TRAINING: I wake up at 5am and go to the gym to lift weights (explosive strength training), do plyometrics and cardiovascular training. From there, I go to work for about 10 hours. When I get home, I head to the gym to train MMA (wrestling, boxing, jiu jitsu & Muay Thai). I'm in bed by 9:30pm - 10:00pm, wake up and start all over!
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training about 4 ½ years ago. I was really just looking for a way to expend my "energy", as I was getting into stupid street fights too often (a problem since childhood). I found a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school and it did the trick by keeping me busy, motivated and exhausted. Once I started training there and hanging around this group of people, MMA was inevitable. I met a couple guys (Wisniewski brothers) that owned a MMA gym, started training there and it just snowballed from that point on. I never really expected to fight outside of my hometown on smaller shows, but one thing led to another and here I am. I'm VERY competitive, athletic and I love to fight, so I guess it was just a matter of time (along with tons of hard work) before I found myself in the UFC. I'm absolutely ecstatic to be here!
What ranks and titles have you held? N/A
Do you have any heroes? My mom. She was a professional dancer and traveled the world doing what she loved and still teaches to this day. I respect the fact that she makes a living doing what she loves. She was also my greatest fan growing up, no matter what the sport, and my inspiration for doing well. She's also my "loudest" fan :-)
What is your favorite technique? Taking someone down hard and then pounding them in the face repeatedly. It's a very elegant style...:-)
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It's a dream come true! The UFC is the best MMA organization in the world and the toughest fighters are right here. Anyone who takes MMA seriously wants to fight for the UFC. If you are a competitive individual, which you must be to excel at this sport, this is the place to test yourself. I've worked really hard to make it this far and it's motivated me more than ever to train harder, so I can succeed at this level.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I have an Associates Degree in Computer Networking. I also have multiple technical certifications, including Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and CompTIA Network+ & A+ certifications.
What was your job before you started fighting? I still work a full time job. I'm currently a Manager of Information Technology (Microsoft & Citrix Server Team) for a large health care organization. Prior to that, I was a Senior Systems Engineer for about 10 years.