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TRAINING: I get up and do my running early. Then I go to the gym. I usually start by sparring six five minute rounds, then six five minute rounds of pads. I do my wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu at night.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started wrestling at age nine. Met Chuck Liddell in Sept. of 1999 and he invited me to attend classes. I had my first fight two weeks later, filling in for an injured teammate.
What ranks and titles have you held? Ranks: Cesar Gracie BJJ black belt, All American wrestler at Cuesta College.
Titles : Several regional championships, Shooto Americas & Pacific Rim Champion, Gladiator Challenge Champion etc., Shooto World Champion, Rumble On The Rock tournament Welterweight Champion, 2 x EliteXC Welterweight Champion, and 2 x Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.
Do you have any heroes? Just people who work hard, and stay with it when it gets hard, because it always does.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? The UFC is the top of the food chain in MMA. You can find individual top 5-10 fighters outside the UFC, but no one comes close to overall top fighters.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I went to college about 3 years, but dropped out to fight full time. I am a single father, and school, training and fighting was getting to be too much. I felt I had to choose what I wanted most.
What was your job before you started fighting? I did some brush and firewood cutting as a teen. My last job besides teaching BJJ and MMA was as a managing mover for Meathead Moving while in college. The person moving would rent a moving truck, and I would show up with a couple college wrestlers and we would pack and load the truck. Then we would follow them to their new home and unload. I made pretty good money for doing the paperwork and helping to load and unload.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? In folk & freestyle: Four year varsity wrestler and state qualifier in HS. Two time All American collegiate wrestler. 2nd place AAU National Freestyle Championship, qualified for USA/Fila Nationals & World Team trials in both the junior & university men’s divisions.
In Submission Wrestling and BJJ: 3 time Grapplers Quest Advance Champion, Pan American Jiu Jitsu Champion, Pan American Advance Submission Wrestling Champion.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? Calif. Professional Absolute Submission Champion, Gracie Open Superfight Champion, and 3rd place ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships.
Favorite grappling technique: Chokes
Favorite Striking technique: Body and leg kicks