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TRAINING: For this fight I have worked a lot on my striking cardio and my striking skills. Typically I spar several rounds with fresh opposition each round, it's not uncommon to spar 15-20 three minute rounds or, on a light day, 5 five minute rounds.
Thoughts on opponent, Thiago Tavares? Thiago is a very tough guy and a very skilled fighter. He always looks to finish his fights and I expect a serious challenge in this fight.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started fighting when I was 19, I didn't know any better. LOL
What ranks and titles have you held? I was the AFC middleweight champ. I fought for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 33. I have been moderately successful in submission wrestling.
Do you have any heroes? Jesus and my Dad
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It means that I get to fight the toughest guys at my weight and get proper recognition for doing so.
Did you go to college? I attended community college.
What was your job before you started fighting? I started fighting when I was 20 so fighting has pretty much been my job for a while, but I have operated a painting company through the years and have worked part time as an electrician.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? I was the UFCF Amateur Champion (15-0 as an amateur). I was a HS state wrestling champion.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I have a lot of wins against tough guys.
If any, list ranks in any martial arts styles: Black belt in Cowboy Karate
Favorite grappling technique: Rear naked choke
Favorite striking technique: Karate chop