Man sentenced to 16 years in prison for murder of UFC fighter Raulian Paiva’s girlfriend in 2018

By Josh Evanoff - December 5, 2022

A man has been sentenced to prison time for the murder of Raulian Paiva‘s girlfriend.

Raulian Paiva

The Brazilian has been in the UFC since August 2018. During his time in the MMA promotion, he’s gone 3-4, with mixed success at flyweight and bantamweight. He famously faced Sean O’Malley at UFC 269 last December, coming up short by first-round TKO.

While the 27-year-old is now a successful bantamweight contender, it almost didn’t happen. Two months after earning his contract through the Dana White Contender Series, Paiva got into an altercation in Brazil. As the bantamweight was leaving a party on a motorcycle alongside his girlfriend, they were intentionally hit by a car.

While Raulian Paiva didn’t sustain any significant injuries, his girlfriend, Tieli Alves, suffered serious head trauma. She went into a coma for six days, before ultimately passing away. Over four years after her passing, there’s now been a man sentenced in connection to her death.

Elber Nunes Zacheu was the man in the passenger seat of the car and was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the murder of Alves, and the attempted murder of Paiva. The man behind the wheel was Johny de Souza Amoras and he is currently awaiting trial. He was a fugitive since 2019 but was arrested prior to Zacheu’s trial. He’s expected to go on trial next year.

“That’s not enough time for what he did, the crime he committed, but justice is being done,” Paiva told MMA Fighting in an interview conducted after the sentencing. “Justice is flawed in Brazil, but I hope he pays for what he did. We can’t do anything else. We’re happy he’ll be in prison. Not for long, but he will be in prison. Nothing will bring Tieli back to life, but at least he’ll stay in prison for 16 years.”

“Now we’ll wait for Johny’s trial next year, and we hope he gets at least 20 years. He’s the one that was driving the car and did what he did to us.”

Despite Tieli Alves’s passing, Raulian Paiva has continued to pay tribute to her. The bantamweight contender has previously revealed that he writes her name on his mouthguard before every fight.

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