Algonquin students train with UFC Fighter
Flyweight Demetrious Khrisna Johnson comes to school for training session.
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Meg Garrioch is on the small side, but combat training has helped her confidence grow.
Garroich was one of the students who got to train with Demetrious Khrisna Johnson, flyweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), who gave a special workshop at Algonquin College on Nov. 22.
At about five-foot-four and 150 lbs, Garroich is used to being one of the smaller people in fighting classes, but even she is slightly bigger than Johnson, at about five-foot-three and 125 lbs.
Johnson is nicknamed “Mighty Mouse” for a reason. Pound for pound, he is the number-1 ranked fighter in the UFC, and he holds the record for longest championship reign at eleven title defenses.
“I have a lot of respect for him because he’s a smaller person in the sport,” Garroich said.
Garroich, 23, said she used to be a much more shy person than she is today. It was in her last semester at college two years ago a female friend of hers invited her to give Muay Thai lessons a try.
It went well at first, but when her friend stopped taking the class, Garroich was a little intimidated at the prospect of being the only woman in the class. But she stuck with it, and loved it so much she also tried her hand at Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts.
“The people I train with now are like family. They brought this whole other side of my personality out. I’m more confident in everyday life,” she said. “I was never athletic growing up, but I’ve seen so much change on the mats, I know I can go out into the real world with that same change and growth.”
About 30 people, both Algonquin College students and members of the public, attended the workshop with Johnson where he showed them some fighting techniques he’s fond of.
“One of the things I love about mixed martial arts is you can use different aspects of martial arts to get the position you want. I’m an arm bar guy,” said Johnson.