TRAINING: Average day: 2 hours MMA training in the morning and 2 hours Muay Thai training in the afternoon. Boxing training and cardio 2 times/week, BJJ 2 days/week, running several days a week.
Thoughts on opponent, Cyrille Diabate? He’s a good opponent to fight since he has the same background (coming from standup fighting).
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started with Judo and sport Jiu-Jitsu in 1983. Went over to Taekwondo and started competing in 1986 and had my first Muay Thai competition in 1988.
What ranks and titles have you held? Kickboxing amateur world champion, Muay Thai two-time amateur and professional world champion, three-time K-1 tournament champion
Do you have any heroes? Ramon Dekkers
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It is an honor. I have been fighting in Judo, Taekwondo, Savate, amateur and professional boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So far I have been fighting in all of the biggest organizations, and with my fight in the UFC, my career seems to become complete.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? No
What was your job before you started fighting? I started to fight very young and have been a professional fighter since I was 24. Before that I was working in construction, and sometimes as a bouncer.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition?
1. WKA Kickboxing Amateur World Champion 1997
2. IAMTF Muay Thai Amateur World Champion 1997 Thailand
3. IAMTF Muay Thai Amateur World Champion 1996 Thailand
4. IAMTF Muay Thai Amateur vice World Champion 1995 Thailand
Specific accomplishments in pro competition?
1. K-1 K-1 Italy Elimination Tournament Champion 2004 Milano
2. K-1 K-1 Netherlands Elimination Tournament Champion 2003 Amsterdam
3. K-1 K-1 Europe & Russia Elimination Tournament Champion 2000 Zagreb
4. WMC Muay Thai Professional Superheavyweight World Champion, 2004 Stockholm (defended the title 2005)
5. WKA Muay Thai Professional heavyweight World Champion, 1998 London
Favorite grappling technique: Chokes
Favorite Striking technique: Knees to the head and body, kicks to the entire body