Going Beyond Homes: Revitalizing Beloved Community Gyms with UFC and Modelo

August 31, 2021
by Brian Sturgeon, Development and Communications Coordinator at Rebuilding Together Northeast Ohio

“Respect for all.” That is the one rule that local boxing gym Revolution Fight and Fitness (also known as “The Rev”) instills in its members. The Rev, located in Euclid, OH outside of Cleveland, was brought to life in 2018 by owner Tim Stafford. Stafford started his boxing career while serving in the Army, but afterwards continued coaching and even competed in the Masters Division of USA Boxing. After spending over 20 years in the fighting world, Stafford decided to recruit, organize and bring together the best coaches and fighters in his area by opening a new gym unlike any other. What had formerly been an old warehouse filled with junk was transformed into a training space by Stafford. Using his time off from his day job to come in and clear out the garbage, strip and scrub the floors, purchase and install second hand training equipment, build his own Jiu Jitsu mat from scratch and more, Tim established The Rev.

The mission of The Rev from day one has been to have a gym that creates a positive environment so athletes can truly thrive and reach their fullest potential. Since the beginning, many disadvantaged athletes have been invited to train at The Rev for free. The Rev also welcomes those who serve the community, offering the steepest veteran and first responder discount in the area. From the outset, Tim’s goal for The Rev has been to build an environment fostering a positive and tightly-knit group of members—and thanks to a dedicated and loyal team of coaches and fighters, he has made good on this promise.

The Rev struggled for its first year, but as Stafford learned from the Army and as he reinforces in each of his fighters, you may struggle, but you never quit. The Euclid community embraced The Rev and the gym was recently featured in The Euclid Observer’s Local Business Spotlight. In 2020, the pandemic brought a new set of challenges for The Rev. Stafford struggled to keep The Rev afloat as the state of Ohio issued shutdowns. For all of 2020, just making rent to stay in business had to be Stafford’s top priority. For this reason, many of the gym’s physical resources were not able to be kept up with, and they are all now wearing thin. Since the gym is in an old factory, the heating and cooling systems are inconsistent, old paint is flaking off the walls and ceiling pipes leak down into the boxing area. Broken lighting makes it dark in the cage. Both the ring and cage have taken a beating, too, and the cage floor is becoming loose and wrinkled.

Modelo, the beer brewed for those with The Fighting Spirit™, and long-standing partner UFC, heard about The Rev’s story and wanted to help. As a part of their new initiative with Rebuilding Together, Modelo and UFC are working to revitalize training gyms across the country, boosting the Fighting Spirit and ultimately strengthening these communities. Four gyms across the U.S. that play integral roles in positively shaping their local neighborhoods will receive repairs starting with The Rev in Ohio and following with gyms in Austin, TX, Saratoga, NY and Seattle, WA.

UFC heavyweight fighter, Stipe Miocic, and Revolution Fight and Fitness owner, Tim Stafford.

Gyms and sports facilities play a unique role in the well-being of our communities and the health of our neighbors. Rebuilding Together Northeast Ohio is excited to work with Modelo and UFC on the repairs to The Rev! With their help and support, The Rev can continue to carry out its mission successfully and impact the lives of fighters from all over the Cleveland area.