TRAINING: A typical day of training for this fight is being around some of the best fighters and coaches in the world at Wanderlei Silva's fight team. I wake up at 8am, get to the gym by 10am and my day of training goes into the night. I arrive back at the fighter house at 9pm. A lot of sparring, a lot of conditioning, and of course jiu-jitsu. I train at 9,000 feet in the Wand Fight Team High Altitude Room. The only room in Vegas. I wish my fight was five rounds.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training for fighting in May of 1999, as a personal choice to test myself both physically and mentally, and to grow as a person outside the cage through some of the most intense challenges you could ask for.
Do you have any heroes? My heroes are my Father and Mother, and good honest people just like them.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Pat Miletich awarded me my Black Belt on April 24th 2004. This is something I hold very close to my heart when I fight. Mike Griffin, who is a retired State Police Officer, and trainer of UFC veterans like Jermaine Andre and CJ Fernandez, awarded me my Black Belt in Kajukenbo in 2002. I also hold this rank very close inside me. Mike Griffin officially certified myself and UFC Veteran Jermaine Andre in Weapons Defense Tactics for Police officers, and Women’s Self Defense Tactics through his State Police training center. This was an extensive program which I'm proud to have accomplished and went through. Mike has awarded this certification out to very few. So, I must not be as crazy as a lot of people think. (Laughs) Jermaine Andre and I took this together. I teach private lessons in this program at my Academy to this day.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? What it means for me to fight again in the UFC is do or die. Life or death. Talk is cheap. Trust me, I've never been more motivated in my life. Like I said, talk is cheap. Go to the TV channel and see with your own eyes. You will not see a 41 yr. old fighter this night. I feel people are going to be surprised to see the kind of shape I'm in. Wand Fight Team is the best Gym in the World. We are all led by the true master,Wanderlei Silva. There is an incredible positive energy which is not explainable until you train here.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I went to college for two years. No degree.
What was your job before you started fighting? My job before I started fighting was owning and operating an insurance agency, which I still own today.
Accomplishments in amateur competition? I have been fighting MMA a long time. I would feel like a tool if I started naming off my amateur MMA accomplishments.
Accomplishments in pro competition? In my professional MMA career I do hold the SFC Bantamweight 135 pound title, and the RSF Bantamweight Title. Those were short fights, but exciting. The first one against Ray Duke. I was knocked out and came back to win, and the second against Del Hawkins I broke my neck, and finished the fight and won. I later had neck surgery, and was out a year and a half. Those two belts mean something inside of me. So, they are worth mentioning.
Favorite grappling technique: My favorite grappling technique is the flying uma plata converted to the triangle choke before hitting the ground. I learned it in Japan. (Laughs) Seriously, I like the armlock but getting such a technique on someone at this level is not easy.
Favorite Striking technique: My favorite striking technique is one that knocks your head off.