“Sheetara” loves the opportunity, of course, but she gave an honest answer when discussing the matchup on a recent episode of MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast.
“In reality, what’s the logic of me fighting Holly?” Silva said. “I’m ranked 10, and she’s No. 3. So, if you look at this, there’s no reason why, but it’s happening for a reason.”
Silva, who beat Wu Yanan, Stephanie Egger, and Lina Lansberg since moving up from flyweight, was paired up against Miesha Tate on a June 3 show, but the UFC changed plans after Tate’s injury, booking her into a main event clash with Holm on July 15 instead.
With Amanda Nunes retiring and vacating both the 135- and 145-pound titles, a shot at the belt could be on the line for any top-ranked fighter at the moment.
“God is giving me this opportunity, and I’ll make the most of it,” Silva said. “The UFC doesn’t play by the rankings. If you show up and the UFC likes it, you know how it works. It’s entertainment, they want good fights.”
Silva pocketed two $50,000 bonuses in her past three UFC wins, and she feels that’s why the UFC is putting her on the headlining position now.
“I have to be one of the four people that win bonuses,” she said. “Fans have to leave the event talking about me.”
That attitude, Silva said, could help change the mindset of certain fans who are quick to criticize UFC cards that are headlined by women.
“I think it’s a bit of sexism, people thinking we can’t give good fights, right?” Silva said. “Mackenzie [Dern] proved we can [against Angela Hill], Amanda [Nunes], so people will lose their prejudice against women main events. But, sadly, the sport is still masculinized, it still isn’t seen as women’s sports too, but we’ll get there. Slowly, but surely.
“I feel obligated to put on a great fight, so people see we can easily headline cards. There are no boring fights with me. I got in there to perform. [Holm] will be forced to fight, because I won’t let it be a slow-paced fight. People have this prejudice against women on main events, so I want to give them a reason to like it.”
Silva said that facing Holm instead of Tate makes things “a bit harder” and “more complicated” given her standup skills, but she still predicts a stoppage victory.
“It doesn’t last five rounds,” Silva said. “I thought the Miesha fight was going to last three rounds, but Holly, it won’t last five rounds. I’ll knock her out before that. I’ll show that Brazil is on fire. The new generation is coming with everything.”