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TRAINING: Most days I'm training at El Niño morning and night, and a couple of times a week I head over to Omni Movement in Richmond to get strength and conditioning in. I don't have a lot of time to cook or sit down for meals so I get food from Out Of The Cave, a food truck that services the Bay Area with food that is both tasty and healthy. I leave my house around 9am and make it home around 10 or 11 most nights because of my drive. Most fighters have to do a lot of driving to get to their gyms. I'm actually lucky to be able to drive just one hour to one gym and get all my MMA training in under the same roof; many people have to go to two or three different gyms to get the caliber training I have access to. I have friends with mats and I take naps at their house or sleep at some of SF's lovely parks on the nice days. I do a lot of sparring, drilling, pad work, grappling, specific training, wall work and jumping rope.
Do you have any heroes? I don't really have one or two specific heroes - I try to look for the heroic side of everyone. It can be hard, but if I try hard enough I can find amazing qualities in almost everyone.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? Getting to fight in the UFC is one of the most significant events of my life. I have wanted to fight in the UFC since the beginning of my fight career. More than advancing my fighting career, stepping on to the biggest stage in the world for MMA is a milestone in my personal growth as a person. I never learned how to try my hardest until I started fighting. Seeing hard work bring my goals to fruition is something I will transfer to everything else in my life.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I have my AA from Pikes Peak Community College. I would like to go back to school sooner rather than later.
What was your job before you started fighting? I was working as a bartender and food server in Colorado Springs. I decided there wasn't enough integrity in serving unhealthy food and getting people wasted so I quit and got a summer job watering plants at a nursery for $5.75 an hour. I didn't know it at the time, but that was the beginning of my transition to a healthier lifestyle that led me to be inside a gym where I first saw an MMA practice.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: I am a blue belt under Cesar Gracie and Alessandro Ferreira.
Favorite grappling technique: Americana.