Bantamweight Raulian Paiva cannot wait for the Octagon door to close at UFC 269. Paired up against hot prospect Sean O’Malley, the Brazilian hopes to not only steal the hype around ‘Suga’, but to also silence his opponent’s trash talk.
In an interview on Super Lutas’ YouTube channel, Paiva explained how Sean’s behavior actually motivates him to win even more. In fact, should things go according to plan, Paiva does not expect the fight to go past the second round.
“He has lots of fans,” Paiva said. “The fans are about to know who Raulian Paiva is. The bright side is that this fight brings me more visibility than a ranked guy would. The more he talks, the more I want to shup him up and train harder. He is this character who thinks he’s the man. That’s what he likes to do. I won’t let it get under my skin. I’ll be focused, do my job and go home.”
“It’s going to be all pressure, from start to finish,” Paiva continued. “ I think this fight will go to the second round, tops. I should knock him out. I’m sure he cannot take the same amount of pressure I put on Kyler Phillips. If I’m able to do everything I’ve trained, I’m sure I’ll finish this fight quickly.”
In his last outing, Paiva (21-3) scored his third straight win, after beating Phillips by majority decision. Before that, Raulian had bested Zhalgas Zhumagulov and Mark De La Rosa, too. The 26-year-old’s last loss happened in August 2019, when he got TKO’d via doctor stoppage due to cut against Rogerion Bontorin.
Now, Paiva is scheduled to take on O’Malley at UFC 269, on December 11, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card is expected to be headlined by a lightweight title fight between the champion, Charles Oliveira, and former interim-title holder Dustin Poirier.