For years, I believed that anything worth doing was worth doing early. In graduate school, I submitted my dissertation two years in advance. In college, I wrote my papers weeks early and finished my thesis four months before the due date. My roommates joked that I had a productive form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
I can remember 1987 when I had my first amateur fight in Michigan, weighing 64lb. I was 10 years old. I was the youngest and smallest guy on my team. I can remember what I ate. There was this restaurant called Ponderosa, and my dad made me eat a steak. I was happy. It was a first round knockout. I slept with my trophy for two weeks.
When you want to be a fighter, you have to give it everything you got. MMA just became who I am because of the amount of work I was putting into my training. It all starts in the gym. The hours turn into days, days into weeks, and weeks into months; it's like school - the more time you spend learning, the better you'll be prepared for a test.
For me, I think one of the biggest battles is mentally. You have good days, and you have bad days. Randomly, you'll feel good for weeks, and then all of a sudden, you'll have a bad day where you're really sore. And you end up questioning yourself, like, 'Am I doing the right thing? Why is this so hard?'