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TRAINING: Training camp for this fight was great. With Travis Browne and Dominick Cruz also training for fights, the intensity in the room was great. A normal day would be hard sparring or grappling in the morning and technique training at night.
Thoughts on opponent, Aaron Rosa? Aaron Rosa is a tough veteran of the sport. He has fought in several large promotions, so I don’t anticipate him having the normal first-time Octagon jitters. I feel he poses a solid challenge, but it’s one I am definitely up for.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I competed in wrestling in high school and loved/missed the competition.
What ranks and titles have you held? 2x 5150 Heavyweight Champion
Do you have any heroes? My mom. She is what gives me strength. She is stronger than any fighter I have ever met.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? My very first MMA class was in 2006. Matt Stansell was teaching the class and I told him I wanted to fight in the UFC. I was fat, 300 pounds, with long shaggy hair. Matt was brutally honest with me and said there was a 98% chance that I would never fight in the UFC. I told him I don't care what I had to do that I was determined, so I asked him what I needed to do and he told me: Get in shape, lose 60 pounds get at least 10 wins under your belt. He said, “Everyone says they want to fight in the UFC but very few people have the discipline to do it.” Well here I am, four years later, 60 pounds lighter, no more shaggy hair, two weeks after my 10th win and I am fighting in the UFC. So what does it mean to me???? IT IS THE REWARD FOR MY FOCUS, HARD WORK AND DEDICATION. I CAN DO ANYTHING I SET MY MIND TO DO.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I attended Palomar Community College and studied communications at the University of Hawaii but never graduated.
What was your job before you started fighting? I did several jobs but never really fit in anywhere. I teach MMA now and I also do work as a DJ.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I won the 5150 Heavyweight title twice in Oklahoma. I have beat three UFC veterans, including Houston Alexander. All three wins were by KO/TKO.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Favorite grappling technique: Kimura or Triangle
Favorite Striking technique: right cross or right uppercut