TRAINING: Hitting the gym for several hours, and mixing in plenty of nature and less intense activities for a balanced lifestyle.
Thoughts on opponent, Yosdenis Cedeno? Yosdenis is a highly trained martial artist. He displays high-level striking techniques, and his athleticism is on a different level. I am expecting to have a great fight with him.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I have been training for about seven years. I started fighting because I have always had a competitive spirit. Few contests are as true and as primal as an MMA event. Even though we cause pain and suffering to a fellow human being, it is in a controlled environment, and when this is followed through in a spirit of friendly competition, I believe it is a great way to get back to who we are at our core, and it can actually be a journey of self-discovery.
What ranks and titles have you held? I currently hold three 170-lb MMA championships, for the big three promotions in the North Dakota area. Other than that, I have very little formal martial arts training. Nearly all my experience has come through training at top MMA gyms around the nation.
Do you have any heroes? Anyone who has ever been in a trying situation and turned to compassion, wisdom, and truth to come out the other side as a transformed compassionate being.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? I have other, larger goals for my life than the UFC. However, at this point in my life, there are very few places I would rather be than contracted in the UFC. Being in the UFC, for me, means that I can pursue my fighting career to the fullest, and have all the opportunities to reach my full potential as a martial artist.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? Yes, I attended college for about three years, but I never made it far enough to receive any degrees. However, I have always had a plan to continue my education. At this moment I am concentrating strictly on my fighting career, as I believe it is through fighting that I will gain the means to go back to college.
What was your job before you started fighting? I have been a mason by trade since an early age. My father was a mason before me, therefore I grew up around the trade and it has been part of my life since childhood. I have owned my own masonry businesses, as well as worked for other masonry outfits. If fighting doesn’t work for me, I’m sure I will fall back on masonry to provide for my life financially.
Favorite grappling technique: Folk Style Wrestling
Favorite striking technique: Muay Thai