Las Vegas, NV — It was a scary round one for Raulian Paiva at UFC Vegas 32, but a simple message from his corner helped him turn the fight around.
In the first round against Kyler Phillips, Paiva was dominated to the point where one judge awarded “The Matrix” a 10-8. The fight was close to being stopped, but the referee let the fight continue with the clock running out.
When asked what was said to him between round one and round two, the Brazilian said Team Alpha Male kept it somewhat simple.
“They told me pressure, pressure. Keep it up. Speed it up because he was getting tired, and if I kept the pressure, he would— well, he felt my hands, so that was the message. Keep the pressure,” Paiva told Cageside Press and other reporters through a translator during his post-fight interview.
Paiva would end up winning rounds two and three on all three judge’s scorecards, securing the win. The fight was somewhat controversial, as many media members scored the fight as a draw. Nevertheless, the Brazilian believed he did enough for the win and didn’t think it was a 10-8 first round.
“Me, and my team, we disagreed. We didn’t think it was a 10-8 in the first round because I was always moving and defending myself,” Paiva said. “We were confident that I won the second and third round, so I knew I got the W.”
Paiva will potentially be taking Phillips’ No. 14 ranking in the bantamweight division next week, and since he was ranked No. 12 in the flyweight division, he might even jump a spot.
As for what’s next for Paiva, he didn’t have a specific name, but he did say he will fight whoever, even an unranked fighter.
“I’m young, and I’m a good employee. If the UFC wants to give me the champion, the No. 1 fighter or someone outside of the rankings, I will do my job; that’s it,” Paiva said.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 32 post-fight press conference with Raulian Paiva above.