BARUERI, Brazil -- Erick Silva scored his fifth first-round win under the UFC banner, and he credits his deviated septum surgery.
The Brazilian welterweight, who needed 75 seconds to put Mike Rhodes to sleep with an arm-triangle choke at UFC Fight Night 58 in Barueri, Brazil, on Dec. 20, told MMAFighting.com he had the best camp of his career after fixing a nose problem earlier this year.
"I didn’t have time to show in the fight, but it was absolutely important during my training camp," Silva said of his deviated septum surgery. "I was able to do a perfect camp and be well prepared for this fight. I said you would see a new Erick Silva, more calm and confident. It was a quick fight, but I was able to stay calm and confident, and it was the key for my victory.
"We never expect to win so fast, but we plan and work hard to do it," he added. "Thanks to all the training I had for three months, I was able to win and execute everything I wanted."
Rhodes tried to survive but went out, but Silva thought he tapped.
"I didn’t know he went out," Silva said. "I locked the position and waited for the tap. I thought he tapped when the referee told me to let go. In order to submit from that position, you have to put your head on the floor, squeeze and wait. It was a matter of time. He wouldn’t escape from that position."
The 30-year-old fighter improved to 5-4 inside the Octagon with the quick finish, and he wants to finally build his first win streak in the UFC.
"My coaches, my manager and I are discussing that," he said. "We want to start a win streak. We will plan my career the best way possible to make it a reality. I want to win consecutive fights to enter the top 10, then the top 5 and then go after the belt."
In fact, UFN 58 marked the first time Silva fought in the UFC after splitting with his former manager Wallid Ismail.
"My former manager and I get along well, we have a good relationship, but I felt I needed to change," Silva said. "I did that, and I’m feeling the benefits now. I’m starting a new time in my career, and I will win a lot with it."
Before his next fight, Silva wants to try something different. The X-Gym fighter will fly to Albuquerque in January to train at Jackson’s MMA, and he’s excited to learn new tricks.
"I think it will be great for me to go there," he said. "I’m not moving to the United States, I’ll just train there for a while. I need to breathe new airs, evolve and get some experience, and that’s what I’m going to do there. At the same time, I will do everything I can to help them as well."