Bruno Silva wants to cap off the year in violent fashion at UFC 269 by following his knockouts over Wellington Turman and Andrew Sanchez with another stoppage against Jordan Wright this Saturday in Las Vegas.
A former M-1 middleweight champion with wins over the likes of Alexander Shlemenko and Artem Frolov in Russia, “Blindado” enters the pay-per-view card on a six-fight knockout streak with four of those coming inside of a round. However, he had second thoughts about taking a fight in December.
Silva told MMA Fighting “my plan was to fight three times in six months,” so receiving that offer to compete against Wright was “a gift from God.” The problem was, the call came less than 24 hours after he beat Sanchez via third-round TKO in October, coming from behind in that contest and pocketing an extra $50,000 in bonus for Performance of the Night.
“I was very happy at first, but then I was worried because it’s a big card and an important fight,” Silva said. “I just came out of the Sanchez fight and was in pieces. Was it worth it to take another one right away? I went to the hotel and talked to my wife, my brother and some teammates, but everyone had already accepted the fight. I was the last one [laughs].”
“I had a very complicated camp [for Sanchez],” he continued. “It was one of the most stressful camps I’ve ever had in my career with my team changing locations twice, working with new coaches after [coach Andre] ‘Dida’ left Curitiba for Miami. I had two injuries on the same knee so I had many limitations. I couldn’t do a lot. My life was basically training and doing physical therapy. I had two sessions of physical therapy a day to make sure I wouldn’t cancel the fight and leave the UFC hanging.”
Silva’s UFC 269 opponent Wright is 12-1 (1 NC) as a pro and 2-1 under the UFC banner. In his most recent appearance, “The Beverly Hills Ninja” stopped Jamie Pickett in just 64 seconds.
“In the UFC, even the bad fighters are good,” Silva said with a laugh. “The easy fights are the toughest ones, and sometimes the tough ones aren’t that tough. You can’t judge a book by the cover.
“But I like this fight because he’s kind of a karateka, he’s a bit taller than me, but doesn’t like to brawl that much. He kind of gets lost when he gets hit in the face, but he’s still dangerous. You can’t choose [in the UFC], you have to go out there and beat everybody up.”
Silva said “closing the year with three knockouts in the UFC would be a perfect scenario for any newcomer.” If that comes to fruition Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena, “Blindado” will allow himself to dream of a spot in the top 15 by the end of 2022. In fact, Silva revealed he almost fought once more in the octagon in July, but a short-notice clash with Alessio Di Chirico wasn’t finalized.
For his next step in the company, Silva would love to dance with a man that has fought with both Wright and Di Chirico in the UFC, 27-year-old Joaquin Buckley. “New Mansa” is currently slated to face Abdul Razak Alhassan on Jan. 15 after stopping Brazil’s Antonio Arroyo in September.
“That’s inevitable, a fight between Joaquin and I,” Silva said. “Two strikers, an interesting fight for fans that love to watch a brawl. I was talking to Wanderlei [Silva] and ‘Minotauro’ [Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira] these days that I’m not from the old generation [of fighters] but I ain’t new generation either. I’m 32, but I fight like the old generation, right? I go there for the finish. It’s literally kill or be killed.”