I'm a subscriber to the UFC Latino YouTube channel because I'm curious to see what sort of content is getting pumped out to the portion of market who either needs or prefers to get their UFC multimedia fix in Spanish. Much to my surprise, a video of UFC featherweight contender and ESPN analyst Kenny Florian popped up. I knew he was a Peruvian-American technically speaking, but I wanted to hear how good his Spanish actually is.
I'll say up front I'm not a judge of language fluency or proficiency. I took several years of French in high school, two years of Spanish in college and have a live-in girlfriend whose first language is Spanish. In other words, I know very little, although I hear Spanish, quite literally, on a daily basis.
To my ear, his accent sounds excellent and a little more natural than Cain Velasquez's. My girlfriend tells me his speaking ability is rather good, although she noted he mixed up gender identification on a couple of words.
I'm sure the UFC has plenty of excellent, native speakers in Spanish to help out with whatever broadcasts they use for Latino audiences, but one wonders why Florian hasn't been more directly incorporated into that demographic's outreach. He's a credible talent with a proper language and ethnic base (Florian's parents are Peruvian).
My only real hunch is that Florian's family is South American, which is culturally only marginally closer in proximity to Mexico than America, and the Mexican or Central American or Caribbean Latino audience are the more traditional fight fans the UFC is trying to secure.