Elias Silverio plans to drop to 155 pounds following first UFC win

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil -- Elias Silverio took on Joao Zeferino on short notice at UFC Fight Night 28 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and moved to 9-0 in MMA with a unanimous decision victory. Excited to be part of the UFC roster, Silverio plans to drop to the 155 pound division for his next bout.

"UFC called me a month before the fight, and Zeferino made his UFC debut the same way," Silverio said after the win. "But I was well prepared to win. I never entered a ring so happy like this time, I had to win this fight. I had this opportunity at 170, but I’ll think about it. I want to go to the doctor to check if I can drop to 155. Normally, I weigh around 185."

Fighting out of Sao Paulo, Silverio travels 74 miles every day from Pirapora do Bom Jesus to the capital to train with the likes of Demian Maia and Daniel Sarafian, and all the hard work paid off.

"This is the like World Cup of MMA, this is where everybody wants to be," he said. "It was like a dream coming true for me. I went to HSBC Arena (in Rio) to watch UFC 163 and I started looking to the event with other eyes, dreaming that one day I’d be there. Then I got the call from the UFC. I always trained with a goal in my mind to be the UFC champion, even before I signed with the UFC."

A former champion of Jungle Fight, Silverio made his first fight inside the Octagon two years after his MMA debut, and he wants to become an idol in Brazil.

"There are a lot of great guys in the UFC, and now I’m here," he said. "Everything was new to me. I saw Bigfoot (Silva), Lyoto (Machida) in the hotel and thought ‘wow, this is so cool’. And I believe in the future people will see me this way."

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