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TRAINING: A mix between jiu-jitsu training, Boxing / Thai pad work, sparring , wrestling, and strength & conditioning
Thoughts on opponent, James Head? I know he's another tough, well rounded opponent. He's also a former 185-pounder coming of a loss so I'm sure he's gonna be hungry like me to get back in the win column. It's the UFC - all the guys are tough when you’re fighting the best guys in the world.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I always loved the sport since I was a kid, and I started training jiu-jitsu under another former wrestler and BJJ black belt – Bill Scott – in 2005 after my college wrestling career ended. Everything just started from there and it’s built up to where I am now.
What ranks and titles have you held? BJJ brown belt, Ring of Combat middleweight champion.
Do you have any heroes? My younger brother Adam, and my HS wrestling coach Jay Nase. They’re both very big inspirations to me and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? I’m excited to have the opportunity to now fight the best in the world, in the best organization in the world. It’s where I always wanted to be since I started training MMA.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? BA in Psychology from Rider University
What was your job before you started fighting? I worked for my father in a family-owned Sheet Metal business. I want to thank my father because he played a big role in where I am now in my career because he allowed me to have flexible hours and certain days off to train for upcoming fights.
Accomplishments in amateur competition? NJ State place winner in HS, Three-time Division I national qualifier, 2x Division I conference champion, 100 Division I career wins, and Male Athlete of the Year in 2004 for Rider University in wrestling.
Favorite grappling technique: Takedowns and submissions
Favorite Striking technique: Ground and pound