On May 12th, mere weeks after legendary world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield’s visit to Vancouver’s FKP MMA academy, the front-running school once again played host to a combat sports luminary as FKP joined with Bad Boy clothing to present a members-only seminar with UFC welterweight contender Demain Maia.
The seminar was part of a short western-Canadian jaunt by Maia and his manager Eduardo Alonso, with its sole BC stop being FKP MMA’s East Vancouver location. The five-time world BJJ champion and fast-climbing UFC welterweight’s second visit to our city (in 2011 he battled Mark Munoz at UFC 131 in Rogers Arena) inspired praise from the Brazilian battler. “I like Vancouver,” he said. “It’s very multicultural. It is similar to Brazil in that way — you don’t see it so much in the United States.” Financed by Bad Boy, the seminar was offered to a limited number of FKP MMA fight team members and students, who were taken through a variety of standing and groundfighting techniques. Surprisingly, the very first move that Maia demonstrated was not a BJJ move, but rather a wrestling takedown.
“I love to train wrestling,” he enthused, a sentiment that’s borne out by the improvements that he’s recently shown in that area. During a few idle moments, I took the opportunity to pick the brains of Maia and his manager Eduardo Alonso regarding Maia’s scheduled battle with Josh Koscheck at UFC 163. “Obviously, we feel that Demian’s success since moving from middleweight to welterweight should qualify him for big opponents, and Koscheck is not as big a name as he used to be,” said Alonso. “But at the same time, Josh is a very dangerous guy and an excellent test for Demian. We eventually want to see Demian in the cage with Georges [St. Pierre], who has strong wrestling. Of course we know that if Demian can’t beat Koscheck, he won’t beat Georges, but we also know that if Demian can cope with Koscheck’s wrestling, then he can handles Georges’. So this is a good way to measure Demian’s wrestling skill and overall skill at this point. I am confident that he will pass the test.” One thing for sure is that the skill of the FKP faithful in attendance went up by a significant margin during Maia’s seminar. In spite of initially being concerned about communication issues due to English being his second language, Maia proved to be a more than capable teacher as he passed on a handful of innovative grappling maneuvers. “Visits like this one are all part of the FKP system,” said academy founder Chris “Mjolnir” Franco. “This is Canada’s first and best MMA school, and I like to reinforce that by giving the students as many inspirational examples as possible of how far dedication can take you. Bringing people like Evander and Demian through here from time to time and allowing the students to rub shoulders with greatness spurs them on to achieve that greatness themselves.” Keep your eyes peeled for news of the next combat sport heavy-hitter to be treading the mats at FKP MMA!