Thor Silva, son of former PRIDE superstar Wanderlei Silva, is set to compete under Muay Thai rules for the first time in an amateur bout at Money Belt, a martial arts event scheduled for Dec. 8 in Curitiba, Brazil.
The young Silva has been surrounded by martial arts training since childhood, competing in NAGA grappling tournaments in the United States. The 16-year-old southpaw will fight three two-minute rounds against a yet-unknown opponent at 145 pounds.
“I’m always training, and then one day I thought to myself, ‘Why am I training? Oh, I want to fight, I want to be like my father,’” Silva told MMA Fighting. “My dad inspired me to fight.”
Silva entered a ring for the first time when he was two years old, but gloves were so big they would cover his entire forearms. He began training jiu-jitsu at age 5, and competed many times in jiu-jitsu and wrestling tournaments in the United States. Silva joined Muay Thai classes at age 8, and focused on it after his family moved back to Curitiba.
The young talent doesn’t feel pressured to follow his father’s footsteps in the sport, but plans on becoming a mixed martial arts fighter in the future since he enjoys training both Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu.
Set to compete under the bright lights for the first time in December and having sparred with “The Axe Murderer” a few times already, Silva knows how it’s like to get hit by a 51-fight veteran, but says that his fighting style isn’t a copy of Silva’s book.
“I’m good at countering, but I also want to attack. I want to mix both styles,” Silva said. “If my opponent is attacks more, I’ll counter. But I also want to attack like my father does, to use him as inspiration when I’m fighting.”
Evolucao Thai leader Andre Dida, a longtime coach of “The Axe Murderer,” has been training the son of the PRIDE legend for years in Curitiba. He’s also one of the people in charge of Money Belt.
“I feel honored to be part of this moment, the debut of the son of our great champion Wanderlei Silva,” Dida told MMA Fighting. “Thor is great kid; a quiet and intelligent kid who works really hard. He trains hard and listen to his coaches. He’s very humble, too, and never used the fact that he’s Wanderlei Silva’s son to have an advantage.
“I’m sure this is going to be a great way to start his life in a sport where his father had a great run, and (it) also gives him the option to follow this career if he chooses to. I’m happy to be part of this project, and I hope to be with him in every battle he has if that’s what he wants for his life. I know he has the talent, the intelligence, and the blood of a champion running through his veins.”