How did you find MMA to begin with?
I started when I was about 15 years old. I’ve always done some kind of training since I was little. Like a lot of kids, I did tae kwon do, then I went to a boxing gym in Macon, Ga. I did that for a couple months. Around that time I found some Pride fighting clips online and went to a MMA gym in my hometown, so I stopped driving to Macon and started training there, where is where I picked up Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu.
What were your goals when you started training?
I didn’t really have a goal, honestly. I was just a young kid, I was dumb and I talked out of my ass. I said I wanted to be a bad-ass cage fighter and that I’d be the UFC champion, but I didn’t really realize the work that it took to get there until now.
How are you feeling going into this upcoming contest, at Apex Fights 13?
I feel great! I’m extremely confident in my ability and I’m already on weight. I’ve trained hard, with a lot of really good guys in all aspects of the game. I know my opponent is tough and this is going to be a big step up for me, in terms of opponents, and I’m ready to take that step to the next level and see how I do in the match-up.
After a big 2016 campaign, what do you have in store for 2017?
My next fight is a qualifier for the UMMAF national tournament. In 2017, after I get done with this, I’m planning on probably make my pro debut by the end of the year. That’s depending on how I perform at the tournament, and how I’m feeling when I’m done.
When you look at the big picture, what are your goals currently?
First, I’d like to win a title, either a national or world championship. After that, the next step is to win a professional title. Valor Fights has always treated me really well, so I’d be honored to fight for one of their titles and then transition to Bellator or the UFC.