TRAINING: Mornings are strength and conditioning, mitts, and some situational training, and nights are sparring two nights a week and wrestling and/or BJJ two nights a week. After scheduled practices, when preparing for a fight I will throw in extra rounds of jump roping, conditioning or sprint work, etc. Anything to push myself a little harder every day.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I began training Tae Kwon Do in 1996, started boxing in 1998 and began training mixed martial arts in October 2006.
What ranks and titles have you held? Blue Blood MMA 155 and 145 professional titles and Victory Fighting Championship 155lb title as well as a black belt in the Miletich Fighting Systems.
Do you have any heroes? My mother and father. I am the youngest of eight children and they have fought their way through life to give us everything they could. Their fighting spirit is deeply instilled in my heart.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It's an honor and a dream come true. It's the culmination of all the years of sacrifice and hard work finally coming together. Feels like I've started fighting all over again.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I attended a local community college for a year and dropped out to solely focus on fighting
What was your job before you started fighting? For the past two years I've been coaching at Galaxy Fitness in Bettendorf, Iowa, and before that I did anything I could to get a paycheck as I was trying to put everything into the sport.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? As an amateur I went undefeated with a record of 10-0
Favorite grappling technique: I like any type of choke(s)
Favorite striking technique: Liver shot. Folding someone up like an envelope is one of the best feelings