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TRAINING: A typical training day starts at 9am with Chris Merritt, my strength and conditioning coach. Our workouts consist of throwing around massive amounts of weights and usually end with a cardio workout that makes me want to vomit! (Laughs) Later that evening I head back to the gym, and depending on the day, I do some form of martial art, whether it be BJJ, Muay Thai, or wrestling--- sometimes all of the above. The evening classes usually end with live sparring. I spend about 4-6 hours a day training, everyday but Sunday!
When and why did you start training for fighting? I've been fighting all my life.... fighting for the right.... to Paaaaarty! LOL. No, but seriously, I first found out about MMA fighting from a UFC DVD from Blockbuster. I fell in love with the sport and had my first amateur fight six months after watching that DVD.
What ranks and titles have you held? I have held 4 amateur belts in two different weight classes - 145lbs and 155lbs; I also have held one professional belt at 135lbs.
Do you have any heroes? I have many heroes in my life. My number one hero is my Lord and savior Jesus Christ; God has given me an incredible life, filled with amazing family and friends. I have so much to be thankful for and I am very grateful for everything He has blessed me with. Another hero in my life is my father-in-law, who has been like a second father to me. I look up to him for the morals he lives by and the love he has for his family and I enjoy all the laughs we share together.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It means the world to me!!! Six years ago I set a very specific goal with my best friend Chris Merritt. That goal was to one day fight in the UFC, so not only am I accomplishing a goal, but I am fulfilling a dream!
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I actually went to a few colleges and wasted a lot of money on credits that never transferred. But I do have an associates degree of occupational study for personal training.
What was your job before you started fighting? I had many jobs throughout my MMA career and never kept any of them for more than a year. What can I say...I'm not cut out to be a 9 to 5er.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? As an amateur I have won the WKA Northeastern regional 145lbs and 155lbs titles, I have won the Total Cage Combat Featherweight Championship and the Vahalla Featherweight Championship.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I recently won the Ring of Combat Bantamweight Championship
Favorite grappling technique: I love the triangle choke!
Favorite Striking technique: Any strike that finishes with a knockout