We passed along news last month that Kenny Florian was in Hawaii, training with Hilo native and former UFC welterweight champion BJ Penn for his upcoming fight with Dokonojonsuke Mishima at UFC Fight Night 9 on April 5.
I just received Florian's email newsletter, which shares a few details on the experience.
Here's a snip:
"In January, I visited the Big Island in Hawaii, where I trained with one of the best pound for pound MMA fighters in the world, BJ "the Prodigy" Penn. BJ was a great host. Training, eating, surfing, hanging out at the beach, jumping off of waterfalls and more training was the norm. Needless to say, it was a sick experience! By the way, BJ will be a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 5, which will premiere on April 5th, right after Ultimate Fight Night 9."
Florian — a middleweight finalist in season one of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) — is returning to the Octagon for the first time since losing a bout with Sean Sherk at UFC 64 for the vacant UFC lightweight title.
He's been nursing an injured back, which hampered him in training for -- and during -- the Sherk fight, for months and has been working hard to get back to feeling 100 percent.
Here's another snip:
"... my main priority has been to strengthen my overall body, while becoming quicker and more explosive. Toward this goal, I have been working with a new addition to Team Florian, strength and conditioning coach Kevin Kearns. We have been doing some crazy stuff to improve my MMA game. I would tell you about it, but the ninjas may hunt me down and kill me for releasing their secrets. ;)"
I look forward to seeing a healthy — and improved — Kenny Florian in 2007. But, I'd prefer to see a healthy — and improved — BJ Penn a little bit more.
A lot more, actually.