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TRAINING: I teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the mornings and I also train with my guys. Then I do a strength & conditioning workout, I rest for a couple of hours, and I do some striking with a group. I go back to my gym, and then train some wrestling with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Thoughts on opponent, Donald Cerrone? He is very tough and he does not give up in any fight. He’s a very well-rounded MMA fighter. He’s good wherever the fight takes place, whether it’s on the ground or on his feet. He comes to fight so you have to be prepared for a guy like him. He is a true UFC and WEC veteran. It will be a tough fight for me.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training years after the first UFC. I watched the Gracie family showcase their BJJ in the Octagon and I quickly became a fan. Then I realized that I wanted to learn the art of fighting and there was no other way but to learn BJJ with it. Eventually I found a BJJ gym in Florida, Team Popovitch, who helped guide me into my dreams today.
What ranks and titles have you held? I have no title in any MMA organization. I do have a lots of titles in BJJ such as: North American ADCC Trials Champion, 3rd Abu Dhabi World Pro Weight & Absolute, several times NAGA and Grapplers Quest Champion, Brown Belt Pan American Champion, 3rd Brown Belt Gi Worlds.
Do you have any heroes? I'm a really big fan of Renzo Gracie, Wanderlei Silva, Minotauro.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It means everything. It means I will have the chance to show people what I do best and to be recognized for my talent. I want to build a legacy, to be remembered and not quickly forgotten like a lot of other guys. That's why fighting in the UFC is so important to me because once I step into that Octagon, people will never forget me.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? Only college I went to was the BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU CENTER, that's where I got my degree in Black Belt!
What was your job before you started fighting? Back in the days I used to work in construction. Now for the last couple years I have been teaching BJJ.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? Victory over Igor Gracie. It had to be a turning point in my MMA career.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: 1st Degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt
Favorite grappling technique: Full Guard
Favorite Striking technique: Straight right hand