A Midland MMA fighter is #2 in the southwest and hopes he can make his UFC dreams come true.

According to NewsWest 9, Diara Culpepper is his name but he becomes D Spice when in the ring and he is still surprised that he is an MMA fighter.

"You know the thing that God has provided to me, presented to me is MMA and I took it as a hard thing," said Culpepper," I’m like dang, I’m a fighter now. I thought I was going to the NBA."

He has been fighting at Midland Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the past three years or so, and is already the #2 fighter in the Southwest U.S.

"To me this is just a signal of hard work, right, you know I have a belt and yes of course, I’m good you know but it all takes hard work," said Culpepper.

Victory is not something that came natural for Culpepper, he was born in Lubbock but raised in Chicago and experienced friends getting shot as a teenager.

"It was rough, there was times where you know like you wake up in the morning and get the news your friend just got shot and you're 16 years old," said Culpepper.

That reality was too much for Culpepper's mom, so she made the decision to leave Chicago.

"She dropped everything and moved us out. It was the greatest thing that could ever happen," said Culpepper. "When I left Chicago, the whole world is completely different than that place. It took me some years to kind of get adapted to the world."

He knew he had to make some changes in his life and set his goal to make it in the UFC.

"My goal is after I won the UFC belt next, I'm going to go back to Chicago, make things a little better, you know," said Culpepper, "I’m gonna try to show them that there is a way to be completely out of all of it. Out of the drama, all of the hoodness, all of that."

His fighting career is just the beginning and helping out is the ultimate goal, so make sure when you hear D Spice is going to be competing to watch and support his efforts.

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