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TRAINING: I have daily sessions of Muay Thai and wrestling and do my conditioning training three times a week. At my age, I have to train smart.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started competing in BJJ and Judo when I was five years old. I started training MMA to help my teammates at the gym and saw it was a new challenge so I started competing in 2004. I got inspired by the first UFC I watched, with Royce Gracie, and decided then and there that I wanted to be in the UFC.
What ranks and titles have you held? I am a 3rd degree BJJ black belt and a 2nd degree Judo black belt. I am a Cage Rage veteran and held the UCMMA welterweight title in 2009 and 2010.
Do you have any heroes? I admire a lot of people, but my heroes will always be my parents, who have supported me through everything.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It's a dream come true and has been a goal of mine since Day One. The UFC is the pinnacle of professional MMA and is the highest achievement attainable by any fighter, so it means a lot to me to have this opportunity.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? Yes, I earned a Bachelor's degree in Sports Science and a Post-Graduate degree in Physiology.
What was your job before you started fighting? I started teaching martial arts in Brazil when I was a blue belt at 17. After I received my black belt, I decided to move to London and train full-time. I worked many odd jobs, including babysitting, security at night clubs, handing out fliers, and cleaning the gym I trained in. Then I got the opportunity to teach again and my career as a coach began to develop, which took me to Dubai, Greece and now Hong Kong.