What made you get into martial arts?
I was coaching football at the same college I had graduated from and was having a hard time trying to find a way to keep competing and testing myself. A buddy of mine came up to me and mentioned that he had been training at a local gym and that I should come and check it out. I immediately jumped at the opportunity, fell in love with MMA and never looked back.
Tell us about your journey/background/accomplishments?
I started off at a small gym in California and began competing in amateur kickboxing/MMA fights about a month and a half into training. I won 5 amateur fights, and I also earned first place at 2 Grappler’s Quest events in Las Vegas. I had my first pro fight six months into training and went 10-0 those first two years. During that time I became a part of the IFL (International Fight League) where I meant Vladimir Matyushenko(UFC, Bellator). I moved to Los Angeles to train at Vladimir’s gym, VMAT, and became good friends and training partners with Antoni Hardonk (UFC,K-1). Vladimir and Antoni would become my head coaches as the years progressed. At VMAT I had the privilege to train with multiple fighters: Loyoto Machida, Fabricio Werdum, Jacare Souza, Andre Arlovski, Robbie Lawler, Matt Hughes, Quinton Jackson, etc. I was born and raised on the Central Coast of California and was also able to spend a lot of time training with Chuck Liddell and the Pit Fight Team out of San Luis Obispo. I have had the privilege to fight for EliteXC, Strikeforce, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I moved out to Colorado four years ago to train with the fighters out here and have been at High Altitude Martial Arts ever since.
My proudest accomplishment is that I do what I love to do, and get paid for it!
What is your goal as a coach?
I want to help people become the best they can be and meet their highest potential. I have had the privilege to have many veterans of the sport help me out, and it is my desire to pass that along and do for others what was done for me. My passion is striking, not just in the stand up game, but also on the ground. That is my specialty. whether it be standing or on the ground I want to knock you silly.
What makes High Altitude Martial Arts special?
I have been a part of this gym now for almost three years and I love it. I think HAMA does a great job of creating a family atmosphere and there is a level of training that is hard to find at other places. What I love most is the passion and desire that I see in the students every time I am there, they are the greatest inspiration.