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Joaquim Silva says he cut 27 pounds in one day to make weight on TUF Brazil

Joaquim Silva looks to get back on track after a loss to Vinc Pichel.
Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

CURITIBA, Brazil — Living in a house with several other athletes, away from your family and original coaches, and fighting multiple times in a short period of time is an exhausting experience, both physically and mentally. Yet, Joaquim Silva was up for another run on The Ultimate Fighter.

The Brazilian lightweight competed on the fourth season of TUF Brazil 4 in 2015, losing to season winner Glaico Franca in the semifinal, and has gone 3-1 so far in the UFC. When the company announced the “Redemption” season in 2017, he offered to be part of the reality show even though he already was 2-0 in the UFC at that time.

”I was excited for it, I wanted to be part of it,” Silva told MMA Fighting. “Life is made of tests. TUF was a huge test for me, and I think I would grow a lot as an athlete if I went through that one more time.”

That season of The Ultimate Fighter featured welterweights, and Silva was willing to move up in weight for that opportunity.

“I fought six times at 170 in the past, and my punching power is better at that weight class — and I wouldn’t have to cut much weight several times,” Silva said. “I’ve been there and I know what’s like. We have to take risks. I would be taking risks, but in the end it would be a test for me. I live for that. Every fight is a risk, a new experience, and we can’t win without fighting.”

Silva didn’t get the opportunity to be on TUF 25, which crowned Jesse Taylor as the season winner, but the fact that he was willing to go through all that again is surprising.

”I always say I aged 10 years in a month and a half on TUF. It was a good experience,” Silva said. “We left Brazil to shoot the reality show in Las Vegas, had a great time there, fought one fight after the other in the house, and that really changed my mindset. I got rid of a lot of ghosts I had in my head. ‘F**k it, let’s fight.’”

Aging 10 years in six weeks doesn’t sound good, but he sees it in an positive way. However, having to make the 155-pound limit several times wasn’t good for his body.

”I felt a huge stress,” Silva said. “My body wasn’t functioning right the last time I cut weight. I had to cut 27 pounds in one day and my body felt it. Everybody was kind of stressed with the routine in the last days, having to fight all the time, but I only have good memories of the show. If I could go through that all over again, I would do it with a smile on the face.”

While he waits for his next fight, Silva stays ready in case someone gets injured and he’s called for a short-notice opportunity in the UFC. Aiming to compete twice more in 2018, “Netto BJJ” hopes to be part of the UFC Fight Night card in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sept. 22.

”I’ve never fought in Brazil in the UFC, so it would be a great experience for me,” Silva said. “I need to bounce back to the wins, so I would be fighting at home and it would be good. I’m ready to fight, and would take a fight on short notice if someone pulls out. I don’t want to fight past that date. I want to fight now so I have the change to fight again before the end of the year.”

Coming off his first UFC loss in January, an unanimous but close decision defeat to Vinc Pichel in Charlotte, Silva has a new mindset in the Octagon.

”I will fight for the finish the entire time going forward,” Silva said. “I won’t think about points, nothing. I’ll go there to knock someone out or submit him. If I have that mindset all the time, if a fight goes the distance I will win because I would have beat up the guy. That’s the lesson I learned.”

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