Former flyweight turned bantamweight Raulian Paiva thinks he will have the upper hand against his opponent at UFC Vegas 32. Paired up against Kyler Phillips, the Brazilian hopes to put the pressure on ‘Matrix’ in order to score a finish and make an impression his debut.
In an interview with Combate, Raulian pointed out how he noticed that Phillips does not perform well under pressure and hopes to take advantage of that. Although Paiva does sing Kyler’s praises when talking about the pairing, he still thinks his opponent simply becomes too desperate when things start not to go his way.
“Phillips has good striking and grappling,” Paiva said. “When he is pressured, he gets lost and tries to scramble on the ground in order to gain time. He gets scared when under pressure. If he tries that, I’ll be ready. I’ll pressure him from beginning to end. I’m well-rounded, I have jiu-jitsu, striking. It’s going to be a good fight. I’m ready to shock the division, so people can say: ‘Raulian has gotten here on the right foot, let’s watch out for this kid.’”.
A replacement for veteran Raphael Assuncao, who needed to pull out of the fight due to injury, Paiva claims to be absolutely prepared, despite the short notice. In fact, Raulian does not care about Kyler’s undefeated record and believes he could score a knockout win in the second round.
“The way I’m excited and ready, I think I can knock Kyler out in the second round,” Paiva said. “There’s no getting tired. It’s going to be pressure from beginning to end. If he makes a mistake, I may rock him. If he tries to take me down, I may submit him. On social media, people say I’m afraid of facing an undefeated guy. He’s not that scary. He’s about to meet a real, well-rounded fighter. I’m better than him and I’ll show it on Saturday. I’m confident, I know I’ll debut in this weight class making an impression.”
Currently on a two-fight winning streak, Paiva (20-3) is making his bantamweight debut after leaving flyweight due to badly missing weight in his last outing. Most recently, Raulian scored wins over Zhalgas Zhumagulov and Mark De La Rosa. Before that, the 25-year-old was on a two-fight losing skid, with defeats to Rogerio Bontorin and Kai Kara-France.
Now, Paiva is expected to take on Phillips at UFC Vegas 32, at the UFC Apex. The card is set to take place on July 24 and scheduled to be headlined by a bantamweight bout between former champion T.J. Dillashaw and contender Cory Sandhagen.