Training: For this fight camp, I have changed a lot of my training, focusing a lot on ground work and wrestling. I know Paul has good ground skills, so I have been training to do whatever it takes to keep it on the feet. I do conditioning, Muay Thai, wrestling and jiu-jitsu training every day of the week and use the weekend to rest. All I do is train all day and occasionally I teach a few classes at OAMA. Fighting is my profession, I have dedicated my life to my MMA career since 2006, and all I have been doing is training to excel in MMA and put on great fights for the fans.
When and why did you start training for fighting? When I was around 17 years old I started training for Full contact kickboxing fights. I turned pro in MMA Jan 2006. I started training for fighting because I love competing, challenging myself and also to represent my instructors and my team. The big reason why I started to fight professionally is because I couldn’t sing or dance. I began in the martial arts with Karate, Boxing and Kickboxing with 23-time world champion Jean-Yves Theriault. After receiving my Black belt in Shotokan karate, I decided it was time to move on to bigger challenges, and I began training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai at OAMA (Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts). I am now a Blue belt in Renzo Gracie Jiu Jitsu under my head instructor, Pat Cooligan. I have traveled to Thailand 5 times to train Muay Thai in different camps and to Brazil 4 times to train BJJ at Gracie Barra. I have had 2 training camps at Greg Jackson's and I have also trained countless times at the Renzo Gracie NYC location and with the Ricardo Almeida NJ team.
What ranks and titles have you held? 2x Grappler’s Quest Champion, Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Champion, Copa Atlantica Champion, Freedom Fight MMA Lightweight Champion, XKL MMA Lightweight Champion, World Muay Thai Federation Muay Thai Champion, Renzo Gracie Blue belt.
Do you have any heroes? Renzo Gracie
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It is a great honor for me. 10 years ago I set a goal and now I have made it! It is a dream come true. I will be able to show everyone that I belong in the UFC and that I am there to stay. My goal is to put on the fight of night every time I fight. I am all about putting on entertaining fights and keeping the fans on their feet for the whole duration of the fight. I consider myself very lucky to have this opportunity and will not let my friends, family, team and fans down.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? As soon as I got my high school diploma I started to train and teach martial arts full time. MMA is a lifestyle for me and has been my full-time job for 8 years now.
What was your job before you started fighting? None.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? Amateur Kickboxing 4-1-1; Amateur Muay Thai 2-1
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? Pro Muay Thai 11-1
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Black belt in Shotokan Karate, Blue belt in Renzo Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Certified Senior Kru by the Muay Thai Institute in Bangkok, Thailand
Favorite grappling technique: Triangle Choke
Favorite Striking technique: Roundhouse kick