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Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El Train Mixed Martial Arts in Football Offseason

Because they were inspired by Kimbo Slice, no less:

Moss was intrigued by the training regimen in part because he had taken an interest in the career of another Miami-based athlete, Kevin Ferguson - known to most as the street fighter-turned-Internet sensation-turned-MMA star Kimbo Slice.

So Moss started working with Intorn, who grew up in the same part of Miami and also went to college at The U. Intorn has worked out several NFL players, including Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and Santana's little brother, Sinorice. He also trains professional kickboxers.

"It is funny, but when I get some of these [NFL] guys for their first workout with me, after the first five or 10 minutes they are on the ground dying - literally," Intorn said. "They say, 'I've never worked out like this before.' After they are with me I can see the transformation. They are more cut, and they make it through the workouts."

Moss isn't alone with his new-wave training techniques. The team's other starting wideout, Antwaan Randle El, also incorporated some mixed martial arts training into his offseason.

How the alternative methods affect Moss and Randle El long term remains to be seen, but there have been some immediate effects.

"If it was just run, run, run - that's something I could do, but I was losing some of my muscle mass. But I'm not losing as much this year," Randle El said. "I think the grappling [helps]. When you are on the ground wrestling with a guy - that's how it is when you catch a ball and you're tussling with a guy and trying to get out."

Added Intorn: "I think it definitely gives them better movability and more flexibility. I'm one of those guys who doesn't think you have to just always lift a ton of weights."

I don't know that grappling necessarily helps that much with shaking tackles or stripping flaccid-armed running backs, but it's noteworthy to see high profile professional athletes in a different sport embrace aspects of MMA and acknowledge their usefulness on multiple accounts.

Interesting to note, though, is the origin of their inspiration: Kimbo Slice. I am very hesitant to draw any racial insights here, but people do have a very normal proclivity for sameness. And for better or worse, there are likely millions of African American young men and teenagers who can personally identity with Kimbo Slice more readily than they can with Chuck Liddell or Rich Franklin. The same is probably true for Rampage. My hope is that the UFC and other MMA promotions can use their Latin and African American stars to better attract members of their respective demographics to the sport, both high and low profile. America's minority communities aren't as deeply enmeshed in MMA from a fan or participatory standpoint as they could be (As a small example, when it comes time for a UFC event, I never hear African American fighters on the local radio stations with large African American audiences selling the event.). I don't know that Kimbo Slice should necessarily be the poster boy for minority outreach efforts, but that those efforts could be buttressed with existing accomplished fighters seems to me incontestable.

More, please.