EUCLID, Ohio — Former two-time UFC heavyweight champion and Northeast Ohio native Stipe Miocic is no stranger to giving back to his community, even serving as a firefighter at the Oakwood and Valley View fire departments. But this week, Miocic gave back to his hometown of Euclid in a new way, helping to revitalize a local gym.
Revolution Fight & Fitness is a veteran-owned gym that trains disadvantaged athletes, offers discounts for first responders and aims to use the lessons learned at the gym to better the community.
Miocic, partnering with Modelo beer and UFC, kicked off a national initiative with Rebuilding Together, a non-profit organization that revitalizes and refurbishes gyms across the country. The organization targets gyms that positively shape the communities they're in and Revolution Fight & Fitness was the first gym on the list.
"Luckily I was the first one on the stop so it doesn't get better than that," Miocic said.
Miocic helped give the gym a fresh coat of paint, hung new punching bags and laid new flooring down, and was more than happy to lend the hand.
"Did a little paining, no big deal, put up a bag—that's what I do," Miocic said.
Being able to make an impact on his hometown is something that means the world to Miocic.
"It means everything to me because my whole career, not even just with fighting but just growing up as a kid, I've been helped out a lot," Miocic said. "I just wanted to give back, I love giving back. I think that if you give back you might make someone's day, month, year, life, you don't know. It makes you feel like a better person, it makes you feel like you did something."
And this project in particular embodied a cause that is near and dear to Miocic's heart.
"It's keeping people out of trouble, kids, older kids, out of trouble. They're not doing dumb things," Miocic said. "When I started training it helped me stay out of trouble because I wasn't going out all of the time because I was training and that's what I was worried about and I was beat up and sore so I didn't want to do anything. I wanted to stay home and save my money and do my thing and it was great. That's what I love about what they're doing here with the revitalizing the gyms."
Revolution Fight & Fitness has not only helped youth in the area chose better paths, but the gym has also produced successful fighters, including local boxer Montana Love, who is featured on the undercard of the Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley pay-per-view fight at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Sunday night.
Miocic hopes that giving the Euclid gym a new look can help draw in the next generation of fighters and inspire them to focus their energy on something positive.
"For kids that are thinking about doing it—do it. Worst thing is you don't like it but I'm telling you you're going to love it. No one's ever said they do not like punching a bag," Miocic laughed. "It gives them responsibility, it gives them discipline, it gives them organization of what they're going to do...it gives them almost a lesson of adulthood."
Revolution Fight & Fitness is located at 20001 Euclid Ave.
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