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Performance Institute

Oura Ring: The Only Ring for the Octagon

Find out how the UFC Performance Institute and Oura Ring are providing smart ring technology and personalized guidance on sleep and overall health to fighters.

On September 15, the UFC Performance Institute announced an exciting new partnership with Oura to provide smart ring technology and personalized guidance on sleep and overall health to fighters.

After vetting various technologies and wearables for three years, the UFC Performance Institute staff chose the Oura Ring as its first-ever “Official Health Wearable” due to its accuracy, comfortability and ability to deliver powerful insights through an easy to use remote database.

Oura is a smart ring that tracks sleep, readiness and activity. The Oura Ring connects to an easy to use app that provides daily personalized insights as well as long term trends to help users improve sleep and recovery which allows athletes to perform at their best.

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With over 600 athletes around the world, being able to provide timely data that can lay the foundation for powerful conversations about what’s happening in an athlete’s body is crucial. And just over a month after Oura Ring teamed up with the UFC Performance Institute, Vice President of Performance Dr. Duncan French has already seen an outstanding response from athletes.

UFC featherweight Brian Ortega wearing the Oura Ring
UFC featherweight Brian Ortega wearing the Oura Ring

“It’s just days into the partnership, but the response from the athletes so far has been overwhelming. It’s been really fantastic and what we’re seeing is a maturity of athletes really taking pride and care in their health and their well-being, with health and well-being obviously being the foundation of performance,” Dr. French told UFC.com. “So, using insights around sleep habits, resting heart rate, respiratory rates, temperature – these are some key physiological variables that we can have conversations about and what that means in terms of an approach to better health, better well-being and ultimately how they’re going to improve their performance in the Octagon.”

The UFC Performance Institute’s vision is to further the evolution of human performance by utilizing the best science available – and they believe that Oura Ring fits that bill. By wearing an Oura Ring, Dr. French and his staff are able to develop individual baselines for athletes, identify trends in performance and gain an understanding into how the body is reacting to each component of training and recovery.

Wear What The Athlete's Wear

“What the Oura Ring allows us to do, what it's based on, is creating individual baselines which is another real powerful aspect to the tool, as well. It means we aren’t comparing athletes to each other; it means we are comparing athletes against themselves,” Dr. French said.

“Changing those trends across time is where you find the real nuance in making decisions. An athlete wearing the Oura Ring for a week to ten days is going to give us a real solid baseline and trend where we can then understand how their body is adapting to training stress, overload, lack of sleep, potential illnesses, and these types of things. It’s a fascinating tool for us.”

Introducing The Oura Ring
Introducing The Oura Ring
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Oura Ring is one of the only mainstream consumer wearables that measure body temperature directly from your skin rather than estimating it from your external environment. Temperature is a major factor in sleep analysis, athletic performance and can potentially detect signs of illnesses. 

Oura’s coaching platform maked it an efficient tool to determine critical insights into the physiological state of athletes worldwide. With that aggregated data, the UFC Performance Institute can put solid metrics around key decisions and make improvements to an athlete’s performance.

And in just over a month, it’s clear that athletes are excited about Oura Ring, and Dr. French expects the wearable to continue gaining popularity with fighters on the UFC roster. “In the first three or four weeks here, we have over 120 athletes that are already onboarded and have rings deployed, and they’re all around the world at this moment in time, which is fantastic,” Dr. French said. “Everywhere from New Zealand to Australia to Europe and then obviously here in North America, as well. It’s exciting and I think that’s what Oura brings to the table for ourselves at the PI - the potential to have conversations and insights around an athlete and their performance standards remotely when they’re not here in Las Vegas at the Performance Institute.”

A live look art the Oura Health app that syncs information with the Oura Ring.
A live look art the Oura Health app that syncs information with the Oura Ring.

Dr. Romin Fomin, who is the Director of Sport Science at the UFC Performance Institute, works directly with athletes and their Oura Ring data day-to-day. He’s already seen the efficiency of Oura Ring and he believes that the data it provides can assist in guiding athlete recommendations.

“Oura Ring gives us information and we are able to deliver to athletes that opt-in to the program. We identify contributing factors and then start building recommendations such as tips and tricks for athletes to apply the information in the most useful way possible,” Dr. Fomin said. “The Oura Ring will paint a true picture of something like sleep. An athlete may say, ‘I slept well last night,’ but we can see accurate data of when the athlete actually slept, how well they slept and then we can make accurate suggestions based off of the received data. Data is a critical component of this technology, and based off this data we can optimize performance.”

It may have taken three years to discover, vet and implement, but the Oura Ring certainly didn’t need much time to make an impact for the UFC Performance Institute and its athletes.

To learn more about the Oura Ring click here.