In recent memory, not many groups have made big names for themselves very quickly in the MMA world. The group of fighters from Imperial Athletics, referred to as the "Blackzilians", however, have done exactly that. The group features mainly, you guessed it, black and Brazilian fighters. They brought together a tightly knit group of elite fighters, including the likes of Rashad Evans, Tyrone Spong, Alistair Overeem, Melvin Guillard, and Eddie Alvarez.
One of their most important and beloved coaches, Mike Van Arsdale, announced today on twitter that he would no longer be with the team regularly. He has instead opted to move back to Arizona permanently to raise his kids, a very commendable reason to leave the team. Despite giving up his position at the camp, he said he'd try to get in to help the Blackzilian team if need be, but to a much lesser extent than before. Here is the tweet from Van Arsdale:
@oneandonlylynxI returned 2 AZ 2 raise my children.I'll be working with the B.Z.'s on an as needed basis.The team will be fine-so will I.— Mike Van Arsdale (@coachvanarsdale) July 30, 2012
It isn't clear how some fighters there will view this. Van Arsdale was a big part of that team, and he helped forge some of the bonds between the fighters there. With Van Arsdale gone, some of the top guys from that gym may want to find other gyms to train at. It will be interesting to see reactions from other Blackzilians.