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TRAINING: I’m training in San Francisco with Gilbert Melendez and the Skrap Pack
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training for fighting in 2005. I’m from a small town in Northeastern Oklahoma. I only had 34 people in my high school class and we did not have wrestling, so I played football and baseball. I was offered a small scholarship as a defensive back at a private college but didn’t take it because it was not enough to pay for school. I went to college and studied computers at a non-traditional school, and after that, me and my wife moved to Tulsa, where I worked at a hospital as an I.T. Tech. I wanted to remain active and competitive somehow, so I started Muay Thai. A few months later, Matt Wiman started teaching a BJJ class there and I started going to that. That led me to becoming good friends and roommates with Matt and doing MMA. I had my first fight two years later and won. Shortly after, I won my next fight and realized that I wanted to try and make a career out of fighting. I knew I had to go where I could be with the best fighters in the world. Gil was always one of my favorite fighters to watch, and he was around my size, so I left my job, family and friends, and me and my wife moved to California. I have been training out there for four and a half years now.
What ranks and titles have you held? None
Do you have any heroes? No
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? Fighting in the UFC is the reason I have risked everything in the last five years. I am so thankful for this opportunity.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? No
What was your job before you started fighting? It has been hard for me to make a lot of money in the smaller shows, so I have been a crab fisherman on the side, out of Half Moon Bay. The season was actually about to start back up when I got the call to fight in the UFC.
Favorite grappling technique: I like to mix things up and use whatever is working at the time.
Favorite Striking technique: I like to mix things up and use whatever is working at the time.