Almost everyone in life is on the road to success and almost every person on the road to success experiences the good and bad times. For Dinis Paiva, his road has had its fair share of bumps, but the bumps he has endured has led him to a road that many are trying to get on; success.

Starting out in life, Paiva was a young boy who was on the smaller side. He talked about an incident that may have been a bump in the road at the time, but may have also been a blessing in disguise.

“I was always a small kid,” Paiva told The MMA Corner. “I am the baby in a big Portuguese family, who all put the fun in dysfunctional for sure. We lived in a pretty rough place. There was a lot of gang on gang rivalries, shootings, and stabbings. I was riding my bike home and approached by three guys. They kept asking me if they could ride my bike or if they could try it out. I was not having it and I kept trying to walk away. Next thing I know, the three of them surrounded me, I got pushed over, and then I got stomped on. They hopped on my bike and rode off. I got up and dusted myself off. I was crying and upset because it was my favorite bike. It has been fifteen years since it has happened, but I do not forget too much of it. A buddy of mine’s father was a boxing instructor and he took me into his basement and taught me some boxing. So then got into the boxing world.”

That bump in the road of losing his bike may have been a bump then, but it started a chaining reaction of events that would forever change Paiva’s life, way more than losing a bike.

After getting into the boxing world, Paiva then took up wrestling in high school and picked it up very easily. He was very reluctant at first to try the sport, but once he started going he was hooked. It is not every day that someone is reluctant to do something and then in the end they turn out to be special at it, which was exactly what happened for Paiva.

Paiva had a high school wrestling career that many wish they could have. Paiva talked about his transition from boxing to wrestling in high school.

“I was in eight grade and my buddy told me to do it,” Paiva said. “The wrestling coach was my math teacher and he asked me if I was going to come wrestle, but I kept saying I was a boxer not a wrestler. He told me to try it out. I decided to give it a week or two and it was fun. Then when I got to high school I fell in love with it. Boxing was not even in my thought process. It was wrestling all day everyday. I was a section champion. I was a state champion. I became an All-American at the Virginia Beach Nationals. Wrestling man, I loved it. It was my saving grace. I had 122 wins in four years and it was a good accomplishment. It propelled me into the MMA world.”

Again, the bike being stolen led to his chain reaction of boxing to wrestling and then to MMA. MMA was not something that Paiva picked up as easily as wrestling. He started his career 1-3, winning his first fight and then losing three in a row. He then won his next two fights to bring his record to 3-3, but then lost two fights in a row to bring him to 3-5. That is a hard record for anyone to come back from mentally, but Paiva did so and won his next four fights to take his current record to 7-5. Paiva talked about a special someone who he says helped turn his career around.

“I am blessed to have my fiancé who had no clue what MMA was really when we started dating,” laughed Paiva. “It’s funny. She had no interest in MMA when we started dating. We have grown together through the sport though. You know, she is super supportive, man. When I am on a diet, she is on a diet. When I am cutting weight, well she is not cutting weight, but she respects it. She makes the meals that accommodate for the both of us. She does the shopping too. I’ll be cutting weight and rip my sauna suit off and plop it on the floor while it is dripping sweat, but she will walk over there and pull the sleeve out and dry it up so it is dry for the next time I need it. It is the little things like that in life. It is the support system, you know. I was 1-3 when I met my fiancée and now I have gone 6-2 since we have been together. That says a lot, right?”

Paiva’s fiancé will be helping him through his next camp as well as he prepares to take on Chino Duran. Paiva talked about his opponent and his next fight as he tires to keep his winning streak going.

“Chino Duran is 8-8 and lost his last fight by a split decision,” said Paiva. “From what I have seen on tape, he is a good wrestler and has good cardio. He is a tough kid and moves forward. He will stand and trade before he goes for the takedown, but I see some holes in his game. I think he gets a little too anxious. I hope he brings everything he promises to bring because I want a great fight.”

It may or may not be a great fight, but one thing is for sure; Denis Paiva will be fighting with a heavy heart and giving everything he has inside the cage. Paiva once again is facing a bump in the road, but if we know anything bout Paiva, he will once again turn this bump into a positive.

“I want to make it known,” Paiva said. “The day of my last fight, I found out that my sister was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, stage two, she is going to be going into chemotherapy. I am dedicating my next fight and my career to her and her fight for her life. She is a very strong-willed and strong-hearted woman. We are all behind her. If anybody has ever thought I have been motivated and determined, they haven’t seen anything yet.”

About The Author

Jeremy Klump
Interview Coordinator / Video Manager

Jeremy Klump is a Sport Media major at Ithaca College and has been writing about Mixed Martial Arts for over a year now. He interned at MVC Sports Management and AMA Fight Club. While interning at MVC and AMA, Jeremy found out that he had a true passion for writing about Mixed Martial Arts. He has interviewed and wrote articles on top UFC fighters while also having knowledge of regional fighters and the top new comers. He looks to grow as a writer and expand his knowledge of Mixed Martial Arts while being a proud member of The MMA Corner team.