When it comes to getting ready for a rumble, competitors tend to prepare by engaging in a set of standard exercises aimed at increasing strength, speed, and overall technique. While UFC welterweight Paulo Thiago certainly follows suit, putting in plenty of time at the X-Gym in Brazil, he also improves his odds of winning in a unique way.

Thiago recently spoke to the UFC about how his work as an elite police officer affects his in-ring abilities, saying the time he puts him gives him a level of mental acuity many of his peers cannot even fathom.

“To get into the Special Forces you go through a special training program. That training requires a lot from you physically and psychologically. And once you are in, the daily work of a BOPE officer requires great emotional control. There are tense situations where shooting and death can occur so you must have great emotional control,” said Thiago. “That helps me in the fight and before going in, during the tense moments. When I am waiting to go it helps me keep calm and go in with more tranquility.”

The 32-year old Thiago is set to meet Michel Richard dos Prazeres tomorrow at UFC on FX 8. Prazeres, also a Brazilian law enforcement officer, is unbeaten sixteen fights into his career while Thiago holds a 14-5 mark including success over Mike Swick and Josh Koscheck.

The full interview with Thiago can be seen below: