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TRAINING:I start with grappling at Alliance MMA at 10:30am, then come back at 6pm for a cardio workout, then it’s pads and striking mitts before going home to rest.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu first, then when I got my black belt I moved to Philadelphia to teach and compete in Jiu-Jitsu here and get into MMA too because it was already big here. My biggest motivation was to see Jiu-Jitsu guys doing very good in their fights using Jiu-Jitsu, and it was also another way to make a living in fighting. I started training MMA at Daddis fight camps with coach Brad Daddis, and my debut was in New Jersey in the summer of 2007.
What ranks and titles have you held? In BJJ I have a lot of titles. The most important was when I won the Mundials in 2004 in Rio as Brown Belt and got three third places in the year before. Second place in Brazilian nationals black belt 2006-2007. Several time Grapplers Quest champion in the US. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. In MMA I won the Elite XC bantamweight title in 2008, a local event in Philadelphia - Locked in the cage - belt in 2009 and the Brazilian Promotion WFE belt in 2011.
Do you have any heroes? God
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It means the world to me. Everything that I always wanted was to fight in the UFC, especially when they added my weight class. It is a dream come true and I am more than ready to live this dream now.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? No. I finished high school in Brazil then moved here.
What was your job before you started fighting? I always worked in two Brazilian jiu-jitsu schools in Philadelphia - BJJ United and Tri State Martial Arts, and I am still working there.
Favorite grappling technique: Take the back and work from there
Favorite striking technique: Overhand left