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TRAINING: I train fifteen times a week, usually three times a day. I start out at 5am in the morning with a long run. At noon, I alternate between BJJ and boxing technique training and functional fitness sessions. In the evening we either have sparring or wrestling practice. Two times a week I have to build my exercise regimen around eight hours of police service.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training in judo when I was six. I always liked boxing as well and I was fascinated by the idea of competing in an environment where I am able to combine both sports. I made the full-time switch to MMA in 2009.
What ranks and titles have you held? I have won more than 35 national and international medals in judo.
Do you have any heroes? God Almighty, Udo Quellmalz, Harry Callahan
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It is a dream come true. I have been looking forward to that moment ever since I didn’t get to go to the Olympics. Competing in the UFC will be my personal Olympic Games now.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I finished high school and started my training with the Federal Police straight afterwards, as their promotion program allowed me to concentrate on my judo career.
What was your job before you started fighting? I played first-division judo here in Germany and I am still a sergeant in the German Federal Police.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? I have won a few amateur boxing bouts.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition?
• 35 top three finishes in national and international judo competition
• Fair FC Light Welterweight (161lbs.) Champion (2014)
• Choke Wars Welterweight (170lbs.) Champion (2013)
• Western German BJJ Middleweight (181lbs) Champion (2013)
• Tap or Snap Super Welterweight (176lbs.) Champion (2013)
• Tap or Snap Middleweight (187lbs.) Champion (2012)
• Groundandpound.de “Fight of the Year” Winner (2011)
• Groundandpound.de “Rookie of the Year” (2009)
• FFA Western German Middleweight (185lbs.) Champion (2009)
• Olympic Judo Middleweight Alternate (198lbs.) (2008)
• German Judo Half Middleweight (179lbs.) Champion (2006, 2007)
• European Judo Under-23 Half Middleweight (179lbs.) Champion (2006)
• German Judo Under-20 Half Middleweight (179lbs.) Champion (2003)
• European Judo Cadet Lightweight (161lbs.) Champion (2000)
• German Judo Under-15 Extra Lightweight (121lbs.) Champion (1998)
Ranks in any martial arts styles:
• Judo black belt under Karl-Heinz Bartsch (NWDK)
• Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt under Harun Ucal (Gracie Barra)
• Ranked #1 in Germany at 155lbs
Favorite grappling technique: Uchi Mata
Favorite striking technique: Left Hook