Once home to UFC welterweight Alberto Mina, Epic MMA & Fitness has gone into sudden liquidation, with all five of its locations across Hong Kong closed with immediate effect.
A letter sent to members said a liquidation process started on 31 July and operations had been suspended. Epic’s Facebook, Instagram and website have also been removed.
Epic first opened its doors in 2012 and quickly expanded outside its high-end Central location to Tung Chung and Stanley. In 2015 the company acquired the respected MMA gym Triquest MMA, along with CrossFit brand 9Dragons. In more recent years Epic has sought to diversify its fitness offering by adding Yoga, Muay Thai, boxing and jiu-jitsu to its 800 or so members.
Joey Lee, operations director at Epic, told The South China Morning Post the closure was sudden.
“The decision came about very suddenly and after months of trying to get investors in to relocate to a new location, it has come to a point of no return.”
The move won’t come as a great shock to seasoned Hong Kong watchers, who have become accustomed to landlords around Central and Western districts pushing up rental prices to a point where where businesses go bust. Epic’s main location was in the heart of Hong Kong’s bustling retail district.
Alberto Mina responded to the news on social media.
“I woke up this morning and I have more than 120 text messages saying about the situation. That broke my heart when I read that,” he said in a Facebook post.
“To me Epic was and always will be family, Epic made my dream come true, today I fight for UFC and live in California for a better training, was very difficult leave HK but unfortunately I couldn’t keep up with the evolution of the sport working so many hours in Hong Kong.”
Mina said marketing, combined with very high rent was crucial to such a “tragic end”.
“This is what I think happened. Epic has been operating for more than five years when many others “small gyms” (at least 8 as far as I remember) close in very short time.”
He said Epic was very active and fearless marketing wise, offering different Martial arts and programs, bringing the best instructors and high level guests to Hong Kong. But Hong Kong didn’t absorb the idea.
“Before anyone point fingers I would like to ask: Hong Kong has the best restaurants, clubs, events and economy in the world. So how much cost to your wellness? Your life? You can’t bargain for your health correct?
“Fitness industry in HK normally are cheap, but people are okay to spend 5k in a dinner. Sad.”