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TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 21: Vinny Magalhaes weighs in during the UFC 152 weigh in at Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens on September 21, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started to train Jiu-Jitsu in 1998 at the age of 14. I started training for fighting in 2004, when I moved to California to train/teach at Cesar Gracie's Academy. Having many high level guys around (such as David Terrell, Jake Shields and the Diaz Brothers), made me want to fight as well.
What titles have you held? In MMA, none. In Jiu-Jitsu and Grappling I've won a lot of tournaments. I have 8 medals at the BJJ World Championship (4 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze). I'm also a BJJ Pan American Champion, 2x American National Champion, Brazilian National Champion, 6x Rio de Janeiro State Champion, 3x Rio de Janeiro State Ranking Champion, US Open Champion.
Do you have any heroes? My heroes are my dad and mom. I couldn't have done anything that I’ve done in my life if I didn't have them as inspiration.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It's a dream coming true. I started to train Jiu-Jitsu because of UFC... back in 1998 when Royce Gracie and Vitor Belfort were the men in MMA. I feel like I reached my dream; now I want to stay here for a long time... I'm not here just to fill a spot. My goal is to be the UFC LHW Champion in less than 3 or 4 years. This is something that I can do, and I will...
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I was in the university studying Physical Education when I decided to move to the US. I didn't finish it though.
What was your job before you started fighting? I never had a job before I started fighting.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? Gi: 3x World Champion (Heavy/Super Heavy/Absolute), Pan American Champion (Medium Heavy), 2x Brazilian National Champion (Heavy/Absolute), 2x American National Champion (Heavy/Absolute), 6X Rio de Janeiro State Champion (2000/01/02/03/04/05), 3x Rio de Janeiro State Ranking Champion (2002/03/04), 2005 US Open Champion (Absolute), 2007 Grapplers Quest West Coast Champion (Absolute), 2007 North American Tournament Champion (Heavy), 2001 World Championship - 2nd Place (Absolute), 2005 Panamerican Championship - 2nd Place (Absolute), 2005 Panamerican Championship - 2nd Place (Heavyweight), 2007 World Championship - 3rd Place (Super Heavy), 2003 World Championship - 3rd Place (Absolute), 2000 World Championship - 3rd Place (Middle)
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? No Gi: World Champion (Final: Cristiano "Titi" Lazarinni, 2007 ADCC Brazil Trials winner), Pan American of Grappling Champion (Final: Kevin Casey), PSL LA Sub-X Winner (opponent: Robert Drysdale, 2007 ADCC Absolute Champion), Grapplers Quest West 2007 Pro Division Champion (Final: Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu), Grapplers Quest West 2006 Pro Division Champion (Final: Alexandre "Xande" Ribeiro, 2007 ADCC under 99kg Champion), PSL X-Mission Participant (opponent: Vladimir Matyushenko)
Ranks in any martial arts styles: I'm a 1st degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Under Vinicius Aieta and Royler Gracie). I got my Black Belt after win 13 matches (10 by submission) at the 2005 BJJ World Championship as a Brown Belt.
Favorite grappling technique: I'm really comfortable fighting on the ground. Doesn't really matter if I'm fighting off of my back, or if I'm on top passing the guard, so I can pretty much say that grappling-wise I don't really have a favorite move.
Favorite Striking technique: Kicks... all kinds of: leg kicks, body kicks, side kicks, head kicks...