1. Shawn Tompkins
This list would not begin, end, or even exist if I had never met Shawn. He has made me the fighter, man, and human being that I am today. I have always been driven by my passion for the sport but Shawn showed me how to channel it properly by grooming me in competition and training. Doors were opened, sacrifices were made, and opportunities arose through his commitment to both myself and the rest of Team Tompkins fighters. Even today he continues to do the same by opening his house and training facility in Vegas to all of us. Without Shawn my MMA career would not be the same.
It has been stated by anyone that competes at a high level in MMA that you are only going to excel and progress if you have great trainers and training partners around you. Everyone at Team Tompkins, such as Shawn Tompkins, Sam Stout, Chris Horodecki, Nick Rondinelli, and all the others guys push you everyday to keep up, improve and help along the way. Now with the connection between Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and XC Toronto the same mentality and focus is carried on.
My family and girlfriend also have contributed to being a huge part in my MMA career. Without their sacrifices none of the training growing up would have been available. Their day to day support ensures that I am happy no matter what highs or lows come about. I remember that before I had my licence my Mother would drive me to training 2 hours both ways and wait 2 hours during training to allow me to train with the national team (and she hates fighting in general and is scared to death about what we all do!) Also, my parents helping me go through Business School for 4 years, graduate and then become a professionl MMA fighter.
4. TKO Promoter Stephan Patry
Without getting the opportunity to fight in Canada’s number one MMA promotion TKO along side with GSP, Loiseau, Cote, ect, a lot of the opportunities I have recieved would have not been there. I was given to chance to fight at the Bell Center in front of 10,000 fans on PPV which helped me prepare for the pressure of the UFC and Affliction. Also, my name was always in the game due to the promotion of the organizations champions such as GSP and following in their footsteps to the UFC.
5. Jens Pulver
When I was younger I looked up to Jens as a fighter for his ability in the ring, but I truly started to admire him when I met him in person and learned about his life story. He is a fighter in the true sense of the word and I really respected him even more for that. He was always helpful and nice to me everytime I saw him and gave me encouragement as well. It was an honour to have him at my first fight when I was 18 and personally congratulate me and talk with me afterwords. I always have, and always will respect the person and fighter he is.