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With ‘three knockouts’ in 18 seconds, undefeated heavyweight Henrique Silva eyes chance in the UFC

Leonardo Fabri

Henrique Silva made his Jungle Fight debut this past Saturday, and he couldn’t have expected a better result. The 31-year-old heavyweight improved to 5-0 with an 18-second knockout over Johnny Walker, but his win could have been even faster.

"I wasn’t expecting to win that fast, but I kind of knew I would win exactly like that," Silva told MMA Fighting. "I studied his game a lot, knew that he throws a lot of kicks, front kicks and leg kicks, so I planned on countering that. But I wasn’t expecting to win that fast."

Silva dropped his opponent with only seven seconds into the bout, but Walker kept coming back. "Montanha" had to basically knock him out three times to finally convince referee Douglas Aires to stop the contest.

"I didn’t even believe it. He came back twice," Silva said. "I thought he would go out in the first punch, but he has a solid chin. Maybe he was knocked out already when he came back up. I hit him really hard."

Silva improved to 5-0 with five knockouts as a mixed martial artist and hopes to finally be able to fight more constantly. After competing only once a year since his debut in 2012, except for his two wins in 2014, "Montanha" credits BH Rhinos coach Cristiano Lazzarini for his evolution.

"I didn’t have a team like I do now, with ‘Titi’ at BH Rhinos," he said. "I want to fight as many times as possible, and there are two fights likely coming next. I guess my ex-coach didn’t believe ha much in me, but everything is different now with ‘Titi’."

Following an impressive debut at Jungle Fight, he’s open to competing for the heavyweight championship.

"I’m not in a hurry," he said, "but if Wallid (Ismail) gives me an opportunity to fight for the belt, I’ll keep doing my job."

Silva already wears a UFC glove on his profile photo in a social media, and that was a gift from his grandmother.

"My grandmother traveled to the United States and bought it at the UFC store," he said. "This is our dream. My grandmother watched me fight for the first time Saturday on TV. She was a bit nervous, but it was okay [laughs].

"My goal is to sign with the UFC, for sure. It’s every athlete’s dream," he continued. "The heavyweight division doesn’t have many fighters and I’m an aggressive athlete, my fights are always exciting. I believe that they will at least know about me after this fight. Maybe they will keep their eyes on me now. They will know that there’s a heavyweight coming."

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