Heavy-handed Bruno Silva is all set to take on one of the most decorated strikers to ever step in to the Octagon in his next outing: none other than former Glory double-champion Alex Pereira.
It’s a much anticipated booking for ‘Blindado’, against an opponent who has a lot of hype behind him—in part due to Pereira’s pair of kickboxing victories over middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. And while ‘Poatan’ is clearly a formidable fighter, Silva’s coach, Andre Dida, expects that experience will guide them past Pereira, and maybe even steal a little limelight in the process.
In an interview with Combate, Dida explained how he feels that being a better mixed martial artist will be crucial to bring Silva the win. In the coach’s opinion, although Pereira is a great kickboxer, he’s not on Silva’s level in the other aspects of the sport just yet.
“I believe Blindado 100% has a chance of winning it, because it’s an MMA fight. Many kickboxing athletes have tried MMA before and could not get too far because they lacked experience and understanding of MMA. Poatan is doing his homework, he’s training. I’ve watched all his videos before he joined the UFC. He’s never faced anyone as experienced as Blindado. The most experienced athlete Poatan has ever faced will be Blindado. He’s going to feel it as soon as the fight starts.”
“Blindado will fight an MMA fight against him.” Dida explained. “MMA is all about attitude. Blindado knows the game well. Our opponent might know jiu-jitsu really well, but we know to avoid that. A guy may know how to wrestle, but we know how to avoid that. Just like someone may be really good at boxing or kickboxing, we also know how to avoid that.”
And if skill alone can’t get the job done, Dida feels that Silva’s heart will also be a big factor in what could otherwise be a very competitive contest.
“They’re both showing a great level of dedication to their careers, but I think Bruno will soundly win the fight. It should be a fight with a lot of movement and we know that everything can happen in MMA. When people believed Blindado the least, that’s when he shined the most. He goes through a transformation when it’s time to fight. He has a huge heart and he’s very smart when it’s time to fight. We’re going to be all about MMA in this fight. Our striking will be MMA-style. We’ll make the fight go through every single situation. Since Blindado is more experience, he will dictate the pace of the fight.”
Currently on a three-fight winning streak in the UFC, Silva (22-6) scored knockout victories over Jordan Wright, Andrew Sanchez, and Wellington Turman to start his Octagon career in 2021. The 32-year-old’s last loss came all the way back in December of 2016, a submission defeat at the hands of Moise Rimbon.
Silva is expected to meet Pereira at UFC Vegas 50, at the Apex facility, on March 12. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between top contenders Thiago Santos and Magomed Ankalaev.
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