TRAINING: I train twice a day M-F. Strength and conditioning 3 times a week. I grapple on Saturdays and have Sundays off. When I don’t have a fight coming up I teach at my own Team Link school in Northampton, MA.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I stepped on a wrestling mat in my junior year of high school and fell in love. Next year I was on the team and did really well. After high school I found jiu-jitsu, then Muay Thai and a coach asked me to fight. I was more than happy to.
What ranks and titles have you held? I have won NAGA grappling tournaments and was supposed to have some local title shots, but injuries kept me out.
Do you have any heroes? My mom is my hero. She worked so hard for my family. There are four kids and she was so good to us and always supported me and my fighting even though she wanted me in school.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? To fight in the UFC means everything to me. I did really well in high school and could have gone to college but I gave up everything to fight. At first I worked forty hours then trained every night and on the weekends. Then I herniated a disk in my back two weeks before I fought. I fought anyway lost and had to take a year off of training. It killed me. When I started training again I knew it was all or nothing. I sold all my possessions and moved into the crappiest trailer in the world so I could train full time. You should have seen this place. So yeah, everything.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? No
What was your job before you started fighting? I did everything from cooking to selling TVs, construction, to painting.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? 2-0 as an amateur
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Brown Belt in BJJ
Favorite grappling technique: In Jiu Jitsu I love my flying triangle
Favorite Striking technique: My right hand