UFC says signs deal to prepare Chinese Olympians

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) said on Wednesday it had signed a multi-year deal to prepare China’s athletes for the next two Olympics at its “Performance Institute” in Shanghai.

The Las Vegas-based mixed martial arts organisation, which opened the vast $13 million facility last year, said it would act as “Official High Performance Advisor” to the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC).

“UFC will provide a variety of high performance physical and rehabilitation services to Chinese athletes, with a focus on strength and conditioning, sports science, physical therapy and nutrition,” UFC said a statement.

China is expected to send a team of more than 400 athletes to the postponed Tokyo Olympics, now scheduled for next year, and will host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

“Enhancing physical training and making up for the weakness in physical strength is the foundation of preparation for the Olympics,” UFC quoted the COC office of preparation as saying.

“We are delighted to work with the UFC and send elite athletes to the UFC Performance Institute Shanghai to take part in physical and recovery training.”

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Robert Birsel