martial arts and personal training – to help develop the coaching curriculum for UFC GYM.
Since taking over the Master Instructor role, he has travelled to locations in North America, Oceania, Asia and the Middle East to certify UFC GYM coaches, but his trip to Nottingham, England broached new territory for “Razor” Rob.
“Going to the UK was my first experience, I’d never been there before,” he stated. “I was a coach with Michael Bisping on Season 14 [of the Ultimate Fighter] so I had an idea that Brits are awesome people and very passionate about mixed martial arts and combat sports and they really like to have some pints.”
McCullough also proclaimed his admiration for the coaching crew, as well as the extensive selection process headed up by UFC GYM UK Director, Joe Long.
“I love that crew, Joe [Long] is an amazing martial artist himself, he understands the business,” he said. “They hand selected the coaches and did try outs for the coaches to teach at UFC GYM Nottingham and because Michael Bisping and Dan Hardy have a piece of this gym it’s super important; they want fully qualified guys.”
From his experience at his home UFC GYM in Huntington Beach, McCullough believes the fun-for-all-the-family philosophy is an integral part of what makes UFC GYM unique. Whilst he coaches, his sons are training BJJ and his wife participates in group fitness, and it’s the preservation of this authenticity in UFC GYM Nottingham which seriously impressed McCullough.
“It just speaks to exactly what we’re bringing not only to Nottingham or the UK but to people who come to UFC GYM, It’s for everybody. We have kids’ classes, we have classes for females, we have classes that everyone can take, and it shows in our coaching staff,” he said.
“If you go into that gym, it’s beautiful, you can do anything there too. They’ve got sauna rooms, they’ve got an Octagon, you’ve got a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mat and group fitness room, a bag area. I love the brand so to be able to see it in another country, to me that’s amazing.”
With UFC GYM utilising a revolutionary mixture of general fitness and martial arts training, the 27-fight MMA veteran explained exactly why he was so impressed by the coaches at UFC GYM Nottingham.
“When I got there, everyone had a combat background, boxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, MMA so I was really, really excited because usually I get half, certified personal trainers and mixed martial artists and it’s about trying to get both of them to buy-in. These guys from day one were extremely excited about learning and I was excited to be able to share with them.”
Among the coaching staff was the youngest coach McCullough had ever certified, a multi-time BJJ champion, as well as many others who sit at the pinnacle of their respective fields. With all the bases covered, McCullough witnessed first-hand how the diversity of the UFC GYM Nottingham team serves as an incredible asset for the benefit of members.
“The coaches there were so open to listen about the business part of it and they have wrestling coaches there where I’ve never seen the calibre, they’re so high calibre – from Iran. They have this super slick Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player who’s from the UK, everybody there was such rock stars. It was a really good representation of the launch of UFC GYM in the UK.
“These coaches showed up with a tool belt and when they left, they had a lot more tools on there.”
But don’t just take Rob’s word for it. Enquire now for your free consultation and become a founding member of UFC GYM Nottingham!