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TRAINING: At the moment it would look something like this - Yoga first thing, then some Muay Thai, followed by some wrestling and grappling in the evening. If I feel the need or just want to, a light run. And I always like to try get a daily massage too.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training MMA in late 2008. I first started with BJJ, mostly due to the fact that I saw it in the UFC and knew nothing about the ground game and thought I needed to know some of that stuff. And although I had no boxing training, I've always had reasonable boxing. I only started BJJ and MMA training with the sole purpose of making it to the top - the UFC. I had no combat sports experience prior to starting training, but I had played many other sports. I have always been drawn to fighting though. I’m not sure what it is that draws me to fighting; I think it might be something deeply ingrained in my DNA to be a modern day warrior. That’s the feeling I get from fighting MMA, that we are modern day gladiators. There’s nothing that tests you more mentally and physically than putting yourself up against another warrior that is prepared for battle and walking away with an outcome. It’s thrilling, and maybe almost nervously addicting.
Something I've always wanted is to be at the top of a sport or anything, just to have my name up in the bright lights, and it just so happens I'm good at fighting.
What ranks and titles have you held? I hold the Integrated Combat Championships welterweight title and hold a BJJ purple belt
Do you have any heroes? I look at guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger as heroes. It’s not about his achievements with bodybuilding but more his mental attitude. He knew that he could be anything he wanted to and most of us can but it’s about the battle with the mind - it all starts and ends in the mind. He was strong mentally, committed and dedicated to his cause and goals. All these things are needed to be a champion in life.
More recently, I have been reading and following Laird Hamilton more because I feel I have changed spiritually and feel a bit more at home with nature and Laird is somewhat of a modern day ocean God. He too has a strong mind and knows this is where most battles occur. Along with this is the study of yoga and a more natural way of living, which is a path I hope to carry on and head down more in the future. Also, if I can be half as in shape as he is when I'm that old, it would be amazing. He has great longevity.
Closer, I look up to my grandmother, who is not with us anymore. But she saw many struggles and battles in her life: Cancer, diabetes, loss of her right arm, having to go on dialysis, and many more personal struggles. And although I'm sure it may have got her down, she never showed it and just kept being strong because sometimes you just have to be - not just for you but the people around you.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It means saying that I wanted to do something and be somewhere I have achieved it. But the job is not done - I keep setting goals and smashing them. Also, it means when I'm old I won't be saying "coulda, shoulda, woulda."
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I didn't go to college, but I did get a trade certificate to be a tradesman as a mechanical fitter
What was your job before you started fighting? My job still is and has been my entire fight career as a mechanical fitter, working various places to support myself and my dream of MMA. I still work on the Wharf, fixing the equipment and other duties. One day fighting will be my only job.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: BJJ purple belt
Favorite grappling technique: Guillotine choke
Favorite striking technique: Straight Right Hand