Florian, GSP and Zahabi (bottom row, center) at the Tristar training camp.
Two-time UFC lightweight title challenger Kenny Florian is cutting down to 145lbs to face Diego Nunes at UFC 131. It will be Florian's featherweight debut and, if all goes according to plan, his first step on the way to challenging Jose Aldo for the title.
We've already talked to Florian's strength and conditioning coach and nutritionist, today SBN's Jonathan Snowden has an interview with Florian's new head trainer Firas Zahabi. Zahabi is best known for coaching UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. Will he be able to guide a second fighter to UFC gold?
Florian spoke to Snowden about working with Zahabi:
"Firas Zahabi is one of the best minds in mixed martial arts today," Florian said. "He's a guy who is constantly studying, evaluating. You can see it in the cage with his athletes, how they are performing and what they are doing. It's a different level of thinking, a different level of training. He's been a great addition to my team, inspired the other coaches around me and improved my overall game. He's working harder than anyone else and that's the way I like it. I want my coaches to be hard workers like myself. I don't want any of my coaches showing up late, I don't like any of my coaches saying they are going to do something and then not - this is a guy who's on top of everything, whether it is watching my practice video, studying my opponents, he's doing everything. He's taught me that hard work is king, that more is better."
He also spoke to Zahabi about working with Florian:
"Kenny is a real smart guy, a real intellectual person. When a guy is very intellectual like Kenny, I like to add a lot of different techniques," Zahabi said. "Some guys are more intuitive, more driven on instinct. With them I teach a handful of techniques and how to combine them in different ways. With a guy like Kenny, I like to diversify. Because of the way his mind works, he's able to absorb a lot of different techniques. You can even introduce contradictory techniques or concepts and he'll find a way to make them work."
He also talks about how Florian's game will change at featherweight, the potential impact of the weight cut on Florian's body and more.