The Team

The Team

JAMES KIMBALL
VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS

James Kimball serves as the Vice President of Operations for the UFC Performance Institute.  Kimball oversees the 30,000 square-foot-state-of-the-art facility built to provide UFC athletes with holistic performance optimization services. 

Aligned with the overall strategy of the UFC and the UFC Performance Institute the VP, Kimball leads all aspects of business and logistical operations within the UFC PI.  A veteran UFC employee, Kimball joined the UFC in 2010, most recently serving as Director of Athlete Development where he focused the provision of performance and education resources to UFC athletes.  As Vice President of Operations, Kimball continues to work with UFC athletes to better understand their needs in order to best package and deliver complimentary performance and education resources in the world's leading MMA performance, research and innovation facility.

Prior to UFC he held positions with Lagardere Unlimited and the Washington Wizards organization.  A native of Herndon,  VA, Kimball received a BS in Health, Fitness, Recreation and Sports Management from George Mason University followed by a Master's degree in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University.  Kimball currently resides in Las Vegas with his wife, Jennifer.

FORREST GRIFFIN
VICE PRESIDENT OF ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT

Forrest Griffin serves as Vice President of Athlete Development for UFC. Griffin joined UFC’s front office following a Hall of Fame career that included winning the inaugural season of the groundbreaking reality show The Ultimate Fighter® and capturing the light heavyweight championship. In his current role, Griffin is responsible for developing and executing key athlete-based initiatives, as well as supporting the conception, expansion, and implementation of athlete summits, aimed at assisting current and former UFC athletes with enhancing their life skills outside of the Octagon.

Griffin began his UFC professional career as Vice President of Community Outreach. During this time, he was responsible for promoting the global brand’s continued efforts of giving back to the community by developing relationships with local organizations, supporting various initiatives and overseeing the company’s extensive social responsibility / public outreach programs. Griffin entered UFC during the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter® in 2005. After earning a spot in the show’s finale, Griffin and fellow Hall of Famer Stephan Bonner engaged in a thrilling fight that is widely regarded as the launching platform for MMA’s current success and popularity.

During his UFC career, Griffin held notable victories over Rich Franklin, Mauricio Rua and Quinton Jackson, at which time he captured the light heavyweight championship. Griffin closed his professional competing career in 2012 with a victory over fellow UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz. He ended his career with a record of 19-7.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Griffin earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia. He resides in Las Vegas with his wife, Jaime and daughter, Ella (5).

DUNCAN FRENCH, PHD
VICE PRESIDENT OF PERFORMANCE

Globally recognized as a leading expert in high performance sport, Dr. Duncan French has over 20 years of experience working with elite professional and Olympic athletes. Prior to joining the UFC, French was the Director of Performance Science at the University of Notre Dame, where he was responsible for directing sport-specific technical interfaces that maximized the impact of performance services. Before residing in the US, French was a Technical Lead for Strength & Conditioning at the English Institute of Sport. He has worked three full Olympic cycles, and has been the national lead for strength and conditioning to both Great Britain Basketball and more recently Great Britain Taekwondo’s Olympic programs since 2004. As a strength and conditioning coach French has coached a host of Olympic, World Championship, and Commonwealth Games medalists, as well as world-record holders from a variety of different sports. For 3 seasons between 2009-12, French served as the Head of Strength & Conditioning at Newcastle United Football Club in the Barclays English Premier League.

French earned his PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Connecticut in 2004. His research interests lay in the optimization of human performance, neuroendocrine responses to resistance training, strength diagnostics, and the mechanisms of recovery and regeneration. French has authored or co-authored 60 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and seven book chapters. In 2010 he was the recipient of the Terry J. Housh Outstanding Young Investigator of the Year Award from the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). He currently serves as an editorial board member for the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. He is a fully accredited strength and conditioning coach with the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA), and the NSCA, and holds a USA weightlifting certification. French was the chairman of the UKSCA from 2011-13 and received an Honorary Fellowship in 2014 for his services to the strength and conditioning industry.

