DOB: January 6th, 1986
Hometown: Alexandria, VA
Training Center: Capital MMA & Elite Fitness
How did you discover Muay Thai?
My friend got me interested in combat sports during college and I began watching it then. A few years later after I graduated, my wife Crystal got me a free trial at Capital MMA. I was actually going to do Jiu Jitsu, but I decided to do a Muay Thai class first and that was all she wrote. I was in love with it from then on and never really stopped training nor did I ever do Jiu Jitsu.
What does a heavy training day look like?
Wake up at 5am and then train muay thai from 7am to 8am before work. Clinching, sparring, and then pad-work. It's a sprint of a practice before work.
Then I go back at night for a long evening training which starts at 6:30pm. After a two mile run, we warm up with some light technique. Then our thai coaches make me do 20 minutes of clinching including knees with no breaks with two people that take turns coming in and out while I stay in the whole time. They are instructed to come in after a break in the clinch or when someone throws someone to the ground, the idea is to push me with fresh people.
From there I will do 5 x 5 minute rounds of sparring with different people. After that it is another 3 to 5 rounds on the heavy bag incorporating all techniques. After that, my thai coach will hold pads for me for 3 x 5 minute rounds - this and the clinching are the toughest parts of practice. We finish up with speed kicks on the bag, sit ups, push ups, and stretching. All in all, we finish up at 9:15pm, so almost three hours.
What about a recovery day?
An ideal recovery day is to sleep in to 9 or 10am if possible! Then it's just time with family which we usually spend outside walking around with our five month old, Maurice. I also like to get an ice bath or massage in on these days to keep my body healed as well.
Do you have a pre-fight ritual?
I always go to the thai temple to get my blessings a few days before the fight. It's part of honoring the culture and tradition of Muay Thai and is very important to me, I see the same monk each time. Other than that, I always eat sweet potato pancakes the morning of my fight.
What about a ritual for recovering after a fight?
I don't have a recovery ritual per-say. I usually like to spoil myself by eating what I can't eat during my training cycle. When I win, I always go to my favorite cupcake place, Baked and Wired, in DC early sunday morning after the fight if I am in the area.
What is your favorite conditioning practice?
I don't know if I have a favorite conditioning technique, but I love to run 5 and 10k's because its competitive and helps me build endurance.
What is your favorite Arrowhead Athletics Tape?
My favorite is the Lite-Guard Stretch Tape. As anyone in the gym will tell you, I sweat more prolifically than anyone else, however when I use this tape for my wrists and my feet for support they NEVER come off. Its pretty amazing to me, because every other tape i've ever used falls off or comes apart within 15 minutes of me sweating. However, this will hold for the entire practice.
I use tape on my feet and ankles in training for stability, especially if something is hurting there which is often the case. I also use it on my wrists/hands when I am doing strength and conditioning workouts. Lastly, I will use it if I jam my toes or my fingers to keep them stable.
What kind of music do you listen to during training, or to get ready for a match?
We actually listen to thai music a lot of the time when we are training. It's the same music they play during the fights in thailand or some promotions in the US. It is called Sarama.
I actually don't listen to music prior to competing because I don't want to get too amped up, it's important for me to walk in the ring relaxed because I fight better that way. I try to play games on my phone to take my mind off the fight until I am ready to warm up.