When and why did you start training for fighting? I started with martial arts when I was just a little kid. I used to do karate in my father’s karate academy and I participated in a couple kumite-style competitions. When I was 15 years old I started fighting in a amateur kickboxing league in which I stayed undefeated for three years, and when I was eighteen years old I started my professional kickboxing career in which I won three titles in Venezuela. During this process I started developing my Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling, then I decided to continue my career as a mixed martial artist. In 2011 I had my debut, winning by KO in just 18 seconds of the first round and I’ve kept my undefeated record until now.
What ranks and titles have you held? Kickboxing amateur champion (Venezuela). Three-time professional champion in kickboxing (Venezuela). First place ISKA WORLD MARTIAL ARTS CHAMPIONSHIP (Continuous sparring)(2012) Orlando, Florida. 2nd place NORTH AMERICAN GRAPPLING ASSOSIATION (2012), Orlando Florida. GI and No GI adult expert champion NEW BREED ULTIMATE CHALLEGE (2017) Florida.
Do you have any heroes? My heroes are those that have given me valuable guidance throughout my life and my career, and my grandparents, my mother and father are and will always be my heroes.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? Fighting in the UFC means the beginning of a goal that I set a long time ago. I have worked very hard to reach that dream, I left my family and my life back in my country (Venezuela) to achieve this goal and I want to raise the Venezuelan flag inside the UFC Octagon, and give motivation to all the people in my country. That moment is on my mind all the time and that's my best motivation to keep working harder every day. I need to achieve this and know that all the sacrifice was worth it.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I have a degree in graphic design.
What was your job before you started fighting? I used to work for a publicity agency as a graphic designer.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? Undefeated in more than 20 amateur kickboxing competitions.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? Undefeated in eight professional kickboxing fights.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Black belt 3rd Dan in Slam (Free system of Martial Arts), created by my father.
Favorite grappling technique: Guillotine
Favorite striking technique: Mixed boxing combos finished with a head kick.