This week, WBOB's Adam "Pal" Palazio caught up with MMA fighter Dinis "Sweetbread" Paiva ahead of his pursuit of the vacant CES MMA Bantamweight World Title this Friday at Twin River Casino. Paiva, a 30-year old from East Providence, is 11-6 with 6 KOs and will challenge Californian Andre Ewell (12-4, 7 KOs) in Friday's main card event which will also be broadcast live on AXS T.
Read the full interview below
9 Questions w/ MMA Star Dinis “Sweetbread” Paiva
Pal: Dinis, thank you for taking the time to chat with me, I know you are a busy man?
Paiva: The chaos forces me to be more organized, more discipline. A better version of myself and through that I find the drive to keep pushing forward.
Pal: Through social media, you make working full time, being a newlywed, and an aspiring MMA champ look not only easy but cool. What’s your secret?
Paiva: The dream. I imagine a better life for me and my family and I know the only way to get it is to out work those around me. Can't just fit in, you gotta stand out.
Pal: You’ve fought for CES MMA more than any other fighter. What is it about CES that has made you so drawn to their promotion?
Paiva: I'm a family man, I believe in principles and values. CES simply treats me as family. Without them, I wouldn't have this platform to live my dreams. Without them, I'm not me
Pal: CES has recently expanded its reach with a scheduled event in Long Island and whispers about another non New England date in late August. Most of your battles have been in your own backyard at Twin River Casino. If you could fight in any arena anywhere in the world where would you most like to throw down?
Paiva: I would love to fight in Lisbon, Portugal, and bring the sport of MMA to my heritage country. In the states, however, I would definitely have to say Las Vegas. There is so much fight history in that city.
Pal: You’ve recently embraced the moniker “Portuguese Man of War,” but what’s the meaning behind the original more recognizable “Sweetbread” name?
Paiva: There is no real meaning, it's just a nickname that stuck. Obviously, the Portuguese are known for baking delicious "Sweetbread." The name came out during my last amateur fight and now is an attached alias that'll live with me forever.
Pal: AXS TV’s national coverage of CES MMA has helped bring a certain level of stardom to our local combatants you and your family’s restaurant were even featured during a recent broadcast. How has the recent celebrity spotlight changed your life in anyway? Do you have any fanboys or groupies?
Paiva: I have a great fan base mixed between family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. No "stage 5 clingers" though, luckily enough.
Pal: On Friday, June 15th, you will be fighting for your first title. Does that weigh on your mind? Does it add more pressure, or are you able to block it out?
Paiva: The title drives me more. I have envisioned that belt around my waist for years. I was offered the title shout a few years back and we declined. Just was the right time for me then but it's most definitely my time now. It's what gets me up in the morning and motivates me to keep pushing. Like the light at the end of the tunnel, but in actuality it's just the tip of the iceberg.
Pal: What do you know -- or are preparing for -- from your opponent Andre Ewell?
Paiva: Bringing the full fight package. This will be the Crocodile versus the Gazelle. He's fast, he's long and great on his feet. But, I will drag him into deep waters, smother him, crush him, and for 25 minutes drown him in pressure.
Pal: Being humble is one of your best characteristics. How do you maintain that humility headlining such a giant show like CES MMA 50 as you see yourself on billboards and all over social media?
Paiva: I live my life with an "attitude of gratitude." I'm blessed to live this live, regardless of my struggles. With pain there's no joy. Without dark there is no light. I'll never get used to seeing my mug on billboards nor will I ever take it for granted. Sometimes I stroll through my pictures and can't believe that I'm me. But then I look back at the work I've put it, the sacrifices, the obstacles. These are the stories your here of people who found success and that will be my story.
To see the fights on Friday, buy tickets here.
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