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TRAINING: Training camp for this fight is different from any other fight I've had so far. I've relocated to Las Vegas and train here full-time now. On a typical day I will grapple in the morning with some of the best grapplers at Drysdale’s BJJ, then in the afternoon I will either hit pads with my striking coach, spar at Xtreme Couture, or do Strength and Conditioning, and make a trip to the chiropractor for recovery. I train all day with several specialists and my coaches. I feel I am in the best place in the world and finally able to train the way I should be.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training to fight in June 2011 after taking my first amateur bout with no experience. I had the passion to fight so I went and signed up for one as soon as I turned of age without any training until afterwards. It was something natural for me to do.
What ranks and titles have you held? As a professional I am the Total Warrior Combat 155lb champion. In college I was a Division two national qualifying wrestler.
Do you have any heroes? Georges St-Pierre will always be one of my heroes. It was his fight with BJ Penn that got me interested in MMA in the first place. Floyd Mayweather Jr has also always been a hero of mine, and of course my dad.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It means everything to me to fight for the UFC. It means a real opportunity for me to do what I love and am good at every day. I have turned down offers from every other major promotion in MMA until I had my chance at the world’s premier organization. This has been my goal since I started MMA and I can't wait to show the fans my skills.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I was still a full-time student when I got the call from the UFC. I have decided to take this semester off to focus but I am only one semester shy of earning my BA in Biomedical Sciences.
What was your job before you started fighting? I started fighting when I was 18 years old, so my only previous job was being a student.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? As an amateur I held the Caged Lion and Elite Federation of Fighters welterweight championship. I was also the MECs and EFF Lightweight champion. I was the number one ranked 155lber in Michigan after KOing the previous number 1 in the 1st round. I ended my amateur career 10-0-0.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I am the TWC 155lb champion, a title I just vacated to have my opportunity in the UFC.
Favorite grappling technique: Chokes; Guillotines, RNC
Favorite striking technique: Good old fashioned Midwest boxing