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TRAINING: Morning - MMA Training with my coaches and Xgym teammates for about 90 minutes, where we do sparring and very intense training. Afternoon - Drilling and strategic training for about 90 minutes at the Xgym, where I sharpen my weapons or try to bring something new to my arsenal. We have a schedule where I train Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Wrestling, etc. through the week. Night - Conditioning training with my coach Rogerio Camoes at Xgym, about 45-60 minutes five or six days a week; it changes every week. This is where we make sure I will be at my peak level on the day of the fight.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started with Jiu-Jitsu when I was 17 years old, I fell in love with the sport and after all my conquests in Jiu-Jitsu and ADCC, MMA was my next challenge. I naturally moved on to MMA as a way of making a better living and combining it with what I love to do most, which is train and compete.
What ranks and titles have you held? Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, ADCC champion, among other titles.
Do you have any heroes? Yes I do have many heroes in life, and their examples help me keep on the right track. My parents, coaches, training partners, close friends and God.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? Everything. It’s a great place to show my skills and show to the world that I am among the best in my weight division.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? Just basic education.
What was your job before you started fighting? I have competed in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments since I have started training, so that was my work, and I got through the years with help from friends, teammates and sponsors.
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? There were a few pro divisions in Jiu-Jitsu by the time I was competing, but there was pretty much no money at all. The only pro competition out there was the ADCC and I had competed in 2003 ADCC Brazil, and still as a Brown belt I finished second in my weight division. In ADCC 2005 in Los Angeles, I won my weight division and finished second in the open division. ADCC 2009, I won the super fight against Robert Drysdale.
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu and Judo
Favorite grappling technique: Anything that finished my opponents, but my favorites are triangles and armbars
Favorite striking technique: Jab and uppercut