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TRAINING: I’m always training very hard, with two training sessions a day.
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