Ultimate MMA in Albertville, which offers a variety of martial arts classes for people of all ages, has found a new home less than two miles from its old one on U.S. Highway 431, and owners Willie and Jose Evans said they could not be more excited.

“We are excited to be here because the quality of the building is so much better than before,” they said. 

Like many businesses, Ultimate MMA took a financial hit during the COVID-19 economic shut down. 

“Before COVID-19, we had around 50 active members, but we took a huge hit during [the shutdown] especially for the Kids MMA,” they said. 

With the move, the Evans brothers said it will be like having a “fresh start,” and with the experience they’ve gained running their gym for nearly two years, they’ll be better equipped to train a new generation of champion fighters. They said their gym would continue to offer the same classes as it had before including women self defense, Kids MMA, boxing, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu. All of the mats and commonly used surfaces will be routinely sanitized between classes, the brothers said. 

“After two years, we have a better idea of what it takes to run a business and make champions or champion competitors,” they said.

The new gym, located at 7020 U.S. Highway 431, is scheduled to open July 31, they said. In the meantime, Jose Evans and two of the gym’s fighters, Trey Slaton and Micah Downs, are continuing to train hard in preparation for one of Albertville’s first-ever mixed martial arts competition.

Scheduled for October 3, Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater will host the Alabama Fighting Championship Five On It! event. Slaton will go head-to-head in a title against Mark Young Jr. in the 125-pound vision, Downs will face Jacub Harrell in the 155-pound division, and Jose Evans will fight Will Sparks for the heavyweight title. If Evans win, he will earn his third championship belt. Tickets will be $25.

Three more of the gym’s fighters — Damion Douglas, Travis Hill and Cody Cooper — are already training for an MMA event in January 2021.

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