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TRAINING: I’m always training very hard, with two training sessions a day. I wake up, eat my breakfast, prepare my stuff, go the gym, train hard, supplements, lunch, rest a bit, prepare myself, eat again while watching my diet, go to the gym and train hard again, supplements, eat, sleep and it goes on and on again.
When and why did you start training to become a fighter? I started doing Martial Arts when I was very little, like five years old. I liked fighting and fighting movies, and I always like to brawl (laughs). In 1998 I started training Jiu-Jitsu and slowly did some Boxing and Muay Thai training as well, although Jiu-Jitsu was the main thing I was doing. When Pride was the big show in town, I would watch it on TV and thought to myself "One day I'll be doing that..." So in 2006 I made my MMA debut, more to get the feeling of it, and I ended up winning and liking the experience, so I started to pursue my dream.
What ranks and titles have you held? I'm a BJJ black belt, and while I competed in Jiu-Jitsu I was state of Sao Paulo champion on some occasions at white belt, blue belt, purple belt and brown belt level. I was a semi-finalist at the BJJ Pan-Ams at purple belt as well, and I also competed and won in Amateur Boxing. I wasn't much of a competitor early on, because I was competing only when I wanted and was training for the love of it.
Do you have any heroes? My biggest hero of all is my grandfather, who gave me all the education I have, and also taught me honesty and the good values that I carry in my life. As far as super heroes goes, I love Wolverine and Batman (laughs)
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? Fighting in the UFC means fulfilling a big dream and a great desire to me. It means basically having a dream and a big wish coming true finally. It means the dream of having the opportunity to pursuit my dream of being the best fighter of the world, and a fighter can only be the true best in the UFC.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I started doing college for Architecture, and stopped after two years. I also did one year of Physical Education, but I stopped because I wanted to be a fighter. By the way, I also did one day of Law degree studies, but I didn't like it and stopped right away (Laughs).
What was your job before you started fighting? Believe it or not, I worked for one year as a Night Club promoter! Besides that I also helped in my family business for a while, doing a bit of everything.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? BJJ state champion of Sao Paulo from white to brown belt.
Favorite grappling technique: Armbar from the guard
Favorite striking technique: High kick with the lead leg