Me and T.J. actually met out at #TeamAlphaMale; Duane Ludwig flew me out to be his training partner when he was fighting Renan Barao the first time. After T.J. moved out here, we started training together pretty regularly. My style was good for when he was fighting Cruz -- we trained a lot for that fight.
The number-one thing about T.J. is that everything he does is really practical and it’s really smart. He doesn’t waste his time doing a bunch of bullshit moves, practicing nonsense. He works extremely hard and he focuses all of that hard work into things that actually work.
So before we started training together, I was learning all of these wrestling techniques and learning all of these striking techniques trying to develop a game for myself. T.J. showed me certain things that work well for him, and things that don’t work for him, but will for me since I’m taller and longer. It’s been good to train with a guy like that because it shows me I can compete at that level and I can do well.
It’s also been really good for my mental game as well. As has working with Duane.
Duane’s a pusher: he’s a martial arts pusher and a life pusher. I have pretty tight connection with him. He’s been really good for me as far as being a mental coach, making me believe that I’m as good as I am. Duane is 100-percent obsessed with the sport and that rubs off on everybody.
It’s another reason I’m picking T.J. to win on December 30.
When T.J.’s focused, I don’t see Lineker touching him. He doesn’t have enough tricks in the bag to compete with T.J. Lineker just wings punches, and that dude is only 5’3.” T.J.’s gonna have a bit of reach on him, and he’s been working a bit more on landing those head kicks, making Lineker a bit nervous as far as keeping the distance.
I think he’s gonna kill Lineker, and I don’t even really see it being a fight.