Mayra Bueno Silva has suddenly emerged as a new contender in the women’s bantamweight division.
On Saturday, Bueno Silva pulled off a stunning submission to finish former champion Holly Holm in the second round in the UFC Vegas 77 main event. The finish came after Holm rushed forward to close the distance and look for a takedown but she was met by Bueno Silva immediately latching onto her neck before securing a nasty power guillotine choke.
Holm held on momentarily but there was no escaping as she tapped out at just 38 seconds into the second round. The finish gave Bueno Silva the biggest win of her career while notching a fourth straight victory in a row overall since making her return to 135 pounds.
Following the win, Bueno Silva wasted no time calling for a fight against ex-champion Julianna Pena after the bantamweight title was vacated when Amanda Nunes announced her retirement following UFC 289.
“I do what I said. Now I want the belt because I deserve it,” Bueno Silva shouted. “Nobody finish like me. I deserve the belt. Hey Julianna Pena, let’s go. I deserve this, you deserve this. The people deserve this. I finish my fights. I give a show for everybody
“This belt is my belt. This belt is Amanda’s belt. This belt is a Brazilian belt. This is for Amanda Nunes. This is for my country.”
It was an incredibly impressive performance from Bueno Silva, who didn’t look out of sorts at all in her first main event while taking on an experienced opponent in Holm with a ton of five-round experience on her resume.
At the start of the fight, Holm was displaying fast hands while constantly closing the distance to look for the clinch as she attempted to slow down Bueno Silva as she marched forward aggressively. While Holm was largely controlling the pace throughout the opening round, Bueno Silva definitely landed some punishing shots whenever she found time to work.
As the second round started, Holm went back to the same strategy as he rushed ahead to cut off Bueno Silva before ducking her head to try for the takedown. That’s all it took for Bueno Silva to quickly see the opening to grab onto Holm’s next as she secured her arms in the submission.
Despite her best effort, Holm couldn’t break free while Bueno Silva was just tightening her grip and that eventually led to the tap. Bueno Silva jumped up in celebration while a dejected Holm was obviously disappointed by her own performance.
While it was a joyous occasion for Bueno Silva, who may have just secured a shot at UFC gold with the win, she spoke openly about some mental health struggles she faced recently while also offering words of encouragement for anybody else dealing with the same problems.
“Recently I found myself in a huge, huge depression,” Bueno Silva said. “I thought that life was not worth it anymore. That being alive was no longer important. I found these people here and I found that girl right there. She’s been there all along.
“This might happen to you. If you have any issues, find somebody, go and talk, reach out to somebody. The victory is always there, it’s not lost. Go for it, reach out and talk to someone.”