Rivalry brews between Paiva and Nordby

Dinis Paiva

Dinis PaivaFrom CES MMA:

No love lost between Paiva and Nordby as they prepare for heating AXS TV showdown Oct. 30th

LINCOLN, R.I. (Oct. 22nd, 2015) — What they lack in mutual respect they more than make up for with a shared disdain for one another that promises to play out Friday, Oct. 30th, 2015 within the cozy confines of the CES MMA cage.

It’s not quite at the level of Chuck Liddell-Randy Couture, at least not yet, but there’s a regional rivalry brewing between bantamweights Dinis Paiva and Kody Nordby, which will be settled — or will it? — next Friday at Twin River Casino when the two finally face one another on the main card of “CES MMA XXXI” live on AXS TV.

The fiery cauldron began brewing several years ago when Nordby (4-3) and Paiva (7-5, 4 KOs) briefly trained together at Nordby’s gym in Cumberland, R.I., not exactly a budding “bromance.”

“He’s a gym hero,” Paiva said of Nordby. “I think he likes to be the head honcho in the gym running around. What do I think about him now? I think he’s a little overconfident. I don’t think he’s really at the caliber he believes himself to be.”

The East Providence, R.I., native Paiva enters this fight, his third in a row on national television, amidst his most prolific win streak. He’s won his last four, including three by knockout, to resurrect a career teetering on the brink of irrelevancy at 3-5 following eight pro fights.

Nordby, victorious in his last bout at “CES MMA XXIX” to snap a three-fight losing streak, fanned the flames in several online interviews shortly after the fight was announced, putting this long awaited showdown on high alert heading into the final week and a half. A standout wrestler at Woonsocket High School in Rhode Island, Nordby jumped at the opportunity to fight on AXS TV despite having to come up in weight from 125 to 135 to face the red-hot Paiva.

“I wrestled him in the past, probably about three or four years ago and I just dominated him,” Nordby said. “He says he was a wrestler in high school or something, I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem like it at all to me. I wrestled him and dominated him. Great striker. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good stand-up guy.

“My overall impression of him? He’s faced a lot of good guys, but nobody with the style I have.”

“I know you have to be confident within yourself,” countered Paiva, “but talking about putting me in the hospital and all this other stuff, I think it’s a little ridiculous considering the kid has never knocked anybody out in his whole career, especially when almost all of his wins came at 125 and he’s bumping up in weight to take on myself. I don’t know. Best of luck. I hope he brings every ounce of effort and every little bit of game he’s talking to the cage. I know I am. I’m looking forward to putting on the performance of my career.”

The truth is Paiva needs no additional motivation. His dramatic turnaround, and the ensuing boost in popularity and stature, is enough to keep him on the right path, a road that began somewhat begrudgingly when Paiva hit rock bottom at 3-5 and decided it was time to find a new training camp. Enter Mike Gresh of the Cape Cod Fighting Alliance, who, with the tutelage of Paiva’s long-time mentor Keith Allen, has helped put Paiva on the cusp of stardom in the competitive bantamweight division.

“I was kind of accepting the loss factor, accepting losing,” Paiva recalled. “After a while it was like the losses just kept coming one after another to the point where I was like, ‘Well, I guess this is what it is.’ Then I started putting in more work and rose back up to .500, getting back to 3-3 it was like, ‘OK, maybe I can do something with this sport. Maybe I’m not a complete waste-oid and then — bang! — another two losses, back to back.

“It was at that time where I had to make a decision where I was either going to be a journeyman taking fights here and there and losing, winning, losing and not really competing, or I have to make a change. That’s what I did.

“I left working full-time to travel. Between work, training and travel, I put in 70 hours a week. I travel almost 150 miles a week to train the way I do and it’s showing, so I know you’re only going to get results with the work you put in.”

Facing an opponent who, in his own words, has been “on a killing streak right now” is equally motivating for Nordby, a young up-and-comer much like Paiva was years ago looking for his own big break.

“My camp’s going great. My cardio is through the roof. My wrestling is on point. I couldn’t ask for a better camp,” Nordby said. “I’ve wrestled guys like him. He hasn’t really faced anyone with the wrestling that I have, the freestyle wrestling that I bring, the bully-style wrestling, I guess you could say. I think it’s going to surprise him. I think it’s going to interrupt him and I don’t think he’s going to like it.”

Tickets for “CES MMA XXXI” are priced at $50.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $125.00 (VIP) and available for purchase online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.comwww.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254, or at the Twin River Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

The vacant CES MMA Welterweight Title is on the line in the main event of “CES MMA XXXI” as Plymouth, Mass., vet Chip Moraza-Pollard (10-8, 5 KOs) battles Sao Paulo, Brazil native Gil de Freitas (17-5, 6 KOs) in a five-round bout. Also on the main card, former welterweight champ Chuck O’Neil (15-7, 5 KOs) of Bridgewater, Mass., makes the move to the middleweight division against Daniel Vizcaya (8-3, 2 KOs) of Aurora, Ill., and Providence, R.I., heavyweight Greg Rebello (18-6, 10 KOs) faces Syracuse, N.Y., vet Mike Mucitelli (7-2, 1 KO.

The main card also features the return of Woonsocket, R.I., native Andre Soukhamthath (8-3, 4 KOs) in a bantamweight bout against Carlos Galindo (10-3, 3 KOs) of Woburn, Mass. Providence middleweight Eric Spicely (7-0, 2 KOs) puts his unbeaten record on the line in his toughest test to date against Charlotte, N.C., vet Aaron Johnson (13-9, 1 KO) and Remo Cardarelli (5-2) of Milford, Mass., makes his CES MMA debut in a flyweight bout against New York native Darren Mima (6-4, 1 KO).

The preliminary card includes a flyweight bout between Carlos Candelario (1-0) of New Britain, Conn., and Jesse Gutierrez (1-1) of West Roxbury, Mass., in addition to a middleweight bout between Buck Pineau (0-1) of Ashland, Maine and Berkley, Mass., native Pat McCrohan, who is making his professional debut. Flyweights David Baxter (1-0) of Bellingham, Mass., and newcomer Brandon Warne of Ovid, N.Y., battle in a three-round bout and featherweight Shane Manley (2-2) of Cortland, N.Y., battles Taylor Trahan (5-3) of Littleton, N.H.

For more information on “CES MMA XXXI” visit www.cesmma.com, follow @CESMMA on Twitter and Instagram and “like” the official CES MMA Facebook fan page.