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TRAINING: One to three training sessions per day, seven days per week. I train in boxing, wrestling and jiu-jitsu, backed up by a strong strength & conditioning program.
When and why did you start training for fighting? It more or less happened by accident. A friend took me with him to training. That was back in 2005. At first, I wasn’t really interested in it. That suddenly changed after my first fight. I was hooked immediately.
What ranks and titles have you held? I was the inaugural BAMMA featherweight champion.
Do you have any heroes? My parents are my heroes. In martial arts I was enjoying the fights of Naseem Hamed and Badr Hari.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It is the culmination of a long journey. I may not be old in years, but I’ve been doing this for a long time. The call from the UFC could not have come at a better time.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I’m currently finishing up my degree in mechanical engineering at Stuttgart University.
What was your job before you started fighting? I started fighting a month after I turned 18 years old.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? I used to wrestle for KV Stuttgart 1895 in the Landesliga Baden-Württemberg.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I won several regional and national titles in submission fighting and MMA, both at 145 and 155lbs.
If any, list ranks in any martial arts styles: Purple belt in jiu-jitsu under Renato Migliaccio
Favorite grappling technique: I like the flying scissor heel hook.
Favorite striking technique: Ground and pound