I was born and raised in Eugene OR. I first started wrestling at the age of 12 when I joined a local wrestling club. I wrestled through middle school and high school and it was by far my favorite sport as a kid. My freshman year at the University of Oregon, I really missed competing and training everyday, since I had chose not to join the wrestling team. A good friend of mine then told me about a local Jiu Jitsu club, Northwest Martial Arts and that I should attend a class with him. I attended my first class with the idea that I would destroy everyone with my wrestling background. I was quickly proven wrong as I was submitted, at will, by guys half my size over and over again. As I drove home that night I realized that this was a sport that I wanted to learn and soon after that I was in the gym every day. Even though I was going to college full time all my attention and passion was for Jiu Jitsu. For the next four years I trained almost every day and the gym became my new home and much needed relief from the pressures of school and work. I am not exaggerating when I say that Jiu Jitsu changed my life. The best part about training was that no matter how my day went or what I had to do the next day, I could always lose myself when i went to train.
I had never been too interested in trying MMA, but after I had graduate from the U of O, and was training even more, I began to wonder if Jiu Jitsu would actually work in a real life fight scenario. Even though I had seen Jiu Jitsu work in fights on video and been told it works i had to find out for my self. When a local fight organization came to town I jumped on the chance to compete. After training extensively on the ground and with zero stand up skills, I fought my first amateur fight and finished it in the first round via choke. After that fight I had my answer and knew I found another passion.
I went on to go 5-3 as an amateur before I dropped a weigh class and turned pro. I went 11-0 as a pro before I was handed my first loss to former UFC champion Sean Sherk. I have been fighting many of the top competitors in the UFC ’s lightweight division since 2009 and still continue to compete for the organization with 13 fights to date and counting. I credit Jiu Jitsu to being a main reason why I have been able to compete at the highest level of competition in my sport. Jiu Jitsu is my favorite aspect of the fight game. I love training, teaching and learning every day that I can. I have always enjoyed teaching adults and kids who are interested in the sport. Owning and running my own gym has always been a goal of mine and I am excited to create a family of like minded people who share the same passion for martial arts.
Started training Jiu Jitsu in 2000
UFC Debut in 2009 with first round KO
Received Black Belt from Wellington Diaz in 2010
Recipient of 3 Fight Of The Night awards and 1 Submission Of The Night award in the UFC
Received First Degree Black Belt from Robert Drysdale in 2014
Currently 14 fights within the UFC