TRAINING: I do my roadwork in the morning, have my first meal and go to my first session. The first session usually consists of conditioning or drilling. After a bit of rest and a couple of meals, I head back for my second session for grappling, sparring or whatever we are working on that day.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started fighting about 13 years ago. I caught a flyer for a local show out by my house in Indiana. It was kind of a dream of mine to play a college sport, and it just wasn’t happening. So, I just started eating right and lifting, and I started getting into martial arts and training. One thing led to another and by the time my body caught up with everything else, I wound up being really good at this sport. Once I had a of couple amateur fights, I realized I was good and I ended up in the right place at the right time. Monte Cox asked if he could manage me. At the time I didn’t realize how important that was. He set me up with the right fights at the right time and here I am now fighting in the UFC.
What ranks and titles have you held? Former UFC Middleweight champion, IFC Light Heavyweight champion, Coach on season 2 and replacement coach on season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter.
Do you have any heroes? I don’t really have any heroes.
What is your favorite technique? The one that ends the fight.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? When I decided that I wanted to do an MMA fight, I spent four months training. It was an amateur fight. My buddy, Josh, and I were training in a shed that was designed for lawnmower equipment in the back yard. It was a little 12’x15′ shed with no air-conditioning in the summer and no heat in the winter, just a little space heater. We just trained and trained and trained. Over the years, our training has gotten better and we’ve taken ourselves from those beginnings to the top of the food chain in this sport. At the time, we were watching the UFC and we’d say to ourselves that one day one of us would fight in the UFC. Now I am fighting in the UFC. I’m actually accomplishing what I set out to do.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? University of Cincinnati – bachelor’s degree in mathematics and master’s degree in education.
What was your job before you started fighting? I used to be a full-time high school teacher for Oak Hills Local School District. I train full-time now.