Heavy Hitter

February 2019 View more

Ricardo Lamas celebrates a win at UFC 214 in 2017

Naperville got a little tougher last year when a north side fitness center opened—the only facility in the world where you can take classes from a professional Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter. UFC Gym Naperville is the primary training center of UFC fighter Ricardo Lamas, who, along with partners Matt Kuschert and Chris Pope, created their facility for all ability levels.

The goal? Bringing mixed martial arts-style training to the mainstream. All ages are welcomed to take cardio boxing and kickboxing, high-intensity interval training, boot camps, and martial arts.

“I’m actively involved in class curriculum development and personal coaching,” says Lamas, 36. “I teach classes three days or more per week.”

Currently No. 11 in the UFC featherweight rankings, Lamas also has a degree in exercise science, a personal training certification, and a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Typically, he fights two or three times a year, depending on his health and opponents’ availability.

“I train every day, whether I have a fight scheduled or not. It’s crucial to stay sharp and at the top of my game,” Lamas says. “Once I book a fight, my training intensifies, and I spend four weeks in Miami with MMA Masters. That’s the only time I’m not in our gym.”

For more information or to try a free class, visit ufcgym.com.

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images