Member Since: 12/29/11
How did you get in to the sport?
Honestly it was by chance. I had a short stint in college football and when that was over I really felt something missing in my life. Being a competitor was all I had ever known. So I started driving from Bowling Green to Toledo and started boxing. I continued that through the last couple years of college. Then it just seemed like I kept meeting people and training with them that were involved in different aspects of MMA. Even though I had no intentions or aspirations of ever fighting. Then one day I met an MMA guy when I moved back to Defiance Ohio, started training with him for fun and after a few months someone needed a last minute fill in and I said yes. I won that fight pretty easily but I still didnt really see myself as a fighter. After that first fight i just kept getting more offers and kept winning. The rest is history
What's your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?
I have some things I'm better at than others but i dont really care. Whatever finishes the fight is my favorite technique that night.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My parents and grandfather in life in general. In MMA it is Rich Franklin. He was the first big name fighter that I was a part of their camp. Ive always really looked up to him not so much for how he fights but because of the way he carries himself outside of the cage.
Which team are you training with in preparation for your next bout?
I do all of my training at Ronin Training Center in Columbus Ohio. Its one big gym where we have everything! MMA, BJJ, Wrestling, S&C and boxing all in one gym
What is your favorite aspect of MMA?
Ive always primarily been a striker but over the last 4 years Ive grown to love grappling. I train with some of the best grapplers in the world and it is something that i have to work really hard at to keep up with some of the studs in our gym
What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Being a fighter is only such a small part of my life. It means a lot to me that I have accomplished what I have to date but there are a lot of other things i would like to be known for than just a fighter.
What separates you from every other fighter?
A couple years ago I would have told you its that I work harder. No I believe I train smarter and have a better understanding of the game than a lot of fighters
If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?
Never even thought about it. Win or lose when I'm completely done fighting Id like to have someone on my record that was a world champion.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career?
When its all said and done I want to be remembered as a fighter that led by example and put it all on the line. Always exciting and carried himself with class
Thus far what is your greatest accomplishment in the sport?
Honestly Ive done some cool things like being on The Ultimate Fighter and in the Bellator tournament but I dont see myself as having any "great" accomplishments
Do you have a nickname?
My old roommate and training partner tried calling me the Blender but I never ran with it. Earlier in my career I used to just go out swinging and put everything I had behind ever punch kick and takedown. He would say when i stepped in the cage it was like watching a blender tear stuff up.
How do you spend your time when you're not training for a fight?
Im always busy, I own Ronin Training Center and two restaurants. Im married and we have an 8 week old little girl so I'm always busy from the time I wake up till when I go to bed. Whether it be preparing the fight team for upcoming fights, work or family time.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA?
They've always been supportive. When I first started my mom wasnt diggin it so much but they've never missed a fight. After the first fight my mom has always been the loudest one in the crowd. My family is awesome and has always been there and had my back from the beginning till the end.
Whats your gameplan for 2013?
One fight at a time. I'd love to say I'm going to make this big run but its pretty tough. I have some goals I want to accomplish before the end of the year in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so Im going to be focusing on preparing for some big tournaments and if I can get another fight or two in that'd be great but I need to be at home a little more with my wife and daughter and these tournaments are going to come first.
What are some of your hobbies outside of the ring?
I know it sounds weird but my only real hobby is training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the Gi. Ive became addicted to it over the last 4 years.
Whats the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
Dude my wife and I share an Itunes account and I couldnt even begin to tell you some of the stuff that would pop up if I hit shuffle.
Do you dig any sports other than MMA?
I watch Ohio State football and BJJ, thats it!
Its 10 minutes before you're walking out to the fight, whats going through your head in that moment?
At that point I just want to get out there and get it over with. When your main eventing cards at that point in the night you just want the whole thing to be done with.
Who are you fighting next?
Marcus Finch at UVC on May 10 in Columbus Ohio at the Aladdin Shrine Center.
Any words for your opponent before you two meet in the cage?
I have absolutely nothing to say to him.
You were on The Ultimate Fighter season 7, describe to us what that experience was like.
I could write you a whole essay on this but in short its one of those opportunities that you have to take and you would never do it again...
I like to say the best worst experience of my life
Any final words?
I want to thank my wife for everything she has done to allow me the time to properly train for this fight. My mom and dad for being so supportive. Everyone at Ronin Training Center! CJ Minton for running my whole camp and managing the gym while while Ive been focusing on the fight. My coaches Rob Williams - S&C, Vitor Oliveira - BJJ, CJ Minton and Falcon - Striking and Nikolai Timbs my wrestling coach.
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