BO SANDOVAL
DIRECTOR OF STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

Bo Sandoval serves as the Director of Strength and Conditioning for the UFC Performance Institute. Sandoval leads the development and implementation of all strength and conditioning aspects within the UFC PI.  In collaboration with the VP of Performance, Sandoval plays an integral role in the continued development of the world’s leading training institution in terms of performance, welfare, and research regarding mixed martial arts.  Over the course of his career, he has designed and implemented comprehensive performance training programs for several NCAA Champions, National Champions, Paralympians, and Olympians in a multitude of sports and disciplines, including Wrestling, Judo, Boxing, Fencing, Figure Skating, Track & Field, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, and Lacrosse.  Sandoval’s professional experience includes speaking engagements around the globe covering training topics regarding Wrestling, Judo, Weightlifting, and Programming in continents such as North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Additionally, he was selected by USA Weightlifting to serve as the Men’s Head Coach for the Olympic Test Event held in Rio De Janiero Brazil prior to the 2016 Olympic Games.    

A 2017 graduate of the Sports Management Institute Executive Program, Sandoval’s rise through the profession began at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he completed both his Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science degrees. Following stints at Belhaven College as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and the United States Olympic Training Center as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist within the Acrobat and Combat Sport-folio, Sandoval most recently served as the Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning for Olympic Sports at the University of Michigan (UM).  While at UM, he expanded his involvement with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), participating in multiple Special Interest Groups, as well as serving as a subject matter expert on Weightlifting for the Essential Lifts Certification and Curriculum, and was honored by the NSCA as the 2015 College Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year.  

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Bo and his wife Amanda enjoy spending time outdoors with their son Grayson Thomas, and their two German Shorthaired Pointers, Hank and Cash.

CLINT WATTENBERG, MS RD
DIRECTOR OF NUTRITION

Clint Wattenberg comes to the UFC after spending 19 years at Cornell University as a student athlete (wrestling), Assistant Wrestling Coach, Graduate Student (Exercise Physiology-Ithaca College), Sports Dietitian and Eating Disorder Nutrition Counselor. As the Coordinator of Sports Nutrition for the past 4 years, Clint has worked with all 37 varsity teams and nearly 1,100 student athletes, but none closer than the Big Red Wrestling Team.

Through his own practical experience as a college wrestler struggling to make weight, a student of nutritional sciences and exercise physiology, a coach and a sport dietitian, Clint has worked extensively to systematize and simplify nutrition and weight management for weight class athletes. Clint speaks on the topic at a variety of conferences and wrote a comprehensive eBook on the subject entitled “Performance Nutrition for Wrestlers” that guides athletes, parents, coaches, athletic trainers, and even sport dietitians through the nuances of fueling throughout the season including weight management and weight descents.

As an athlete, Clint was an NCAA All-American and three-year captain for the Big Red and represented the USA Freestyle National Wrestling Team. As a coach, Clint has coached several All-Americans and NCAA Champions and has coached wrestling and counseled on nutrition for MMA athletes.

Clint is joined in Las Vegas, NV by his wife Sarah, daughter Payton (5) and son Landon (3). 

HEATHER LINDEN
DIRECTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY

Heather Linden serves as the Director of Physical Therapy for the UFC Performance Institute. Prior to joining the UFC, Heather worked at the United States Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Division and was the director of an outpatient orthopedic clinic in Los Angeles.

Heather’s previous title at the USOC was Senior High Performance Health Care Service Provider-Physical Therapist. She worked at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center Clinic as part of the USOC’s multi-disciplinary sports medicine team. Heather was on staff for Team USA for the 2012 London Olympic Games, 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, 2015 Parapan Am Games, 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Heather’s responsibilities at the USOC were injury prevention, designing and implementing rehabs, aiding in Elite Athlete Health Profiles, daily treatments, and practice/competition coverage.


Heather is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and supports the Orthopedic Sections within APTA. Heather is a Credentialed Clinical Instructor by the APTA. Her certifications include Pilates Instructor, Kinesio-Tape Techniques, Mobilization with Movement, Graston, Dry Needling, Functional Movement Screen, Myofascial Decompression, Myofascial Manipulation, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, Postural Restoration, and Selective Functional Movement Assessment. Heather has diverse experience in areas from pediatrics, geriatrics, amputees to vestibular disturbances; her career specialty is orthopedic manual sports physical therapy. 


Linden received her Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Tech University and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Old Dominion University. She was an honors graduate and a collegiate varsity athlete.