SAN DIEGO -- James Wilks, of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fame, attended the June 1 dedication of a new shipboard gym on the Navy’s USNS Carl Brashear.

The ship’s gym was outfitted with new weight lifting equipment and rubber floor mats. The project was made possible by Morale Welfare and Recreation Navy Region, Southwest, as well as the Military Detachment, and Deck, Engineering and Supply Departments aboard the ship.

Wilks is a mixed martial arts expert and trainer at his gym, Lightning MMA in Laguna Hills, CA. He donated a pair of gloves that he wore in a recent UFC fight against Frank Lester and an autographed T-shirt to the gym to commemorate the occasion.

The UFC fighter voiced his admiration for the ship’s namesake, Master Chief Brashear, and his famous quote, “It’s not a sin to get knocked down. It’s a sin to stay down.” Wilks said that during a recent UFC bout he was knocked down but overcame the setback to win the fight.

He also expressed gratitude for the sacrifices made for the United States by all Navy and military personnel.