TRAINING: A typical day of training is never typical. The only thing that I work on every day is wrestling, as it is always incorporated in my training regimen. Everything else is a different story. Since the fight can go anywhere and anything can happen, I work on all aspects of mixed martial arts, where boxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, conditioning, kickboxing is all worked on throughout the week, as well as sparring.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started martial arts when I was only seven years old. The training was great and I fell in love with the idea of combat and competition. When I turned nine, my parents could not afford the lessons anymore so I was put in soccer by my dad. At fourteen, I started to take kickboxing lessons from a local gym and paid for it with money I made doing landscaping work. Kickboxing gave me a good base for my stand-up but at school when I fought with my friends who wrestled, I never did well when the fight hit the floor. Finally at eighteen, my good friend introduced me to a man who taught Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After that, everything fell into place with my fight career. Paying for college with my fight purses, I made sure that I fought at least four to five times a semester. I graduated and figured out that I made more money teaching and fighting so I decided to make it my life.
What ranks and titles do you have? Former WEC Bantamweight Champion. Black belt in BJJ under Carlson Gracie. Total Fight Challenge, Iron Heart Crown, Shooto Americas 132-pound, Extreme Shootfighting, and Superbrawl Champion. Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Do you have any heroes? Yes, my father, for always being there for me and teaching me the value of hard work and dedication.
What is you favorite technique? I love the art of knocking someone out. If MMA was not around, I would be a pro boxer. On the ground I like the arm triangle, I can set it up from so many different positions.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? For me, being able to fight in the UFC is a lifelong dream. I've watched the UFC since the very first show and to be a part of it now is an honor. I always trained my hardest, but all the experiences I've had in the past, combined with my newfound wisdom and great team will guide me down the right path in my walk with the UFC.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I went to Purdue University and earned a degree in Marketing.
What was your job before you started fighting? I worked in a hospital as a Radiologist’s assistant for five years. Perfect job for a fighter.