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UFC Star I'm Training with Bruce Leroy HIMSELF

EXCLUSIVE
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WHO'S DA MASTAH??? UFC middleweight badass Demian Maia ... because his new trainer is none other than BRUCE LEROY from the 80s cult classic "The Last Dragon."

Leroy -- real name Taimak (right) -- tells TMZ, he met Maia during a recent training session in New York ... and they immediately hit it off.

According to Taimak -- an accomplished martial artist in his own right -- Maia approached him in the gym, claiming he was a big "Last Dragon" fan (who isn't?) and the two kept in touch.

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Now, Taimak says he and Maia have started to train together -- prepping Maia for his upcoming UFC 148 bout against Korean badass Kim Dong-Hyun, who's lost only ONE fight in his pro career.

As for training details -- Taimak was tight-lipped, not wanting to tip off Maia's Korean competition.

Sho'nuff.
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