Heading into my fifth pro MMA fight, I’m already looking to win my second championship belt. But don’t think I just came out of nowhere. I’ve been able to advance as quickly as I have because of my lengthy amateur career.
Before I was signed by #TitanFC, and debuted for the organization in March 2016, I went 25-1 as an amateur. I did lose my very first fight, but I won the next 25 straight before I made the decision to turn pro.
My head coach at Combat Do, Master Bob Schirmer, told me from the beginning that I would need to have 20 amateur fights, no matter what, before I could go pro.
Before me, we had multiple guys from our gym go 5-0, 6-0, and turn pro, and they’d get demolished by another big fish from another small pond. I didn’t want that. Instead, I wanted to travel around the country, and around the world, to show myself that I could do this sport as a living.
In addition to amateur MMA, I also had about 50 amateur kickboxing and Muay Thai fights, combined, and a hundred-plus wins in college wrestling.
Once I made it to 20 fights, my coach suggested I go for 25 because, at that time, I was still in college, so I had the opportunity to finish school and get my degree. But after my twenty-sixth fight, I knew I was ready to go pro, and I was better respected as a professional and got signed by Titan FC immediately.
Just like every other job, you need to build the resume to get the job you want, and that’s exactly what I did. That’s why I was able to win the Titan flyweight title in my fourth pro MMA fight, and why I’m taking on the bantamweight champ in Titan’s first ever “champion vs. champion” fight on May 19.
People call me the pioneer of amateur MMA; no one’s done what I’ve done in five fights, and I’m looking to make history every time I step in the cage.