Dinis Paiva Looking for Gold: “It Would Mean the World to Me to Raise that CES Belt”
Dinis Paiva is under a week out from his 2nd straight championship fight and feels he is as ready as ever to leave that cage with gold around his waist.
Paiva is entering his 4th fight in just over a year, and as training camp comes to a close, Paiva is excited to come to the realization that fighting is finally close. “It’s been an active year for me, this last week is mostly cardio and weight cut of course leading up to the fun day.”
“Sweetbread” last fought in June 2018, when he lost to now UFC fighter Andre Ewell. Not many fighters are able to gain a title shot immediately after a loss, but that just shows what kind of impression Paiva has made on this promotion, as he prepares for his second straight vacant championship fight. “The pressure is much less this time around, I am looking to have more fun in this fight, I am so thankful for CES and this opportunity.” Paiva knows that it is unusual to be given back to back title shots, and he wants to make everything of this chance. “There are straight killers here in the Northeast, many of them could have been given shots, they gave it to me again, I’m just ready to get my hand raised and see that gold.”
Dinis Paiva, if unknown to MMA fans, his record doesn’t jump off the screen (11-7-0) but what should jump off the screen is the fact that the Rhode Island native started his pro career at 3-5 and since has gone 8-2. I asked Paiva on the change, as to many he is currently considered one of the elite talents of the Northeast “I surrounded myself with good people, and pushed myself, for me every day of camp the effort is 1000%.” Paiva states that he was always told about his potential, but it wasn’t until later in his career that he himself bought in. “I’ve always heard how talented I am, but now we are seeing what happens when talent meets hard-work, I can honestly say I don’t think there are many fighters who work harder than me right now.”
“We are finally seeing the aftermath of when hard-work meets talent and dedication.”
Come Friday, November 2nd, Paiva will face CES newcomer Tony Gravely, when asked about his opponent “Sweetbread” had nothing but respect for the 15-5 fighter. “He’s great, nothing but respect for him. He has fought all of the big dogs around the country and internationally, I don’t think he will come in thinking I am bringing something he hasn’t seen, so I expect the best Tony Gravely that Friday night.” Paiva believes even with the intense fighters that Gravely has seen, he has the work ethic and skill to defeat him. “He’s a pressure fighter, he is good all over the place but I have the striking advantage, although not many people know how strong my wrestling is, so who knows I can win all over the place too.”
It is not a big surprise that after beginning 3-5 Paiva moved gyms, which helped spark his now elite 8-2 run in CES which has garnered much attention. That gym is Sityodtong Boston, a cathedral of talent in the Northeast region. “That transition meant everything, I mean I walked into that room at 3-5, the amount of talent that goes in that gym daily, plus cross training at Lauzon MMA (Owned by Joe Lauzon, Bridgewater Mass) this camp alone I had Donald Cerrone, Mickey Gall, Calvin Kattar, Rob Font I mean the names go on and on.” The names do indeed go on and on, a plethora of talent in training partners has Paiva ready for what he fell short of accomplishing in his last appearance, to come out a champion. “It’s impossible to not improve when you have such elite people around you, then it’s up to you to put in that work and I’ve been doing that, that is where this success came from, couldn’t have happened without these coaches and partners.”
Paiva was quick to not only speak on his physical improvements but also how in tune he is mentally during this impressive run. “I’m closing in on 20 professional fights, yet I still treat every day like I know nothing and need to learn everything.” The elite fighters and coaches he has at his disposal have given Paiva a breath of fresh air in the learning process needed to be successful in this career path. “With such elite guys around me, how can I not sit there and just learn, I mimic them and their work ethic, these guys have accomplished so much and they themselves are still learning as well.”
As previously stated Donald Cerrone was involved in this fight camp as he spent time in Boston preparing for his own fight at UFC Denver. Something that caught the eye of Paiva about Cerrone was his absolute killer work ethic. “You look at a guy like that, one of the best to do it, and we are in a gym no cameras no nothing and he is going absolute 100% that was special to me, these days it seems like big-time athletes only perform in front of media, Cerrone doesn’t care, none of us do.”
Dinis Paiva is a household name to CES fans, this man has been with the promotion really since the absolute beginning. “CES is family, I’ve fought in CES for all of my fights, even have a Pro boxing fight under them, their first ever MMA event I was an amateur on the card.” So for the 135lb strap to possibly become his, well it would mean everything to Paiva and more. “I’m loyal, to be a champion for them would just be special, it would mean everything to me, it would be a staple to my legacy with them.”
Dinis is ready for war. In his 11 Pro wins, he has won via it all from submission, KO and decision, but one thing is for sure when he enters the cage November 3rd, “Expect it to be exciting, I like getting KO wins, the fans love it, being that kind of a fighter has built me such a strong fan base.” For fans who have not joined that base yet, outside of fighting Paiva defines himself surprisingly as a nerd. “I’ve always loved MMA, but besides that, I’ve always been nerdy, love comics and superheroes, being a professional fighter that’s about as close as I’ll get to being one.”
As the sparring is done, the weight cut agony all but over, the cage is right around the corner. I asked Paiva about a prediction for this fight, Paiva laughed “I actually stay away from predictions, I perform better when I steer clear of those.” As I scrambled to a different question Paiva began again, “I do predict an exciting entertaining fight, a good ole fashion slobber-knocker, two of the most elite bantamweights in the country both fighting for a belt that could push them into the UFC.”
“Hopefully me and Tony [Gravely] can kick back and have a beer after an amazing fight.”
In describing his aspirations for a UFC career “I don’t have the prettiest record on paper, but I have the most to lose here with losing 2 in a row, if people look into my record they see the talent I’ve faced.” Paiva knows that winning this belt would at the very least put the eyes back on him, and defending it a few times may get him a call from Dana White. Paiva defined himself as his worst critique but believes he can prove that he is UFC ready and hopes one day he can fulfill that dream. “In due time it’ll come, just going to keep pressing and winning, I showed last fight how I can perform with UFC talent, just gotta fix mistakes.” Paiva is, of course, referring to Andre Ewell who won the CES bantamweight belt and the reason for its vacancy is that Ewell left for the UFC where he is currently 1-0.
Dinis Paiva was one of my favorite interviews to date, check him out at CES 53 as he looks to become champion once more. The fight is at Twin River Casino on Friday, November 3rd.
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