Major chain gym suddenly closes without telling members and staff in Mississauga

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Published March 23, 2023 at 4:03 pm

UFC Gym Mississauga suddenly closed on the weekend, catching members and staff by surprise.

When the gym opened at 3900 Grand Park Drive, Mississauga in late 2015, it was celebrated as the first UFC gym in Ontario. It opened with a ribbon cutting and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie welcoming the new business.

Excited to join Roland Bissoon for the grand opening of the 1st @UFC gym in Ontario right here in Mississauga,” the mayor tweeted on Jan. 23, 2016.

UFC Gyms offer fitness classes, private MMA training, personal and group training along with weights and exercise machines. This combination of machines, weights and boxing equipment, reasonable membership fees along with the central location near Square One was attractive to many members.

But after five years as a loyal member, working out every day, Rich Lang arrived at the gym on Saturday, March 18 and found a sign on the door telling him it had closed for renovations.

“When I got there on the 18th, they had covered up the windows with those workout mats — which is very odd,” Lang tells insauga.com.

There were renovations in the past but the gym never covered the windows.

Lang had just been there the day before and heard nothing. The sign said they would be reopening on March 20 at 6 a.m. so he waited and came back bright and early on Monday.

“And they weren’t open.”

ufc gym mississauga closed

Calls go to voicemail, and a message to Instagram wasn’t answered. The Instagram account was later deleted. Attempts by insauga.com to reach the gym and UFC Gyms went unanswered.

The gym is now marked as permanently closed on Google, but it was still listed on the UFC Gym franchise site as of March 23.

Several people posted on Google reviews that the gym had closed.

“They shut down with no warning,” one person wrote.

“They have been closed for the past 2 nights, no email or updates from anyone,” another wrote. “I have been calling and it goes straight to voicemail. Even their app does not show any classes or why? Very unprofessional as they continue to bill in full. Horrible communication.”

Lang returned to the gym on Tuesday night and some of the mats had fallen down. He could see the gym had been mostly cleared out, aside from a few chairs and small items.

ufc gym mississauga

He paid $609 for an annual membership and doesn’t think he will get it back. Lang says he is going to try and dispute the charges with his bank.

Others also noted how they were now out funds on posts to Google Reviews.

“I paid $100 and managed to train only once, after which the gym closed without warning and the equipment was taken away from it. It is very offensive that this happened, I am very angry.”

Matthew Bradley, a part-time boxing coach at the gym right up until the closure, says no one informed him of the closure.

Like many people, Bradley arrived on Saturday, March 18 and saw the sign. He came back Sunday and again Tuesday when he was scheduled to teach but couldn’t get in. He called the person he thought was his manager only to find out that person had left a few weeks earlier.

By Tuesday, the gym had been cleared out.

“Virtually nothing is left,” he said. “It’s pretty much empty now.”

 

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Bradley is out just under $200 in wages, which doesn’t seem like much, but he relied on the money.

“For me, it’s a full tank of gas and some groceries.”

But Bradley feels bad for the members.

“Really the people I feel sorry for are the students and people who paid the membership fees, they paid for a gym,” he says. “It sucks.”

Bradley was there for a year and there were times when he had to ask management for his pay, and he noticed “a revolving door of trainers” who came and went. He heard other staff members weren’t paid. The person who hired him just walked out of the gym and never came back.

A former staff member tells insauga.com she quit back in 2019 after her paycheques repeatedly came up short.

“The staff and members were the highlight of my days and I greatly looked forward to working,” she says.

But she put in her notice after a few unpleasant run-ins with the owner over her paycheques. After she left, she heard from other former staff members who had similar experiences.

Bradley had suspicions that the gym would fold one day.

“I said to myself a few months back: ‘one day I am going to come here and all the stuff is going to be gone, I just know it,’ so that day finally came,” Bradley says.

Although Bradley says he doesn’t have the funds or time to fight the lost pay, he wonders if some staff members might.

“Of all the people to take money from and abuse, pro-fighters isn’t the smartest choice,” he says.

For the members though, losing the gym also meant losing a community.

“This was my second home for five years, I would go there every day,” Lang says.

“We were really a tight-knit group, that’s what’s so heartbreaking about this,” Bradley adds.

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