Is one of nine children. His nickname is "Sugar." Worked in security for a hospital prior to his mixed-martial-arts career. Was a national junior-college wrestling champion while at Niagara County Community College. He continued his collegiate wrestling career after earning a scholarship to Michigan State. Was the second-season winner of Spike's Ultimate Fighter mixed-martial-arts reality show. Was honored with Rashad Evans, Light Heavyweight Champion Day on January 1, 2009, in his hometown of Niagara County, NY.