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TRAINING: Every day I am at ATT in the morning for all different disciplines. We are working wrestling, boxing, kickboxing and BJJ on different days. From there I get a run in and some rest before I head to Vagner Rocha’s where I work my bread and butter. I train there in the Gi and in No Gi every day and feel that I need to keep my strengths sharp.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training for fighting when I was 19 years old and went pro two years later at 21 years old
What ranks and titles have you held? I hold a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Bruno Malfacine and I held the Cage Warriors Fighting Championships Featherweight title
Do you have any heroes? Honestly, I have a lot of people that I look up to, but two unsung heroes that I have are my wife, Melisa and my Mom, Abby. Melisa has been my first and biggest fan, she is the one that urged me to take my first professional fight and has supported our dream every step of the way. We have been together since high school and she always brings out the best in me. She is also a great mother to our son, Anthony. My Mom worked hard and raised five children with my Dad. I thought she was super strict but I now understand that she taught me right from wrong. She and my Dad exhibited a great work ethic that has helped me to this day.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It's a dream come true. I have been chasing this dream for 10 years now. I don't just want to fight for the UFC. I want to be successful.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I went to the University of Central Florida. I got my degree in elementary education.
What was your job before you started fighting? I've had all sorts of jobs from being a cart pusher at Walmart to teaching kindergarten and instructing kids in BJJ. I still work at a Behavioral Hospital and teach BJJ.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? Winner of the 2010 Abu Dhabi Pro Trial Black Belt Division
Favorite grappling technique: D'arce choke
Favorite striking technique: Flying knees