clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

'Frankenstein' didn't listen to his parents’ advice, and now he’s going for his third UFC win

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Two UFC fights in four months, and Henrique da Silva’s life has changed completely.

The Brazilian light heavyweight, also known as “Frankenstein,” enters his third UFC bout at Saturday’s UFC on FOX 22 card in Sacramento, Calif., against Paul Craig. However, none of this would have ever happened if he had listened to his parents’ advice against fighting MMA.

"It all started as a joke,” Silva told MMA Fighting. "I told my master I wanted to try this sport, make my debut, but my parents didn't let me fight. They said it was crazy, so I told them I was just going to the arena to watch the fights. ‘You don't need to go, I’ll just watch some fights,’ I told them.”

Silva lied to his parents. At 24 years old at the time, the Para-native would enter the ring that night to face Jonathan Vale, and he went back home with a first-round TKO victory.

"I went there, fought and won,” Silva said. "I got a black eye, so I had to hide that from them for months [laughs].”

"Frankenstein" would return to the cage six months later against Alberto Ramos. He didn't want to lie to his parents again, so he went to them one more time looking for approval.

"When I got my second fight, I told them I was going to fight,” Silva said. "They said ‘no, no, no, you can’t fight,’ and then I told them I had already fought and won before. They didn't believe me, so I showed them the video of my win."

Silva’s parents finally realized that nothing would drive him away from the cages.

"They love fights now,” he said. "My father watches me train in the gym sometimes. They realized that MMA isn't as crazy as they thought it was, that it's actually something nice. My entire family supports me now.”

After two second-round stoppage victories in the UFC, Silva’s life has turned into what he’s always dreamed. After a TKO win over Jonathan Wilson at UFC 199, the Brazilian tapped Joachim Christensen to pocket $50,000 for the "Performance of the Night" bonus.

Against Craig, Silva wants to impress once again.

"After this fight, people will see me with different eyes,” Silva said. "They will realize it wasn't just lucky wins. After this third win in the UFC, I’m showing them I’m here to stay.

"It was really nice to get my first submission win the UFC, and against a good grappler. It was exciting. Jiu-jitsu saved me in my first UFC fights. I actually started in jiu-jitsu, but then I started training muay thai and loved brawling. When I was fighting in Brazil, I always got the knockout pretty quickly, but in the UFC I had to show my jiu-jitsu."

Looking to stay unbeaten and improve his record to 13-0, “Frankenstein" admits that his UFC wins didn't come easy - and probably won’t be easy to beat Craig, too. Silva’s opponent makes his UFC debut after racking up a perfect 8-0 record in Europe, capped off by a title win at BAMMA, and he knows exactly what to expect at UFC on FOX 22.

"I haven't changed my training that much,” Silva said. "The only thing I focused more is to avoid the ground game and takedowns, submissions, but I haven't drastically changed anything compared to my previous camps.

"I think this fight might last two or three rounds,” he continued. "I always went for the kill in my fights in Brazil, trying to finish it in the first round. I believe nine of my wins ended in the first round. I like to strike more and and study my opponents more now, so I think this time I’ll win in the second or third round. I don't really care how it ends, though. A knockout or a submission, that's what I want."

Two months after tasting what it feels like to win a life-changing bonus, “Frankenstein” wants more. The $50,000 check that came after his most recent win helped him buy a house and a car in Brazil. “Life is better now,” he says.

"I want the win more than anything, but a bonus would be nice, right? That bonus completely changed my life in a way I never expected. I signed with the UFC in March, fought in June, and my life has changed completely."