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TRAINING: Getting ready for this fight has been a little different than the ones in the past; I’ve been cutting weight instead of trying to put weight on. I get up at 430 every morning to get to the gym by 5 to get my cardio in. It's been really easy getting up at that time because of my teammate named Travisio. He's a 20lb rooster. At 430 every morning, like clockwork, he starts crowing away! He’s one of my most reliable teammates for sure. Haha... After my cardio I head back home for my breakfast that my wife has so kindly prepared so I can eat as soon as I get home and relax for a couple hours before my 1030 training session. That usually consists of mitt work and technical training (working on our game plan and putting myself in the worst possible scenarios, then getting out of them). After morning training, it's back to the house to eat again. Unfortunately, what used to be a small snack for me is now my full lunch... then it's more down time to let the body recover and get ready for my 4pm session. During this time I usually surf craigslist and backpage looking at guns, trucks, and quads that I can’t afford, lol. (We all do it!!!!). Evening practice is where the hard sparring, takedowns, and ground work all get put together, and where you find out if you're a real man or just a eunuch who talks a lot (that’s a dude with no balls for those who don’t know). After practice the team takes a few minutes to talk about the training and how we can further improve. Then...you guessed it...it's off to the house to eat. Dinner is the crappiest meal of the day for me, because it’s usually just a chicken breast and broccoli and spinach...boring!! Then it's family time, where I'm able to let my kids beat on me and my wife kiss on me. Then off to bed to rest up and get ready to do it again!!!!
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training to fight about eight years ago when I went into a gym where Don Frye was preparing for a fight in Pride. I was a big guy who was a body for Don to beat on and I just kept coming back. I couldn't get enough of it.
What ranks and titles have you held? I held the heavyweight belt for Rage in the Cage, All Powers Combat, Don't Blink Entertainment, and for WFC.
Do you have any heroes? My greatest heroes would be my grandpa and my dad, who taught me to never give up and never give in no matter how tough things get, and to always be able to adapt and overcome.
What does it mean for you to fight in UFC? I'm both honored and excited to be fighting in the UFC. I grew up watching it and nobody can argue that it’s the King of all MMA organizations. I realize a select few make it to this point and now that I have, I need to prove I belong among the greatest fighters in the world.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I did go to college to get both my EMT and my Paramedic certification. I have countless hours of medical training through the Fire Department. As far as degrees go, I think I'm only two core credits away from an associates degree.
What was your job before you started fighting? I was and still am a full-time Firefighter/Paramedic for the Tucson Fire Department. I've been with TFD for ten years now.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? I had one amateur fight. I won by a 13 second KO and moved on to fight professionally.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I have held four heavyweight titles, each in different organizations. I fought for the IFL and have gone 2-0 under the Strikeforce banner, both by TKO.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Rank of "Awesomeness" in Griggs' Freestyle Fighting.
Favorite grappling technique: head and arm choke
Favorite Striking technique: hit 'em in the head....HARD! Changes even the best fighter's gameplan.