I was born in Niterói suburb of Rio de Janeiro and I was raised between there and the city of Maringá, about six hundred miles away towards the interior of Brazil.
My father was a master of capoeira and jiu jitsu, he fought in MMA - or Vale Tudo (“anything goes”) as it was called back then - and I wanted to be like him. So even though I showed promise at basketball when I was younger, my mind was on fighting.
I only came into kickboxing professionally because at the gym where I was training jiu jitsu, there were these guys who were fighting as pro kickboxers and they were always making fun of the jiu jitsu guys, saying they were scared to get hit etc.
So one day they defied me one too many times and I accepted their invitation to take some sparring with them. It was a surprise for everyone because I easily handled them all, and from that moment I began to give serious consideration to kickboxing.
What those guys didn’t know was that I was trained since I was a kid, by my father, so I wasn’t just a jiu jitsu guy. As of now I have like twenty years of training under my belt and I am still learning.
I’m trying to be the best I can be and show the world what I can do. Along the way if I can give a better life to my loved ones, I will be happy with that.