"With my Thai Boxing coach I do a lot of mitt work and a lot of sparring. After that I grapple for a good portion of the time. At my school we will do a lot of mitts, a lot of kicks, and a lot of "grapple-boxing" (grappling while striking with boxing gloves). I spar and grapple full out every practice. Lot's of technique drills, running hills, and plyometrics. I do this two hours a day 5 to 6 days a week.
Phil is a school teacher and teaches grades kindergarten through fifth grade. He has taught for seven years now.
Phil started wrestling in 5th grade. "I took to it instantaneously. I was a pretty tough child. I raced motorcycles and boxed. I went out there and loved it."
Phil was a state champion in Jr. high. In high school his overall record was 156 and 6 and he was the state champion. In college (SIU Edwardsville) he was a four time All American. He won the Nationals at NCAA Division 2.
"I had a friend named Jason Strandberg who said that he had some things he wanted to show me. I was inactive in wrestling having taken a few years off due to my wife and I having a child. He asked me to take him down and different things and he was catching me with all of these submissions. It pissed me off that a guy that was not as muscular as me and a guy that was not as schooled in wrestling as I was catching me with things that I could never had dreamed could happen. Being the kind of guy I am it made me want to learn it. I didn't know anything about the UFC at that point. Later on they started showing me the tapes. That fueled the fire. I told myself I was going to do it.
Phil started fighting in 1997. At that time most competitions did not have weight classes. He weighed 157 for his first fight and his opponent weighed in at 240. Phil beat him in around 30 seconds.
Phil's MMA record is 21 and 9. Most of those losses came in his first year against much larger opponents.
"I'm really excited to fight in the UFC. A little nervous. He's a tough fighter to have first time in there. I'm not fighting a chump."