The former GLORY kickboxing champion showcased his striking acumen yet again but also had to be wary of the powerful shots and grappling attempts coming back from Silva over all three rounds. In the end, Pereira’s blinding power and nasty combinations were just too much, as he secured the unanimous decision win with three 30-27 scorecards in his favor.
“We talk about MMA — a lot of people criticize my grappling and my ground, but I came here and show what I do everyday,” Pereira said. “Any name [next]. I’ve been seeing [Jared] Cannonier doing a great job, almost in line for a title. I would love to face him.”
The strikers were throwing heavy leather early and often, with Pereira also mixing in a number of kicks to the legs and body. As Silva looked to close the distance on his taller, longer opponent, he continually rushed forward and threw punches in bunches to get into Pereira’s face.
After Silva managed a takedown for a brief moment, Pereira climbed back to his feet and unloaded a barrage of shots in succession that really started to do some damage. Pereira was so powerful with his punches that his shots were actually moving Silva back and forth as “Blindado” looked to survive the onslaught.
Pereira was being smart and tactical with his combinations, oftentimes sticking to straight punches and then hooks behind it, but Silva showed no signs of slowing down, as he launched bombs of his own and also managed to threaten with his grappling as well to keep Pereira guessing.
When Pereira was finally able to keep Silva at the end of his punches in the third and final round, he started to connect with a number of straight punches. Pereira then unloaded a number of massive hooks to the head and body that had Silva rattled.
With less than 30 seconds remaining, Pereira blasted his opponent with a huge uppercut that likely shattered Silva’s nose and once again had him standing on rubber legs. Still, Silva continued to fire punches in survival mode and didn’t actually drop to a knee until after the final horn sounded.
While it was anything but an easy win, Pereira continued to show his growth in mixed martial arts. With Cannonier expected to face UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya next, it’s unlikely Pereira will get his chosen opponent, but he’s certainly someone to watch whenever he books his next fight in 2022.