Sports Podcast - Episode 20published 30 Aug 2023

Data-Driven Training in the UFC – with Roman Fomin, Director of Sport Science at the Ultimate Fighting Championship – Ep. 20

Welcome to the Firstbeat Sports Podcast where we talk with coaches and sports scientists to explore the latest in performance monitoring and how it is making a difference in NCAA and pro sports alike. We’re going to connect you with practical advice from the best in the business to help you take your athletes to the next level.

In this episode, we’re chatting with Roman Fomin, a Firstbeat client since 2021. Roman is Director of Sport Science at the Ultimate Fighting Championship, based at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, a state-of-the-art, 130,000-square-foot production facility that opened in 2019.

Roman has a Ph.D. in Physiology and more than 20 years of experience in sports science, technology, and performance. He has been with the UFC since 2018, and prior to that he worked as Director of Research & Science Innovations for Omegawave, and as a Senior Research Scientist for the Research Centre of Sports Medicine in Moscow.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Working with over 50 technologies – when is there too much technology in sport science?
  • How to effectively communicate performance data to athletes
  • Why everything has a cost – an athlete’s resources are limited
  • How Firstbeat helps Roman in training UFC athletes
  • Roman’s advice for aspiring sports scientists


  • Roman’s background (2:00)
  • Roman’s role in UFC and tools they use (3:38)
  • Over 50 different technologies with UFC athletes – how is it balanced? (7:25)
  • Are UFC athletes interested in their performance data? (14:08)
  • What does Roman mean with “Biological money”? (17:31)
  • Has Roman seen athletes out of shape before training camp, but ended up dominating UFC after camp ended? (22:20)
  • What made Roman and UFC go with Firstbeat? (30:38)
  • What Firstbeat metrics does Roman focus on with UFC athletes? (37:28)
  • How much does external and psychological factors affect training data? (41:07)
  • Roman’s career tips to young sport scientists (43:56)

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