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TRAINING: I wake up, concentrate of my strict diet (which would take many pages to write), and then I go do my conditioning, running, swimming, sprint work, plyos, etc. rounds on the heavy bag, lifting (light, with a lot of reps), and I’m constantly moving to keep my heart rate increased. No rest. Also, a lot of ground and pound bag work, just in case the fight goes to the ground. (You have to be conditioned punching on the ground, to avoid gassing out) It depends on which day it is for which exercise, but it’s all MMA sport specific stuff. I do a lot of the above mentioned exercises with the elevation mask on. You talk about a real challenge. I love that mask. I also put that mask on in Wanderlei Silva's high elevation room and run on Mondays and Wednesdays. It’s the only elevation room in Vegas. I get up to over 18,000 feet with the elevation mask and Wands room in the gym. I come back in the afternoon and work on MMA technique, do some controlled sparring with MMA equipment on in order to work on timing and distance. I also work on jiu-jitsu and wrestling with a lot of takedown defense. I come back to the gym in the evening, and depending on what day it is, we spar hard on Tues. and Sat. at Wand Fight Team, with boxing/Muay Thai, everything included: kicks, punches, knees, elbows, takedown defense, the whole works. I've been doing a ton of sparring for this fight because I know my opponent wants to stand and throw, so let's do it! I am ready. And I know my opponent Edwin is as well. I honestly couldn't be happier!
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training for fighting in May of 1999, as a personal choice to test myself both physically and mentally, and to grow as a person outside the cage through some of the most intense challenges you could ask for.
Do you have any heroes? My heroes are my Father and Mother, and good honest people just like them.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Pat Miletich awarded me my Black Belt on April 24th 2004. This is something I hold very close to my heart when I fight. Mike Griffin, who is a retired State Police Officer, and trainer of UFC veterans like Jermaine Andre and CJ Fernandez, awarded me my Black Belt in Kajukenbo in 2002. I also hold this rank very close inside me. Mike Griffin officially certified myself and UFC Veteran Jermaine Andre in Weapons Defense Tactics for Police officers, and Women’s Self Defense Tactics through his State Police training center. This was an extensive program which I'm proud to have accomplished and went through. Mike has awarded this certification out to very few. So, I must not be as crazy as a lot of people think. (Laughs) Jermaine Andre and I took this together. I teach private lessons in this program at my Academy to this day.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? What it means for me to fight again in the UFC is do or die. Life or death. Talk is cheap. Trust me, I've never been more motivated in my life. Like I said, talk is cheap. Go to the TV channel and see with your own eyes. You will not see a 41 yr. old fighter this night. I feel people are going to be surprised to see the kind of shape I'm in. Wand Fight Team is the best Gym in the World. We are all led by the true master,Wanderlei Silva. There is an incredible positive energy which is not explainable until you train here.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I went to college for two years. No degree.
What was your job before you started fighting? My job before I started fighting was owning and operating an insurance agency, which I still own today.
Accomplishments in amateur competition? I have been fighting MMA a long time. I would feel like a tool if I started naming off my amateur MMA accomplishments.
Accomplishments in pro competition? In my professional MMA career I do hold the SFC Bantamweight 135 pound title, and the RSF Bantamweight Title. Those were short fights, but exciting. The first one against Ray Duke. I was knocked out and came back to win, and the second against Del Hawkins I broke my neck, and finished the fight and won. I later had neck surgery, and was out a year and a half. Those two belts mean something inside of me. So, they are worth mentioning.
Favorite grappling technique: My favorite grappling technique is the flying uma plata converted to the triangle choke before hitting the ground. I learned it in Japan. (Laughs) Seriously, I like the armlock but getting such a technique on someone at this level is not easy.
Favorite Striking technique: My favorite striking technique is one that knocks your head off.