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Training: For the first time I have had the opportunity to train in a professional camp. I went to San Diego eight weeks ago to prepare for this fight. I train twice a day. In the morning I work on my technique: Grappling, Muay Thai and wrestling. In the evening we have sparring and conditioning. Six days a week.
When and why did you start training for fighting? My absolute role model as a child was Jackie Chan. I really wanted to be able to fight like him and wanted to learn Kung Fu. Since there was nothing like it in our small village of Balingen, my parents sent me to Judo training. Even without Kung Fu techniques like the eagle claw or the snakebite, I felt at home in Judo and kept training for five years. A friend later introduced me to Tae Kwon Do which was a lot of fun as well. I stayed with TKD until an MMA school opened near Balingen and after my first trial there, I knew what I wanted to do in the future. My first MMA fight came at age seventeen in Leipzig.
What ranks and titles have you held?
* Southern German BJJ Champion (2007, 2008)
* German BJJ Champion (2006, 2007)
* German Submission Wrestling Champion (2008)
* Eastern German MMA Champion (2008)
Do you have any heroes? My parents.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? I am super excited that the UFC have given me the opportunity to showcase my skills in the Octagon. I still vividly remember the day when my management broke the news to me: We were just enjoying my birthday dinner and I almost had a sushi roll stick in my throat when they told me! To really get to fight in the UFC is a dream come true.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? In "normal" life I am in vocational education at the Deutsche Telekom AG. In July I will attend the annual examination in hope to get a degree as IT system merchant. Furthermore I am member of the workers' council in my company.
What was your job before you started fighting? I'm still going to school.