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TRAINING: A typical day of training for this fight starts off with a visit to Premiere Performance to work with an athletic therapist or meditation/eldoa coach where I work to make sure my physical and spiritual bodies are both running smoothly. The next session of the day will be done at Tristar Gym, where I do all of my martial arts training. At Tristar I will be working on the combination of half a dozen martial arts with high level coaches and training partners. Depending on the day I will do one to two martial arts training sessions, as it is important not to overwork the mind and body. My focus is on quality, not quantity. After training, I will go home to eat, relax and possibly salt bath to loosen and relax sore muscles.
Thoughts on opponent, Zhang Lipeng? Zhang Lipeng is a very powerful and dangerous opponent. He is strong willed, in good shape and has some very good weapons. That being said, I believe that I am closer to understanding the truth in martial arts than he is. I am further along in my development and evolution as a martial artist. He poses similar challenges as my last opponent, Tae Hyun Bang, which is great because I have learned a lot since my fight with Bang and am lucky to be able to test my new theories against a similar opponent. This way, I can be sure that I have learned the lessons correctly.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training in 2002 because one of my friends just suggested it after school one day. It sounded like a good time so I went that day and haven’t stopped since.
What ranks and titles have you held? BJJ brown belt, XMMA lightweight champion, I’ve been ranked as high as fourth in Canada in MMA.
Do you have any heroes? Bruce Lee, Tecumseh, Muhammad Ali, Che Guevara, Immortal Technique
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It’s my life’s greatest achievement, but it’s only the beginning. I need to now rise to the top of the organization.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I went to culinary school and got my diploma there.
What was your job before you started fighting? I was in high school, so I didn’t have a job.
Favorite grappling technique: Rear naked choke
Favorite striking technique: Head kick