TRAINER: MMA LAB - Alvin Robinson, Del Hawkins, Benson Henderson, Patrick Lopez, Yaotzin Meza. John Crouch – Jiu-Jitsu. Adam Gillespey – Muay Thai. Mario Francis – Boxing. Jarret Aki – Strength & Conditioning
When and why did you start training for fighting? I began wrestling when I was 7 at Longwood in Twinsburg, Ohio. After high school and college wrestling I chose not to pursue Olympic training. At that time, I started watching UFC events and decided to give it a try. I started training in November 2002 and had my first fight in December 2002. I began training with Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman at the Hammer House in Columbus, Ohio.
What ranks and titles have you held? 3x NCAA Division II All-American. 4x NCAA DIV II National Qualifier.
What is your favorite technique? Intensity and belief in myself. Much of this game is mental and whether I am standing and striking or working for a takedown, I will commit to it 100%.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? Fighting in the UFC is an absolute honor. Every time I train, I push myself to the limit because having this opportunity is every fighters dream. The UFC is the reason why we fight; we want to be a UFC fighter. To know that I am fighting in the UFC is an accomplishment that is unparalleled to any other feeling as an athlete.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I received my Bachelors of Science in Education from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. Currently, I am finishing my Masters in Educational Administration from the University of Phoenix ground campus.
What was your job before you started fighting? Educator.