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TRAINING: Monday through Saturday MMA training from noon to 2 pm.Monday thru Friday 5pm to 6:30 pm technique and drill training, where we break down specifics like 2 days for Jiu-Jitsu, 2 days for takedown defense and attack and 1 day for strategy. Monday thru Friday - 7:30 to 9pm conditioning training
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started with Jiu-Jitsu when I was 17 years old, I fell in love with the sport and after all my conquests in Jiu-Jitsu and ADCC, MMA was my next challenge. I naturally moved on to MMA as a way of making a better living and combining it with what I love to do most, which is train and compete.
What ranks and titles have you held? Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, ADCC champion, among other titles.
Do you have any heroes? Yes I do have many heroes in life, and their examples help me keep on the right track. My parents, coaches, training partners, close friends and God.
What does it mean for you to fight in STRIKEFORCE? Everything. It’s a great place to show my skills and show to the world that I am among the top two of my weight division.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? Just basic education.
What was your job before you started fighting? I have competed in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments since I have started training, so that was my work, and I got through the years with help from friends, teammates and sponsors.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? There were a few pro divisions in Jiu-Jitsu by the time I was competing, but there was pretty much no money at all. The only pro competition out there was the ADCC and I had competed in 2003 ADCC Brazil, and still as a Brown belt I finished second in my weight division. In ADCC 2005 in Los Angeles, I won my weight division and finished second in the open division. ADCC 2009, I won the super fight against Robert Drysdale and now I am heading to ADCC 2011 in the UK to fight Braulio Estima.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu and Judo
Favorite grappling technique: anything that finished my opponents, but my favorites are triangles and armbars.
Favorite Striking technique: Jab and uppercut
What do you consider to be the key fight in your career, and why? Every fight has its own elements that helped me to get better and evolve for the next fight. But I would say my fight against Tim Kennedy. On that fight I showed that I can stand and go toe to toe, that I have good endurance for five rounds, and at the end I won my first middleweight belt.