Rez Dog Bio
Born in Beatrice, Nebraska on June 26th, 1982 to a then family of eight brothers and sisters, by 1990 Virgil’s family increased to twelve siblings. With a family that large you learn to fight for everything including food. Young Zwicker grew up watching his older brothers Julian and Roy compete in the Golden Glove boxing tournaments and the Junior Olympics. For this he credits his brothers for showing him a skilled form of combat. Though his fighting legacy would not start in a controlled manner but more so in the streets, he always admired the ring. Growing up in the land of hand me downs and commodity foods Virgil and his family would find refuge in the Indian reservation of their ancestors. San Pasqual Reservation in the foothills of Valley Center, California would be where Virgil’s family set their roots. Life on the reservation was never easy but Virgil never complained. Waking up hours before most kids to take a two-hour bus ride just to get to school. Devoted to protecting those who couldn’t protect themselves the Rez Dog’s heart began to show. Whether it was a kid on the bus being picked on or a family member who refused to step up, Virgil wouldn’t let it pass. He would immediately stand up and confront the situation. If what you were doing were wrong, he would let you know about it. Starting first with words and if provoked moved to fist
At eighteen years old and eager to put some troubled past being him Virgil signed his first professional fighting contract. At one hundred and eighty five pounds, six foot two, and a warrior heart the Rez Dog stepped into the ring for the first time to face Dennis Hall at the Cobra Classic’s. Nearly as fast as they walked into the ring at the sound of the bell Virgil threw a spectacular series of punches that resulted in a forty two second knock out. Although it wasn’t until years after that fight and later the birth of his first child that he choose to take the fight game much more serious. Shifting from a local gym to Dan Henderson Team Quest in Temecula, CA. With a new arsenal of techniques to add to a natural heavy handed stand up game the Rez Dog would go on a impressive undefeated 8-0 run. Before a last minute opponent change put Zwicker in a odd predicament, he needed the prize money and his fans payed non refundable money to see him fight, so fight he did. Suffering his first taste of defeat to a super heavy weight who laid on him for 3 rounds. The Rez Dog never gave in and took the fight the distance. He never complained and only congratulated his opponent in victory. A few months later he would rebound with a nice submission victory and showed he is also a threat on the ground.
Two months later he would receive a giant opportunity to jump up the ranks and face undefeated Lavar Johnson on a live television broadcast for Strikeforce one of mma’s major promotions. With only a couple weeks to prepare Zwicker went to work and began to structure a game plan. When the bell rang fight night both fighter’s stepped out with something to prove, Johnson’s home town crowd roared for ever swing hit or miss. Zwicker seemed to be sticking to the plan when he landed a huge right hand and his coach notice him abandon the plan and engage in a slugfest. He would taste defeat for his second time later admitting he couldn’t help but to throw hands with the much larger heavyweight in a attempt to finish Lavar and silence the crowd.
Zwicker returned to the gym with a serious determination and would make dramatic changes to his diet. Dedicated to moving down to 205 lbs to avoid fighting MMA heavyweights new breed of giants, his training became a vigorous all day affair. When Strikeforce announced they would be hosting a show in San Diego the Rez Dog got hungry. The only available fight was at heavy weight and Zwicker would not miss the opportunity to fight in front of a home town crowd.
His opponent would be another rising star 3-0 Brett Albee. Albee would fall victim to a vicious spinning back kick to the liver followed by a crushing knee to the head and a flurry of finishing blows. Fresh off the commanding victory over Albee, Virgil “Rez Dog” Zwicker returned back to the gym to help coach and mentor Dan Henderson prepare for his blockbuster bout with Fedor Emelianenko. Exchanging head shots with Hendo is not everyone’s idea of a day at the office, but for the Rez Dog its everyday business. Training at Team Quest for the majority of his fight career has given Zwicker the opportunity to be in the gym with top-level athletes on a daily basis like fellow teammates Dave Herman, Jesse Taylor, Sam Alvey and Fernando Gonzalez. He often gets the call to participate in camps with other fighters and has become a familiar face up at Vladimir Matyushenko gym (VMAT), training with the “Janitor” himself and his boys Jared Hamman and Antoni Hardonk.
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