• Lifelong vegetarian (eats eggs, no meat or seafood)
• Was on 15 fight winning streak dating back to 2005 before loss to St-Pierre
• Parents were hippies who lived in remote mountains in town of less than 50 people; nearest neighbor was a 45-minute hike away
• Elite jiu-jitsu
black belt under Cesar Gracie, former collegiate wrestler with strong takedowns
• Former Strikeforce middleweight
• Close friend and former training partner of Chuck Liddell
• Home-schooled up until Junior High School; raised in a remote area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in central California
• Hobbies include snowboarding, rock climbing and mountain biking
• Loss to Georges St. Pierre
at UFC 129
snapped an impressive 15-fight winning streak that had dated back to 2005
• Holds notable wins over Yushin Okami
, Robbie Lawler, Dave Menne, Nick Thompson, Jason Miller
and Paul Daley among others
In the morning I do sparring, kickboxing, and pads. Early evening, wrestling & jiu-jitsu, and then either run or lift at night. Three training sessions a day. It will vary some from day to day.When and why did you start training for fighting?
I started wrestling
at age nine. Met Chuck Liddell
in Sept. of 1999 and he invited me to attend classes. I had my first fight two weeks later, filling in for an injured teammate.What ranks and titles have you held?
Ranks: Cesar Gracie BJJ
black belt, All American wrestler
at Cuesta College.
Titles : Several regional championships, Shooto Americas & Pacific Rim Champion, Gladiator Challenge Champion etc., Shooto World Champion, Rumble On The Rock tournament Welterweight Champion, 2 x EliteXC Welterweight Champion, and 2 x Strikeforce Middleweight Champion. Do you have any heroes?
Just people who work hard, and stay with it when it gets hard, because it always does.What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC?
is the top of the food chain in MMA. You can find individual top 5-10 fighters outside the UFC, but no one comes close to overall top fighters.Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn?
I went to college about 3 years, but dropped out to fight full time. I am a single father, and school, training and fighting was getting to be too much. I felt I had to choose what I wanted most.
What was your job before you started fighting?
I did some brush and firewood cutting as a teen. My last job besides teaching BJJ
and MMA was as a managing mover for Meathead Moving while in college. The person moving would rent a moving truck, and I would show up with a couple college wrestlers and we would pack and load the truck. Then we would follow them to their new home and unload. I made pretty good money for doing the paperwork and helping to load and unload.Specific accomplishments in amateur competition?
In folk & freestyle: Four year varsity wrestler and state qualifier in HS. Two time All American collegiate wrestler. 2nd place AAU National Freestyle Championship, qualified for USA/Fila Nationals & World Team trials in both the junior & university men’s divisions.
In Submission Wrestling
: 3 time Grapplers Quest Advance Champion, Pan American Jiu Jitsu Champion, Pan American Advance Submission Wrestling Champion. Specific accomplishments in pro competition?
Calif. Professional Absolute Submission Champion, Gracie Open Superfight Champion, and 3rd place ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships.
Favorite grappling technique: ChokesFavorite Striking technique:
Body and leg kicks