It seemed inevitable Claudio Silva was going to get a submission at some point in his welterweight fight with Danny Roberts.
Silva spent what seemed to be the bulk of their UFC London main card bout working for submissions, while the best his British foe had to offer was that he had the pluck to avoid tapping out.
Then, late in the third round, it happened: Silva trapped Roberts in an armbar, and it was waved off for a verbal submission with Roberts vigorously disputed. The time of the stoppage was 3:31.
“I felt he stopped it straightaway,” Silva said. “I wanted to submit him as smart as possible, as fast as possible, but he was a battler.”
The finishing sequence came after a back and forth ground scrap. Silva applied the armbar; Roberts twice slammed his foe to the mat, but Silva cinched it in again when they hit the mat and the bout was then waved off.
Roberts, for his part, swore he was okay.
“The ref stopped it at the time when I escaped,” Roberts said. “I’m just gutted. I was already out of the armbar. I might have grunted, it hurt. But I wasn’t done.”
Regardless, Silva (13-1) was well on his way to an easy decision barring a Roberts miracle. He’s now 4-0 in the UFC after his 10th career finish and has won 13 straight bouts since dropping his pro debut. Roberts (16-4) had a two-fight win streak snapped.