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TRAINING: Again, this was a short notice fight...I have been using Crossfit for strength and conditioning in the mornings, then usually traveling to Albuquerque for wrestling at Jacksons, and BJJ at Gracie Barra. Then it's mitts with my coach, sparring and technique in the evenings at the Santa Fe BJJ Academy. I've even started wrestling with a high school team a couple times a week.
When and why did you start training for fighting? For MMA fighting I began training in 2007. Before that I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2003. I initially trained as an alternate for other fighters, but when most of the team dropped out for various reasons, my coach asked me to step in.
What ranks and titles have you held? I have held the King of the Cage Welterweight Title for over a year.
Do you have any heroes? From a purely fighting standpoint I idolize Nick Diaz. He has made incredible advances as an athlete and martial artist since he began fighting. I hope to be able to evolve and grow that much, even if I never get to his level. My other hero would have to be Marcelo Garcia.
What does it mean for you to fight in STRIKEFORCE? Fighting for Strikeforce is obviously an amazing opportunity. It feels great to be thrown into a new pool of talented fighters.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I went to St. John’s College in Santa Fe NM and Annapolis MD. I earned a Liberal Arts Degree in Western Literature and History of Philosophy.
What was your job before you started fighting? I’ve taught BJJ for a while, but before that I mostly worked at restaurants as a busboy or waiter.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? I had no amateur MMA fights. But I’ve placed 1st in quite a few Grapplers Quests, and earned 2nd place in 2 divisions at Pan Ams as a purple belt.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
What do you consider to be the key fight in your career, and why? My win against Rich Clementi was really important for my career. It was my first fight to be televised, it was against a UFC veteran, and it was coming off a loss. It helped me to get noticed and to get more fights.