I bet you had no Idea that I used to live in Las Vegas, train under Wanderlei Silva, and compete in MMA

Pretty insane huh?

I’ll tell you a short story about how this all came to be.

I was in my apartment at the time watching a UFC event.

I had watched it religiously for quite some time, but something about this event was different.

I am not sure exactly why it was different, but for whatever reason, this event lit a fire under me. I had always dreamed of being a professional athlete and despite always being pretty good at sports, I was also always the smallest guy on the team (or trying out).

That’s the day that it hit me…with my natural athletic ability and work ethic, maybe this was my shot at becoming a professional athlete. This time, unlike the others, I didn’t have to worry about my naturally small frame…in fact, my being 5’7 and less than 130 lbs would come as a great benefit.

From that day forward, my mind was made up and no one was going to talk me out of it.

I ran it by Stacey, my soon to be wife at the time and, as usual, she supported my decision and had my back 100%.

We planned to get married (which was already in the works) and move to Las Vegas to start our new life there.

A few months later, we were married, bags were packed, and we moved damn near across the country. From sunny Florida to even sunnier Las Vegas.

las vegas

After securing a place to live in what I remember being a pretty nice neighborhood and landing the job that was promised to me, I went around to visit all the local MMA gyms.

After visiting Randy Couture’s gym, Xtreme Couture, I thought I had found my gym. In fact, this was the gym I had my eye’s set on before we even got to Vegas.

But there was one gym left to visit.

That’s when I found my home at Wand Fight Team. A brand new gym that was open a mere 3-4 weeks and was run by one of my all-time favorite fighters, Wanderlei Silva.


From that day forward, I was training 5-6 days per week while still incorporating my resistance training, working a full time job, and finding time to spend with my wife and kids.

It wasn’t long before I realized that I had a natural ability to box and grapple. Never had taken boxing classes or wrestling, yet every student or coach assumed I had been training for years.

That’s when my ego showed up…

Training my ass off just over a month, I decided to do something pretty crazy…

I decided to take on my first amateur fight with only 9 weeks of real training under my belt.

Walking around at 130-135 lbs, I felt comfortable taking a fight at 125.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find fighters that light. So, the promoter offered to find me someone at 135…and of course, I agreed. No more than a week later, the promoter contacted me to inform me that the fighter had backed out of the fight. But, they had one fighter at 145. This would mean that this guy probably walks around at 160, cuts to 145, and that I would have to gain a few pounds to even be allowed to fight.

But…im sick…so I took the fight anyway.

Morning Weigh-Ins

I was so underweight that I HAD to have a big breakfast just to make 136 and be allowed to compete. Not to mention, my opponent looked like something out of a fitness magazine. Up until this day, I had never seen someone this jacked and shredded in real life…and this is no exaggeration.

Forward a few hours, it was time to warm up and get down to business.


I remember being nervous pretty much the entire day.

One of the promoters walks into my warm up area and lets me know that I am next. Minutes later, my music comes on and I am walking to the cage.

That’s when the tunnel vision set it and all I was thinking about was the first combo I was starting off with. It was a few faints and a takedown…

Curious as to what happened in that cage? Here it is!

Despite being over powered, I was able to avoid getting hurt, at all. And despite being over powered, I still managed to use technique to win the fight.

Two things won me that fight…

One was my strength…If I wasn’t strong and powerful, this guy would have manhandled me.

And second was my conditioning. By the second round, this guy was exhausted…and seeing him breathing hard was what gave me the motivation I needed to hang in there.

Forward a few months and my wife was pregnant with our youngest boy.

We decided to move back to Florida so that we could be around our family and friends. Back in Florida, I continued to train in MMA.

And if there is one think that stuck out to me during this whole experience was, that no matter who I sparred, grappled, or trained with…they would all typically say the same thing.

“Damn, man…you’re pretty strong for your size”

Eventually my passion of fitness took over and I started my business which consumed all of the extra time I was previously using for MMA training. And although I knew I had to stop training in MMA to pursue my true passion, I will always remember it as a great experience and part of my life.

Are you interested in possibly taking up MMA?

Maybe you just want to be able to defend yourself in the event that you were ever in danger?

Or maybe you do already train and just want to get stronger?

Either way, check out my 12 Week Primal Strength Training guide for MMA fighters as well as 71 other fitness and fighting related programs that you can download!