photo 1 of 62
TRAINING: We have a 10am MMA sparring session, a 2pm boxing and kickboxing sparring session, and then at 6pm a 1-hr long grappling/BJJ deathmatch.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training BJJ at Ralph Gracie Jiu Jitsu in 1999. It was June 2002 when I got the call from a Japanese organization that needed a fighter at my weight in two weeks. I needed to make money to pay for my wedding that was in two months so I took the fight. I went to Japan, fought Raamba Somdet and won, came home and got married.
What ranks and titles have you held? Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, 2010 UFC Fan Expo Grapplers Quest, Las Vegas - Champion 139 and under, 2007 FILA Grappling World Championships - World Champion 62kg, 2006 BJJ Pan American Champion, 2006 Grapplers Quest Champion
Do you have any heroes? Kenny Florian, BJ Penn, Joachim Hansen, Antonio Carvalho, and Hiroyuki Abe
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? To fight in the UFC is an awesome opportunity to compete against the highest level of competition.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I was going to Skyline Jr. College for kinesiology when I got the call for my first fight in 2002. After that, I worked towards owning my own gym and didn’t complete my degree.
What was your job before you started fighting? I worked at Home Depot in the outside garden department.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I defeated Shuichiro Katsumura in a non-title bout while he was the Shooto World Champion, in September 2010.
Favorite grappling technique: Rear naked choke
Favorite Striking technique: Right kick