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Jhonata Diniz comes from Curitiba, Brazil. It is one of the world’s most famous fighting cities, home to numerous Muay Thai and MMA teams. Legendary fighters such as Anderson Silva, Wanderlei and Jose ‘Pele’ Landi-Jons were born and raised in Curitiba. Diniz wants his own name to rank alongside theirs one day.
Diniz’s team in Curitiba is Thai Boxe, which enjoys a close relationship with the infamous Chute Boxe team. With Chute Boxe being primarily an MMA team, it often sends its fighters down the road to Thai Boxe for hardcore but technical stand-up sparring.
There are a lot of rival teams in Curitiba and the surrounding area, with a lot of pride and bragging rights on the line when they clash. This seems to have given rise to a stereotypical ‘Curitiba style’ - a super-aggressive approach, with fighters at times displaying an almost complete disregard for defense as they look for the finish.
Last year Diniz spent some time in the Netherlands and has now become a part of the line-up at Hemmers Gym in Breda, formerly the home of Alistair Overeem and Gokhan Saki among others. The gym has a record of producing top heavyweights and Diniz is having decades of knowledge poured into him.
Any questions about Diniz being ready for the GLORY heavyweight division were answered in Tokyo, Japan on New Year’s Eve 2012. He took part in the GLORY 4 GRAND SLAM, a 16-man heavyweight tournament, and faced top-ranked Daniel Ghita in the first round.
Experts expected Ghita to blow him away; instead, Diniz brought the fight to the Romanian and gave him a real scare. Ghita had to pull out every trick in his book to get a decision win. He was left looking at Diniz with a mixture of surprise and new-found respect, and he wasn’t the only one.