Raulian Paiva is an up-and-coming Brazilian fighter who competes in the UFC bantamweight division. Paiva is expected to take on fellow prospect Sean O'Malley at UFC 269 on December 11, per ESPN's Brett Okamoto.
Paiva may not be as popular as his upcoming opponent, but he's the more accomplished fighter. He is currently the No.15-ranked fighter in the promotion's 135-pound weight class after earning three consecutive wins in the octagon.
The 25-year-old made his way to the UFC by defeating Allan Nascimento in an episode of Dana White's Contender Series in 2018. Although he had a rocky start to his UFC tenure with back-to-back defeats, Paiva has impressed in his most recent outings.
Raulian Paiva and Sean O'Malley continue to rise
Raulian Paiva will take on the most prominent unranked fighter in the UFC, Sean O'Malley. However, it's safe to assume that Paiva is unfazed by the spotlight; UFC 269 won't be his first time fighting a massive fan favorite.
In his last outing, the young Brazilian took on rising prospect Kyler Phillips on the main card of UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw. Paiva secured the majority decision for his third win after engaging in an all-out brawl with 'The Matrix.'
“To tell you the truth, of the first round, I remember sitting down and looking at my corners and they looked worried, and then I saw Phillips hitting me,” Paiva said in told MMA Fighting after the fight. “I was like, ‘What, so the fight has began already?’ I grabbed his leg then, and I remember nothing from that point on. [I don’t remember that I] got back up and went for the fight with him. I don’t remember that. I only remember seeing him hit me and fighting back, and then I don’t remember anything.”
Meanwhile, Sean O'Malley kicked off the main card of UFC 264 with a bang. Taking on newcomer Kris Moutinho, 'Sugar' connected with 230 significant strikes to secure a TKO win in the final round.
O'Malley was then offered the chance to fight former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 268. However, the 26-year-old revealed he declined the offer as he refused to fight in New York City.