Followers of mixed martial arts
will soon enjoy rubbing shoulders with one of the sport’s biggest names.
Ultimate Fighting Championship star
Kenny Florian will be teaching two seminars in Grand Cayman on 12 June.
Florian, 33, a Peruvian-American
with a background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai, is one of the most
exciting and respected UFC fighters.
He is best known for his appearance
on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show where he lost the
middleweight final to Diego Sanchez.
Florian is world ranked No.6
lightweight and his speciality is deadly elbow strikes. A brilliant fighter with
exceptional talent, he hopes for a rematch with BJ Penn for the world title.
Local entrepreneurs Kirk Hendricks
and Bob Daigle have partnered up to put on these seminars.
“Our goal is for Cayman to be the
launching pad for MMA in the Caribbean,” Daigle, a karate instructor, said.
“This is the fastest growing sport in the world. Cayman needs to be a part
“We want to promote MMA in the
Cayman Islands. What better way than to have the local athletes train with the
best fighters in the world.
“This sport is a multi -billion
dollar industry. MMA is spreading across the world at a rapid pace. Cayman
needs to be ahead of the curve and position itself to be the major player in
“If we don’t, some other Caribbean
country will. Why does Cayman need this? Our sports tourism.
“Our goal is to host three or four
seminars minimum annually. Also we plan to host a seminar expo with a whole
team of top MMA stars teaching in Grand Cayman.
“When we hosted the Cayman Airways
International Karate championships for around 10 years back in the Nineties we
had over 250 people fly into Cayman for up to six days.
“Jamaica and several other
countries around the world travelled to Grand Cayman. This single day injected around
CI$250,000 into the economy. We plan to work with the department of tourism in
getting the word out about these seminars and the future expo.
“One of our other goals is to host
a world class MMA show here.
“Cayman proved it could host a
world class event in Jazz Fest 2010. Only time will tell how many would fly in
for a world class show and seminars here.
“Working with the department of
tourism and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association we plan to do our part to
pump some much needed revenue into the economy.
“Let’s talk about Jamaica for a moment.
It is a lot easier for them to travel here than to travel to Las Vegas or
anywhere in the US. The whole east coast would be our prime target market.
“We would promote Cayman and its
natural attractions like Stingray City, diving, the new motor museum and so on.
“MMA lovers will get the best of
both worlds; a world class sporting event and a Caribbean vacation all in one.”
Florian will also be making an
appearance for autographs and picture taking at the Aqua Beach bar and
restaurant, which is the No.1 MMA bar in the Cayman Islands.
Florian will be available for one
hour for fans prior to the pay-per-view event UFC 115 Chuck ‘Iceman’ Liddle
against Rich Franklin at Aqua Beach.