UFC® today announced the appointment of James Kimball as Vice President, Operations of its new 30,000 square foot Performance Institute currently being built in Las Vegas. Kimball, a six-year veteran of the world’s premier professional mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, will lead a team of experts in the planning, strategy and day-to-day operation of the athlete facility.
“James has been instrumental in the development of the Performance Institute from the very early stages, and we are proud to acknowledge his hard work and dedication and promote from within our team,” UFC Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein said. “From working with MMA athletes to understand their needs, to canvasing world-renowned performance facilities, to driving layout and expertise requirements, James has aptly shepherded the development of what will be the world’s leading MMA performance, research and innovation facility.”
Following WME | IMG’s acquisition of UFC in July, Kimball played an integral role in collaborating with IMG Academy, one of the world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education institutions, drawing on its decades of experience in the sports performance space.
“The IMG Academy team has worked with James over the last several months to apply our methodology and science-based approach to performance training to create world-class offerings for MMA athletes within UFC’s new Performance Institute,” remarked Sam Zussman, IMG’s President of Events, who also oversees IMG Academy. “Our team will work closely with James in this new capacity to continue driving innovation and offering athletes the best in training methodologies and resources.”
Most recently, Kimball served as Director of Athlete Development, focused on performance and education resources available to athletes competing in UFC. Previously, he held positions with Lagardere Unlimited and the Washington Wizards organization.
A native of Herndon, VA, Kimball received a BS in Health, Fitness, Recreation, and Sports Management from George Mason University followed by a graduate degree in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University.
Slated to open in May 2017, the UFC Performance Institute will provide athletes competing in UFC access to state-of-the-art facilities, technology, and experts across areas like sports science, nutrition and hydration to aid their training and rehabilitation.
A team of performance staff will be announced within the coming months.