Just two fights ago, Thiago Silva was considered one of the most lethal strikers in the light heavyweight division. He boasts a 14-1 professional record, with 11 of his wins coming via TKO or knockout. He takes on former champ Rashad Evans in the main event at UFC 108 this Saturday. Unfortunately for him, the last time he headlined a UFC event, they were scraping his body off the Octagon canvas.
“[I’m] very excited about the opportunity to fight against Rashad,” Silva told Fanhouse. “[I’ve been] working hard for this fight, [and I’m] ready for the fight to arrive and do the job.”
Silva bounced back nicely from his humbling loss to now-champ Lyoto Machida in his last outing against Keith Jardine at UFC 102, Evans’ Jackson Submission-trained teammate. The Brazilian came out with guns blazing to ensure that he got his MMA career back on the winning track.
However, for his showdown inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, Silva surprisingly pointed out that his opponent’s hands may be a lot more dangerous than his ground game, even though Evans was an All-American wrestler at Michigan State University back in the day.
Although Evans’ wrestling skills are undeniable, it’s his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game that has Silva licking his chops.
“His Jiu Jitsu is the weakest point,” Silva matter of factly said. “He’s going to have a good game plan, but his Jiu Jitsu is his weakest point.”
Understanding that Team Thiago might believe they have the upper hand in submissions, don’t expect them to try and exploit that facet of the game too much. In reality, you have to dance with the chick you brought to the prom, so considering Silva has been a slugger his entire career, there’s no sense in him abruptly flipping the switch now.
In fact, his only submission wins are against Dave Dalgliesh, with a heel hook in September 2006, and Antonio Mendez (due to punches) at UFC 84. So in actuality, Silva REALLY only has one fight under his belt where he successfully pulled off a submission for a win.
Expect this to be an ‘ol fashioned slug-out, and IF someone opts to take the fight to the mat, best believe that it will be Rashad that dominates the ground game.