How did you find MMA to begin with?
I’ve been an athlete my entire life. About six years ago, before I started doing MMA, I was playing semi-pro football. I was injured, so I sat on the couch for a year and gained some weight. When I was all healed up, I was just looking for something else to do. I had been watching the UFC for a while, so I was thinking about doing that. I went to a local gym, mostly to get in shape, then four months went by and I was getting good (laughs). They were starting up an amateur league in California, and I was on one of their first events. Ever since then I’ve just been keeping it going.
Why do you think you’ve been so successful?
I think it’s about being an athlete my entire life, and the work ethic that I’ve developed along the way. I’ve had good coaches that have pushed me, so I’m very coachable too. The biggest thing, though, is that I love what I do, and I don’t just want to be a guy in the mix; I want to be the best. That’s why I’ve been so successful.
Being a California fighter, do you expect a lot of supporters on Fight Night?
I’m certainly hoping so. I have a lot of friends around there, so I’m hoping they all come out for a great night of fights.
What does fighting in a big promotion like ACB mean to you, especially on its debut show in North America?
It’s exciting! This is the first time I get the opportunity to perform for an international audience, and I think that’s cool. ACB has done really well in Europe, and I’m hoping it can continue to provide great opportunities for fighters.
What should fans expect from you on Fight Night?
The same thing they always get: an action-packed, fast-paced fight. I’m looking to finish and put on an exciting show for the crowd. The main goal is to win, obviously, but I have a style that people like. People are always on their feet when they watch me fight, and I expect that to be the case again on January 13 in Irvine.