Prospect Spotlight: Dinis Paiva fights August 14th at CES 30

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Name: Dinis “Sweetbread” Paiva Age: 27 Height: 5’10 Weight Class: Bantamweight Record: 7-5 Fighting Out Of: East Providence, RI (Keith Allen MMA/Gracie Fitness/Sityodtong) Next Fight: Chino Duran (CES MMA 30 – Aug. 14th) MMA has given so much to Dinis Pavia throughout his life, but his involvement in the sport started when something was taken away from him. Little did he know at 12-years old, an incident involving bullies would be the first step in his combat sports career. “I got a new bike from my brother and was eager to show it off” Paiva told MMAOddsBreaker. “I grew up in [New Bedford, MA] it was a pretty rough neck of the woods. Along my way home, I was walking through the wrong neighbourhood. Not too far from the basketball court, a few kids – a couple of years older than me, definitely a lot bigger – wanted to see the bike. They wanted to ride on it a little bit and I told them I was on my way home. I tried walking away, one guy got in front, the other got on the side, next thing you know the bike is pushed on me. Getting stomped on like [in the move “Footloose”] they hopped on the pegs, it was Fatboy specialized and they rode off. I was more upset the bike was stolen. I loved that bike, my brother got for me.” Distraught from the experience, a young, undersized Paiva didn’t like the feeling of being helpless. Shortly after a family friend – who happened to be a boxing trainer – caught wind of the incident. “It all kind of steam rolled from there.” Paiva explained. “I did some boxing with him for about a year and a half. I signed up for wrestling in high school and did well with it, and it took off. Wrestling consumed my life, I wrestled all year round. I happen to do well with it. During that time MMA became popular. Matt Hughes was a big name at the time and everybody knew he had a strong wrestling background. I fell in love with that type of [fighter]. I always knew this was my calling but I didn’t get involved in the sport until a few years after.” From amateur boxing, Paiva transitioned into kick boxing and eventually MMA. Years of high school wrestling gave Paiva a badge of honour in the form of a pair of cauliflower ears. A local trainer named Keith Allen took note Paiva’s battle scares when he was at the supermarket and offered to train him.  It wasn’t long after that, Paiva would make his amateur debut and things didn’t go exactly as planned. “I lost my two MMA bouts as an amateur. I think that’s what kind of hooked me [on the sport] was losing. I completed so long in wrestling, I was a three time state champion and All-American. Losing wasn’t something I was used to. I thought I was going to be the next big star and it kind of blew up in my face.  It threw me in.” Paiva would go on to win three of his next four bouts as an amateur, before making his professional MMA debut in 2011. While he was victorious in his first pro fight, the Rhode Island native would go 2-5 in his next seven bouts. Frustrated with inconsistency, Paiva debated leaving the sport altogether in 2013. But it would be the help of a new trainer which kept Paiva career aspirations in the fight game alive. “I started training with Mike Gresh just before my fifth loss, I learned a lot and I really enjoyed working with him. I ended up losing to a solid wrestler, Rob Sullivan [at CES – Gold Rush in 2013]. Gresh told me to keep training, make an effort to come at least once or twice a week. [He] really made me fall in love with the sport again, I really took a like to training with professional fighters. I really wasn’t exposed to that level of fighters or training. Doing so It jump started this recent success I’ve had. These last four fights I’ve been able to put away all my opponents in the first round.” While Paiva is quick to credit Gresh for his career resurgence, he’s also quick to mention the continued support from CES. Interestingly enough, all of Paivas professional fights have been under the CES banner. “I’ll say it again I wouldn’t be who I am as a man if it wasn’t for CES. They gave me the opportunity to compete for them. I’ve fought all my pro fights with them and I’ve been able to grow as a man and with them. Now they’re on AXS TV and getting that national exposure. It’s been a blessing, it really has. They take phenomenal care of their fighters and do such a good job of promoting. I’ve got to see my face on a billboard, I’ll never get used to that. It’s because of CES because they gave me the opportunity. At 1-3 they could have cut me, but they kept me going. I’ve been able to live my dream through them.” Since the loss to Sullivan, the Gracie Fitness product has remained undefeated going an impressive 4-0 – including four finishes. Looking for the first five fight win streak of his career, he battles Chino Duran at CES 30 on August 14th. “I think I’m a very good matchup against Chino. I was actually supposed to fight him in my last fight [at CES 29 this past June] and a few weeks prior to fight he had to pull out due to a really nasty cut on his eye. I prepared six weeks to fight him and game plan had to change up a bit. I had to take on a more dangerous fighter in Bruno Marques. Chino poses a good wrestling background, he’s scrappy, he’s game and not a timid type of guy. He’s short 5’4, pretty small reach as well and that’s where I think I have the advantage over him. For a guy my size, I’ve proved I have that knock-out powe and can knock-out anybody at any given moment, especially in the first round. That’s where I’m dangerous.” In preparation for this matchup, Paiva splits time between Gracie Fitness and Sityodtong with renowned trainer Mark Dellagrotte. On the side he works as a Sales Operations Associate for TMobile, but has found a good balance between training and working. Looking to carry the momentum into his 13th professional bout, Paiva predicts another quick finish. “Any win is good for me, but I can’t help but feel I’m going to get another first round finish. I see myself definitely going with a first round knockout. My best performance has yet to occur, no one has seen my best yet. Every fight I promise my best performance.” Like all fighters, Paiva’s dream is compete for the UFC and admitted if they called right now, he’d answer the phone. But at the same time he knows the fight game is a marathon not a sprint and doesn’t feel rushed to make it to the big leagues just yet. “The dream is to fight for the UFC. Yeah I’ve been able to string together a couple of wins, there’s guys out there with better records. Are they going to perform as good as me? Probably not. I’ve always done a good job of marketing myself. When that cage door shuts, it’s gametime, it’s my time I’m a different animal. If the UFC were able to call me up after this fight, I’d be there. But I can’t fixate on that, I just want to fixate fight by fight. Keep doing what I’m doing, winning ultimately.”   You can check out Facebook at “Sweetbread” and he would like to thank BaddAss Incorporated, East Providence Crossfit, Keith Allen MMA and CES MMA. He also is dedicating his next fight to his sister Gabby who is battling 2B Hodgkin ‘s Lymphoma.   You can listen to the full audio version of this interview (18 mins in) on an “Extra” edition of The Parting Shot Podcast

Written by James Lynch

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