The career of Erick Silva has followed an interesting path to say the least.
Silva will meet Nordine Taleb this Saturday night in one of the FOX Sports 1 prelims at UFC 196 from Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Following a pair of first round submission wins over Mike Rhodes and one-time UFC title contender Josh Koscheck, Silva (18-6) appeared set to make a run. However, that was stopped by Neil Magny last August when he suffered a split decision loss.
For the Brazilian, it’s been a case of winning the fights he is favored to, and not the ones he really needs.
Maybe it all started with a controversial disqualification loss to Carlos Prater back in 2012.
Silva entered the UFC with a record of 12-1 with one no-contest and promptly knocked out Luis Ramos at UFC 134 in 2011. When he returned in early 2012, his match with Prater was stopped due to illegal punches to the back of the head.
A few months later, Silva got back in the win column with a submission victory over Charlie Brenneman and was set to meet former title contender Jon Fitch. He stepped into the Octagon with Fitch in his home country, but was met with a decision loss.
Following another first round submission, this time against Jason High, Silva again fell victim in Brazil when Dong Hyun Kim knocked him out in the second round. Following the same trend, he rebounded with a finish of Takenori Sato before losing to Matt Brown in an instant classic that Silva had well within his grasp.
If the 31-year-old is going to make his run at the welterweight title, now is the time. The division continues to grow with young prospects day by day and Silva needs to make a statement vs. Taleb and start stringing together wins to remain relevant.