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WME|IMG invites UFC roster to Las Vegas this weekend for ‘retreat’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A large chunk of the UFC roster will descend upon Las Vegas this weekend, and it won’t be for a fight.

WME|IMG, the new owners of the UFC, have invited the entire roster to Vegas for what they’re calling the “2017 UFC Athlete Retreat.” While every fighter was asked to attend, those with conflicting schedules are exempt. All travel expenses will be paid by the UFC.

“This event represents a unique opportunity for you to interact with your fellow athletes, UFC staff and your new ownership group, while hearing from a wide variety of experts across sports, entertainment and business,” an e-mail sent to the fighters earlier this week stated.

While WME|IMG co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell have attended events since buying the promotion last summer, they’ve yet to meet with the majority of the roster in an official capacity. This weekend could represent the first opportunity to do so. As a company, WME|IMG is known for holding events like this for its employees.

The retreat, which will be held at the new UFC offices in Las Vegas, will kick off on Friday with the grand opening of the UFC Performance Institute. Then on Saturday and Sunday, there will be over nine hours of events for the fighters to partake in.

The promotion has invited fighters to Las Vegas in the past for what they’ve called “a summit” but those have been staggered, and with the unveiling of the new UFC headquarters and an opportunity to meet the new ownership group, this year’s iteration proves to be unique.

Update: Here’s a list of the seminars/events the fighters will partake in over the weekend:

WME|IMG University
Business Beyond Sport
Building a Brand
Finding Purpose
Wellness Classes

UFC University
Hospital for Special Surgery
UFC Executive One-on-one sessions
Wellness Classes
Snoop Dogg concert

Kobe Bryant, Michael Strahan, Cari Champion and Brandon Marshall are among the notable names scheduled to speak to the fighters throughout the weekend.