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TRAINING: A typical day of training for this fight starts out at 9am at PurFit Gym, where I do my Strength and Conditioning. I follow a program written for me by Chris Merritt with Beyond Strength Performance. My next session is at 12:30pm at Fitness Fight Factory, where we either wrestle, grapple, or spar, depending on the day. I then head to Team Takedown for my evening training around 7pm. Each day is a little different here, but it always involves hard work. I train with awesome training partners and amazing coaches! A big thanks to Johnny Bedford, Chas Skelly, Jamal Parks, Chris Feist, Johnny Hendricks, Marc Laimon, Steven Wright, Adrian Ramirez, and Tony Cabello.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I've been fighting all my life.... fighting for the right.... to Paaaaarty! LOL. No, but seriously, I first found out about MMA fighting from a UFC DVD from Blockbuster. I fell in love with the sport and had my first amateur fight six months after watching that DVD.
What ranks and titles have you held? I have held 4 amateur belts in two different weight classes - 145lbs and 155lbs; I also have held one professional belt at 135lbs.
Do you have any heroes? I have many heroes in my life. My number one hero is my Lord and savior Jesus Christ; God has given me an incredible life, filled with amazing family and friends. I have so much to be thankful for and I am very grateful for everything He has blessed me with. Another hero in my life is my father-in-law, who has been like a second father to me. I look up to him for the morals he lives by and the love he has for his family and I enjoy all the laughs we share together.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It means the world to me!!! Six years ago I set a very specific goal with my best friend Chris Merritt. That goal was to one day fight in the UFC, so not only am I accomplishing a goal, but I am fulfilling a dream!
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I actually went to a few colleges and wasted a lot of money on credits that never transferred. But I do have an associates degree of occupational study for personal training.
What was your job before you started fighting? I had many jobs throughout my MMA career and never kept any of them for more than a year. What can I say...I'm not cut out to be a 9 to 5er.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? As an amateur I have won the WKA Northeastern regional 145lbs and 155lbs titles, I have won the Total Cage Combat Featherweight Championship and the Vahalla Featherweight Championship.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I recently won the Ring of Combat Bantamweight Championship
Favorite grappling technique: I love the triangle choke!
Favorite Striking technique: Any strike that finishes with a knockout