|Fights Out Of:||Albuquerque , New Mexico United States|
|Height:||5' 7" ( 170 cm )|
|Weight:||135 lb ( 61 kg )|
Thoughts on opponent, Patrick Williams? Patrick is a tough opponent mentally and physically, and he has a lot of experience. I am happy to meet a high-level athlete for my first fight in UFC and I am convinced we will put on a good show.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started fighting in Combat Sambo and MMA at the same time near the age of twelve, and something inside of me just clicked. At about fifteen years old, I wanted to become an MMA fighter and the goal was to be as complete as possible by seeking strength in key sports for MMA. I practiced wrestling, where I got three national podiums. At the same time I was fighting in Thai boxing, boxing and even Full-Contact. I was a five-time French Combat Sambo champion, and the idea was to capitalize as much as possible to be well-rounded at the age of 18, the legal age for doing MMA in competition.
What ranks and titles have you held? World Champion of Bamma (British Association of Mixed Martial Arts) in the featherweight and bantamweight category.
Do you have any heroes? MMA wise, I am inspired by several fighters according to their strengths. I love the creativity of my training partner Jon Jones, the character of Luke Rockhold and the intelligence of GSP. The first who inspired me was Fedor Emelianenko. He is an example of humility and effectiveness, he marks his time and will remain a fighter that I will always take as source. I take a lot of inspiration from JCVD (Jean-Claude Van Damme) because I feel we have a common path in the process of making a living of our passion. We both started from a little city not far from each other, him from Belgium, which is close by the north of France, where I came from. We passed by Paris which is a must in France, either for acting or MMA at a national level. Then we went across the Atlantic to evolve on the west coast, where MMA and the movie business are the best.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It’s the start of the most important part of my career. I am very happy to be a part of it. I trained since the very beginning in order to go as far as possible in MMA, and UFC is the best organization to evolve in.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I had a degree in philosophy at the French studies.
What was your job before you started fighting? I never worked outside of my MMA career.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? Multiple fights in Muay Thai, Full-Contact, Savate, Boxing. Around 100 Wrestling fights, Three times on the National podium in Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling. Five-time National Winner of the French Combat Sambo Championship.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition?
Holder of Four MMA International Belts in Europe :
Bamma Featherweight Champion
Bamma Bantamweight Champion
Killacam Featherweight Champion
Belgium Beatdown Featherweight Champion
World No. 1 prospect since 2013 (Fight Matrix, Bloody Elbow) Favorite grappling technique: Guillotine Choke Favorite Striking technique: Right Elbow
* Pro since 2012
* Seven wins by KO, four by submission (RNC, triangle, 2 guillotine)
* Five first round finishes
* Unbeaten in last 11 bouts (10-0, 1 NC)
* Lone loss to UFC vet Makwan Amirkhani in 2013
* Origin of nickname – “I have a kid's face with an explosive and unpredictable style. That is the nickname that English journalists gave me.”