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Training: My training varies, depending on the day. However, I usually start my mornings (6:00 am) with strength and conditioning, break, eat, then I go back to the gym for an afternoon workout - grappling, jits, take a break, go sleep and eat, and go back at night for sparring, boxing. I try to make the most out of every workout. I work hard in each session.
Why did you start training for fighting? I started training MMA three years ago. It seemed like it would be fun, and now I’m making a career out of it.
What ranks and titles have you held? WEC bantamweight champion
What is your favorite technique? D’arce choke (modified anaconda)
What does it mean for you to fight in the WEC? It’s the culmination of three years of hard work put in at the gym. It’s my chance to open people’s eyes.
What was your job before you started fighting? I was, and currently still am, a sales rep for Pepsi cola.
Most memorable professional fight (who, where, why)? First fight in WEC. Felt like I made it to the big time. It was great getting a win at that level. I was realizing my dream to fight in the big leagues and I realized that I belonged.
What was your most challenging professional fight (against who, when, what was the outcome)? Will Riberio - had great hands and was a well rounded opponent. He's a gamer. All around challenge. Great win for me.
Who were your training partners for this fight? A lot of my partners are guys from the HardCore Gym in Athens, GA - Stephen Ledbetter, Jeff Bedard, Chad Schafer. I also had John Franchi and Micah Miller come to Athens.
Did you put more emphasis towards a fighting style or adjust your training to prepare for your opponent (what did you do differently/why)? No real adjustments on fighting style. I'm an MMA fighter. I train in all disciplines and just prepare myself so that I can fight comfortably in all phases of the fight - striking, ground, clinch.
What, other than WINNING, are you using for motivation for the fight? I take a lot of pride in what I do. I work hard day in and day out. I'm fighting for the respect of my fellow fighters and the honor of being the best bantamweight in the world. I also want to keep giving my fans great fights.
What is your favorite thing about this sport? The fact that it is a one on one sport. There are really no excuses when you lose; you can't pass the blame to someone else. I like having the pressure on my shoulders.
How long do you see yourself staying in this sport? As long as possible. I feel great. I think I'm a durable fighter. I don't see an end anytime soon. I want to do this for as long as I can. This is my life.