I was asked on Reddit about my amateur career… because most successful professionals have a decent amateur career before they get going… but mine was only 2-3 on Sherdog. So this was my response…

Well, Sherdog is pretty incomplete. Sherdog has my amateur record as 2-3, but it was really 5-3. My first loss was due to inexperience, but my other two were to JZ.

The first fight w/ JZ, I got screwed by judges because at the time, it was still boxing judges. JZ was in my guard doing nothing while I had triangle, armlock, omoplatas and all kinds of other stuff. At the end of the first round I had a super tight-fight-ending-armlock, but he picked me up and slammed out which was illegal. Judges and ref had no idea about what was going on. One of the judges was like a 60 year old woman, who when we asked how she scored the fight she said he was on top and that was the only way to win. The other judges were on par with her knowledge wise about our sport because they knew about boxing but nothing else.

Because of this whole thing, we were pissed and wanted another shot at JZ. We agreed to fight again 2 months later. Both of these fights were at 155, but I was walking at 152. There was a special weigh-in for JZ the day before the fight (this was back when we only had day of weigh-ins in Mass). The night of the fight I was 152 and he was 165… we were pissed and said the fight was at 155 but Liborio (JZ’s Coach) told us “look, we are getting paid either way, we won the last fight and we aren’t the ones with friends in the crowd. You can fight or not fight, it doesn’t matter to us”. So we fought. I won the first round (clearly, had him mounted, ground and pound and the whole deal… but in the second I tried to buck him off from half guard, got my back taken and choked out. Shit happens.

Most of those amateur fights were in 2003.. which I was living at school and taking the train back home to train a few times a week. Definitely wasn’t ideal.

At some point in early 2004 all fights became professional… they were all amateur prior. At that point… I just decided to be more awesome and rattles off a 7-0 record to start my pro career.