Las Vegas – Get to know Dana White’s Contender Series fighter Dinis “Sweetbread” Paiva Jr.
The fourth season of the hit show Dana White’s Contender Series continues with Episode 7, featuring a lineup of rising athletes looking to make their dreams come true by impressing UFC President Dana White and earning a spot on the UFC roster.
The seventh episode of season four takes place on Tuesday, September 15 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, with all five bouts streaming exclusively on ESPN+ in the US.
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NAME: Dinis Paiva Jr.
NICKNAME: Dinis “Sweetbread” Paiva Jr.
WEIGHT CLASS: Featherweight
AGE: 32 years old – 5/26/88
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5-9, 145
LEG REACH: –
BIRTHPLACE: Providence, RI
FIGHTING OUT OF: Providence, RI
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: English, Portuguese and some Spanish
TRAINER: Mike Gresh, Jose Santos and Pete Jeffery
STRENGTHS: Boxing, wrestling, strong chin
TRAINING: 4am-6am strength and conditioning and boxing / kickboxing (depending on the
day of the week) 5:30p-7:30p Grappling and sparring
Sat and Sunday – Grappling and sparring and running
PROFESSIONAL MMA RECORD: 13-7
Thoughts on opponent, Kyle Driscoll? Great wrestler, good striking, good cardio, and tall.
When and why did you start training for fighting? Product of bullying in my pre-teens, I found fighting as a form of self-defense. Never fought in the street since the start of training at 13.
What ranks and titles have you held? Ranked 4th in NE at 135 & 145
Do you have any heroes? My brother and my father
What would it mean for you to fight in the UFC? A dream come true. One of the first full-blooded Portuguese fighters to make it into the organization.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? One year at Johnson and Wales – no
What was your job before you started fighting? Account Manager for an industrial cleaning company (Martin’s Maintenance)
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? MA 3x State Finalist, 1X D1 State Champion High School Wrestling / All-American 6th place (Virginia Beach Open Nationals 2006
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Blue belt in BJJ
Favorite grappling technique: Double leg and guillotine
Favorite Striking technique: Jab and fist to the face
Twitter account name: @Sweetbread135
Instagram account: Sweetbread_135
OTHER KEY POINTS:
- Pro since 2011
- Seven wins by KO, two by submission (RNC, Arm triangle)
- Seven first-round finishes
- Has won six of his last seven with a 2017 win over UFC vet Jordan Espinosa and his lone
- loss in that stretch via submission to UFC vet Andre Ewell in 2018.
- On a two-fight winning streak
- Origin of nickname: “Named after a type of bread made in the Portuguese bakery. It was given by an old coach after a series of joking-based nicknames. Coach said my head was tiny like an egg – the bread is often made with a hard-boiled egg in the center.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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