Miami Marlins

A-Rod -- minus J.Lo -- attends his gym opening in Miami

Former New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez takes some playful jabs from daughters Natasha (left) and Ella (right) at the opening of his UFC GYM in Kendall last Thursday.
Former New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez takes some playful jabs from daughters Natasha (left) and Ella (right) at the opening of his UFC GYM in Kendall last Thursday. Courtesy UFC

Retired New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is flexing his business muscles in his hometown of Miami with the opening last Thursday of UFC GYM Kendall, and plans to expand to as many as 12 other South Florida locations.

Rodriguez attended the Grand Opening of the 30,000 square-foot gym, at the corner of Kendall Dr. and 107 Ave., with his mother Lourdes and daughters, 12-year-old Natasha and 9-year-old Ella. His girlfriend, actress Jennifer Lopez, was out of town working, but Rodriguez told PEOPLE magazine he is eager to show her the new facility.

“Jennifer and I work out together, and I can’t wait to bring her here to my new gym,” Rodriguez, 42, said. “She is a great jock, a former track star in school, and I enjoy working out with her.

“I do diverse lifting, yoga and pilates classes, and make sure I break a sweat at least five days a week. Plus, I eat heathy. I believe the right diet is 80 to 90 percent of the total program.”

He told Miami.com that he was especially proud to open a gym in Kendall, near where he grew up.

The UFC GYM brand is named for Ultimate Fighting Championship and blends traditional workout facilities with mixed martial arts. The Kendall gym has a 24-foot octagon, training and cardio machines, battle ropes, agility ladders, a bag room, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu studio and offers classes in kickboxing, women’s self-defense and youth fitness.

“As a Miami native, I am thrilled to now expand the UFC GYM brand across Miami,” Rodriguez said in a statement when he and partner Mark Mastrov announced plans for the gym last spring. “The UFC GYM brand represents the best in fitness and, starting with our Kendall facility, all of our members will have the opportunity to transform their lives with some of the most innovative training techniques utilized by the best athletes in the world.”

Rodriguez was plagued by allegations of steroid use during his career and was suspended for the 2014 season for using performance-enhancing drugs. He took business classes during his time off, and has been in the gym business for about 10 years, the first ones in Mexico.

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