photo 1 of 7
TRAINING: A typical day of training is exhausting. Everyone sees fighters show up on fight night and they don't realize all the preparation that goes into that night. For me I generally start out with some type of strength and conditioning in the morning that usually consists of working out with kettlebells and doing some kind of sprint work. After strength and conditioning session is done I usually get some good technical work in. This time is usually spent doing either a boxing, kickboxing, or Jiu-Jitsu workout. After that I try to eat, rest, and recover for the night practice, which is more often than not in a team setting. This is where the men get separated from the boys. I push myself to the limit physically and psychologically so that I never break in the fight. After night practice it's usually ice bath, sauna, and hot tub to heal up whatever damage I've done to my body that day.
Thoughts on opponent, Luke Barnatt? Luke is a tough guy. He has a good all-around game which makes him dangerous. I respect him as a fighter because he is down to take and give punishment. As good as he is I feel there are some significant holes in his game. My team of coaches and I have studied his game and are preparing to exploit those holes. This should be an exciting fight for the fans. I know I am pumped.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training BJJ initially in 2007 to lose weight and stay in shape for firefighting (my profession). As I began to compete in jiu-jitsu tournaments I saw a lot of success on the regional circuit and decided to try my hand at this cagefighting stuff. Turns out I was pretty decent and ever since the first one I have just kept climbing.
What ranks and titles have you held? I am a black belt under Hector Munoz in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Do you have any heroes? My parents for busting their butts their whole lives so that my brother and I not only had what we needed, but also what we wanted.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It means a great deal. It is literally a dream and goal coming true. It is also a sense of validity for all the years of blood, sweat, and tears that I have put in. I am not with content with just getting a contract; I want to stay with the UFC for years to come.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I did go to college for like eight years....it just wasn't what I wanted to do. I wasted a lot of time and money on something that wasn't a dream.
What was your job before you started fighting? I am currently a firefighter with the Corpus Christi Fire Department. I love my job and I love my department.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? No belts or anything like that, but I was undefeated in four fights and all were finishes in round one.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? Getting to the UFC is my biggest professional accomplishment. On June 7th I am looking to add to that by becoming the first person born and raised in Corpus to win a fight in the UFC.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: I hold a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do under Master Clifford Mckenzie and currently hold a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Hector Munoz.
Favorite grappling technique: RNC.....cut off the blood to the brain and no matter how big of a heart or bad of a dude, the fight is over.
Favorite striking technique: The Jab