TRAINING: We had some of the worst weather during this training camp so because I missed days being snowed in, I hit two a days everyday that I wasn’t stuck in the house. I missed probably six days of training because of the blizzard and bad road conditions so I made up for that by increasing my strength and conditioning from 2 times a week to 4 times. On a normal training day I go into strength and conditioning around noon and leave just before 2. After I eat and rest I go into practice at 6 and train there till 8 or 830. I hang out with my family after that and get ready for the next day to do it all again.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I have always been really competitive. I graduated high school and missed wrestling. I got in many street fights before I started living for Jesus. I started training under Steve Crawford in 2000 in jiu-jitsu. Had my first unsanctioned fight three days later and was hooked.
Do you have any heroes? Jesus. Not many people would lay down their life for people who cursed them and spit on them. My Dad. I hear the horror stories of a lot of people’s childhoods and I was certainly lucky to have a great family life. My dad is a great guy who busts his butt for his family and never complains about having to do it. He was a great role model and helped shape me into who I am. When it comes to fighters, Wanderlei Silva. I tried to fight just like him when I started.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It means I accomplished a dream. I said I was going to do this when I was fourteen. I feel blessed because only a small percentage of people get to make a living doing what they dreamed of doing.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? Yes, I went to the community college but dropped out and got certified as a personal trainer instead.
What was your job before you started fighting? I worked as a painter, tree trimmer, laborer, factory worker, warehouse worker, personal trainer, Alarm system salesman, and other stuff too. I hated pretty much all of it. I didn’t become a fighter, I was born one. God formed me in the womb to bust heads.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? I was 15-0 (13 knockouts 2 submissions) as an amateur fighter. I held three titles, one at heavyweight, one at light heavy and one at middleweight.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I won the World Series of Rumble welterweight title, the American Bushido Grand Prix Championship (16 man tourney), and the defunct IFO welterweight championship.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: 3rd degree black belt in American Jiu-jitsu.
Favorite grappling technique: Whatever my opponent gives me.
Favorite Striking technique: Elbows