Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A 'star' instructor

Before I discuss this, I want to fully disclose that I write for The Gazette. However, I am a business reporter and have no interaction whatsoever with any of the sports writers, though I know them to be great guys and even better workers. I was also not aware of this taking place prior to the article's publication, so I am in no way trying to endorse my full-time employer or bring it free publicity.

That said, The Gazette newspaper ran an article yesterday about UFC lightweight Kenny "KenFlo" Florian holding a Brazilian jiu-jitsu seminar at the Yamasaki Academy in Rockville. The academy was founded by Mario Yamasaki, who is a referee for both the UFC and for other mixed martial events, including Shogun Fights in Baltimore.

If Yamasaki wanted to bring in someone to help him teach his students, he would have had a tough time finding a better assistant. Florian was dominant in his last two fights, defeating competitors Takanori Gomi and Clay Guida each by submission. And though he lost his UFC Lightweight Title fight last year against BJ Penn, he held his own against Penn at a time when Penn was considered almost unbeatable.

Florian will fight again at UFC 118 in August against Gray Maynard in what is considered to be a No. 1 Contender fight for the Lightweight Title. If Yamasaki is the referee for that bout maybe they can reminisce about the time Florian stopped by Yamasaki's gym to provide some star-caliber instruction.

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