Paulo Thiago fights in the UFC as his second job. Day to day, he serves Brazil's elite police force Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (Special Operations Battalion), where he protects Brasilia from drug dealers and gang members. Captain Wesley Santos summarized their duties as "When society needs help, they call the police. When the police need help, they call B.O.P.E.
Paulo started getting noticed for his proficiency in MMA when he signed to Jungle Fight in 2008. After 4 consecutive wins in the promotion he was given an offer to face Josh Koscheck at UFC 95. Despite entering the ring as a four to one underdog, Paulo beat Koscheck in the first round by TKO and proved himself on the international stage. He has stayed in the promotion since then and is noteworthy for his incredibly difficult strength of schedule. He is becoming one of the most popular fighters in Brazil thanks to his police work.