What advice do you have for an aspiring fighter?
To finish school. Go to college and wrestle. A lot of people want to take the easy route. They want to fight without getting educated. Then their career is over and they have nothing to fall back on.
What is your favorite part about being an MMA fighter?
I grew up in East LA and in New Mexico. I grew up in a poor environment. I never thought that I would be able to see the world. This has really let me see the world and realize how blessed I am. It has given me the opportunity to explore life and get outside of the city. There is a whole other world out there. Everything is possible
If you had the choice, who would you like to fight?
I don't have any grudges against anyone. I respect all fighters. I basically spar with the best every day at Jackson Submissions. I don't fear anyone. I would compete against anyone who wants to compete against me. I don't like to think of it as fighting, it is competing. I love to compete against the best.
Who were your heroes growing up?
My mother, brother and sister. In high school, I had a good friend who served in the service, we worked together, and then he served again. He ended up losing his life protecting the country in the war against terror. He is a true American hero. His name is Jason Cunningham who was in the Air Force. I think about him before each fight. It really calms me down.
If you were not an MMA fighter, what would you be?
I've been fighting for 12 years professionally. I just turned 35. I still have several years left in fighting. I am going to go back to college. I am looking at 2 things: training to be a police officer in SWAT or gang unit, or sports psychology. If I hadn't fought, I would be a cop right now.
What was your favorite subject in school?
It was definitely physical education. I was really good at all sports - kicking a ball or running. I grew up with sports and I love sports. I also really love history.