For featherweight Dinis Paiva, the lockdown imposed by the novel coronavirus didn’t derail his year as much as it has for other fighters.
In both his personal life and fighting career, Paiva was able to keep things moving forward and maintain a positive outlook.
“Fortunately I have a job that I’ve been able to work and sustain a living from,” Paiva told MMAWeekly.com. “My wife and I bought our first home this year in January. The fact that we were able to sustain an income is huge.
“In the fight world I’ve been able to consistently a few days a week at a local gym for a few people, keeping it very tightknit. I’ve been able to stay in decent shape at least. At the end of the day I’m thankful that I’ve been able to stay positive.”
When it comes to growing his game in 2020, Paiva feels like his stand-up has made the most progression this year.
“We’ve been working a lot on my boxing; switching stances, movement, parrying, working orthodox, and going through those motions,” said Paiva.
“As spring started coming around and things started opening up a little, grappling here and there, working strength and conditioning a few days a week, and fine-tuning my boxing skills.”
On September 15, Paiva (13-7) will get his shot at a UFC contract when he faces Kyle Driscoll (11-3) in a main card 145-pound bout at Contender Series 2020: Week 7.
“Kyle’s a stud,” Paiva said. “He’s going to come out and bring it.
“It’s going to be a matter of who applies their game plan. I’m very tactical and technical, and that’s what I think people are going to see. We’re both going to go in there and try to finish each other because of what’s on the line.”
Following a rough beginning to his career, Paiva has managed to turn things around, and hopes that September 15 will be what he’s needed to finally get him to the next level.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t something I think about,” said Paiva. “It’s kind of one of those things that every fighter dreams about.
“I’m 32, going to be 33, I’ve got 20+ fights, the first half of my career was really rocky, so now I’m in this next chapter, surrounding myself with the best guys I can ask for, and am trying to follow in their footsteps.”