In the right place, at the right time, surrounded by the right people, I had my date with destiny… and it was far more surreal than I had ever envisioned it to be.
I knew going into ADCC, I would be facing the world’s best grapplers. While that is an exciting prospect for a guy with a “take no prisoners” attitude like me, it was also a huge reality check! I knew I would have to commit myself to this more than anything else in my life. The thought of having to drop 23 pounds while training harder than I ever have, wasn’t the greatest thought! The process involved in getting yourself into the best physical and mental shape of your life requires a team of dedicated and motivated individuals. I am eternally grateful to everyone who helped shaped my path towards ADCC 2015. I would like to personally thank three people who went completely above and beyond to help me prepare. Kim Terra for being my best friend, brother, and all around good vibe supplier! On those days where it was especially hard to stay motivated and positive, I could always count on Kim to lift me up. Thanks brother.
I also want to thank to my wrestling coach Matt Dana. He was a big factor in my success. His dedication in getting me prepared for battle was unreal! He varied my training and mixed things up to keep it fun and different, but never took his eye off the end game. From uphill hikes in 100 degree weather and to eating salads for dinner instead of real food, he was someone who I could always count on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your time, energy and knowledge with me. And how do I begin to thank my coach Caio Terra? I am so thankful to call him coach, mentor and brother. He strategized and laid out a plan of attack from day one. He is an extremely intelligent professor. His knowledge of our sport is second to none. His friendship is very meaningful to me. Thanks Caio for always believing in my abilities to be the ADCC Champion.
Thanks to all my friends and teammates at CTA. Your support and friendship gives me good energy every time I compete. I am so appreciative of my sponsor Gameness. They’ve always believed in me. They were so helpful in my preparation. They designed and sent me several options of gear to wear. Their loyalty and support is awesome. I was able to bring my girlfriend with me! Stoked she was there to share this moment. Her support is never ending and now we get to have fun in Rio! And to my family, you are everything! Having both my brothers around me this week put my mind in the right place for competing. They’ve been sharing the mats with me most of my life. Thank you Ary for helping me with that last weight cut. We made it. I’m so happy my whole family was there to see me win. I had said upon receiving my invitation to ADCC that I was dedicating this fight to my father. We made plans 13 years ago to attend ADCC the next time it was held in Brazil. We kept those plans and made history. It’s a day I will never forget.