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TRAINING: I’m training less these days, but smarter. I've been over training for far too long. A typical day is a 90-minute session in the AM and PM, focusing on different things each session, obviously.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I’ve been doing martial arts since I was 8 years old, but I started training for mixed martial arts specifically in the summer of 2003. I had done kickboxing and jiu-jitsu for years, but I took it up as a career in 2003. I had a lot of jobs but I had never been happy in anything I did. So when I did this, it was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life – I’ve never been happier and so far things have been going really well.
Accomplishments in amateur competition? 1995 Silver medal – world jiu-jitsu championships; five-time British kickboxing champion; God knows how many times British Sport jiu-jitsu champion.
Accomplishments in pro competition? Cage Rage Champion, Cage Warriors Champion, FX3 Champion, TUF 3 Champion, Coach on TUF9 and TUF14.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: None, unless you count 73rd in World Ninja Games 1999 (lack of smoke bomb skills let me down)
Favorite grappling technique: Triangle
Favorite striking technique: Flying knee
Do you have any heroes? I’ve got nothing for respect for the guys at the top of the chain – guys like Chuck Liddell and Georges St-Pierre, and guys like Shogun Rua – I admire his style and I think he’s an exciting fighter.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? You know, before I fight I have the same ritual. I go and find a nice quiet little corner, I sit down, I close my eyes and think of the journey that I’ve been on. I think about when I used to sleep in my car and all the things that I ‘ve been through to get to where I am today. All the sacrifices that I’ve made, the sacrifices that I’m still going to have to continue to make and the life that I want to give my children. I think about why I do this, and that gets me motivated, it gets me in the zone, and from there I don’t want to get out of that zone.