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When and why did you start training for fighting? I originally wanted to box, but my Aunt said I was already too dumb to get hit in the head. After the death of my parents I had a lot of anger built up. Instead of running with a street gang, I decided to try to do something positive with my life and took up contact sports like Judo and football. Plus, I love to train.
What ranks and titles have you held? King of The Cage 135-pound champion
Do you have any heroes? Yes, my father for always providing for our family. My older brother for not letting anything stop him from joining law enforcement, my uncle Tito for being such a great role model.
What is your favorite technique? I love a good solid punch to the face of a wrestler
What does it mean for you to fight in the WEC? It feels great to have been invited by the WEC; it’s an honor to fight the best 135 pounders in the world.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? Yes – still attending.
What was your job before you started fighting? I work for UPS
Most memorable professional fight? My most memorable fight was my last fight against Miguel Torres in Las Vegas, for many reasons. We were the main event, I lost my very first fight, and a lot of people consider him the best MMA fighter on the planet.
What was your most challenging professional fight? See above
Did you compete in any other sport at college or professional level? No
Who were your training partners for this fight? I am blessed with a lot of strong and tough training partners like Javier Vasquez, and Charlie Valencia, who push me and beat me up every day!
Did you put more emphasis towards a fighting style or adjust your training to prepare for your opponent? I tried to work more on the basics from ground to stand up, just so that I can improve myself, not for any opponent.
What, other than WINNING, are you using for motivation for the fight? My motivation for this fight other than winning and getting a bigger payday, is The People should see a new Manuel Tapia - the old one, the one that stands and bangs, takes people down, ground and pounds and even looks for the submission!
What is your favorite thing about this sport? My favorite thing about this sport I would say has to be all the people and fans that I get to meet. Everyone is really cool
How long do you see yourself staying in this sport? I see myself in the sport until I die whether it be fighting or training others. I still got some good years of fight in me. I’ll go until the wheels can’t go no more!