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TRAINING: Training for this fight is the same as always; I train with great guys and have amazing coaches. I am back to my old ways of hard work every single day.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started wrestling at five years old and went on to wrestle for Cleveland State University. After finishing my wrestling career, I still had the urge to compete and I started training MMA.
What ranks and titles have you held? I am the title holder for Elite Combat League and Supreme Warrior Championships
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It’s the greatest feeling in the world. I feel like all my hard work over the past seven years is finally paying off. I always knew I could compete at the highest level in this sport, and now I get the opportunity to show the rest of the world just that!
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I went to college at Cleveland State University, but do not have a degree.
What was your job before you started fighting? I had a lot of different jobs in the construction field. Manual labor is not for me, and I quickly realized that a 9 to 5 is not something I’m ok with. I used it as motivation to become successful and make a career out of MMA.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? I was 6-0 as an amateur
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I fought all over the Midwest for small pay checks. I continued to get better each fight, and my career really turned around when I moved to Texas in March of 2007. Since then I been able to train full time, and have since won two different titles, and been able to fight on National TV multiple times.
If any, list ranks in any martial arts styles: I am a brown belt in BJJ and two-time All-American at USA Junior Nationals. A seven time AAU national champ in wrestling.
Favorite grappling technique: Kimura and D’arce choke
Favorite striking technique: Clinch work, and body punches