Brazil’s Bruno Silva staked his claim within the UFC’s middleweight division by scoring an opening-round knockout in his debut. “Blindado” looks to repeat that result later this year and subsequently ascend up the ranks towards a title shot.
The 32-year-old details the emotions that came with earning his first UFC victory, what lead to him winning 14 out of his last 16 bouts after beginning his career 6-5, and more.
This past June at UFC Vegas 29, Silva delivered an awe-inspiring performance when he slept Wellington Thurman with ground and pound. The win was a culmination of all the years of hard work put into the sport he’s dedicated his life to. “Blindado” had been knocking on the door of the UFC for years as he was winning championships at M-1 Global, it was only a matter of time.
Bruno Silva Interview
Turning pro in 2010, Silva took the long road to the UFC, but his belief in himself never wavered. Following his title fight win at M-1 Challenge 98 in 2018, the Brazilian signed with the UFC. Through circumstances out of his control, Silva would make his long-awaited debut in June of this year. The outcome was exactly how he envisioned it.
“It was really amazing,” Silva replied. “I am champion in Russia for M-1 Global, but fighting in the UFC is the dream of all mixed martial artists. I was very happy and moved by the moment.”
Nearly three years went by between Silva’s UFC debut and his fight prior to that. The reasoning for that extended layoff lies with USADA not allowing him to compete, despite never proving Silva’s usage of banned substances.
“I had problems with USADA,” he confirmed. “I have a clear conscience and my family is what matters. Also I came back and won, I showed my value. This subject for me is a subject that is in the past.”
Upon turning pro in 2010 up until 2012, Silva went just 6-5 in 11 contests. Then, something clicked, and remarkably, “Blindado” has rattled off 14 wins in his last 16 outings. His turnaround speaks volumes to the work ethic possessed by Silva.
“I lived in the northeast of Brazil,” Silva began, “A very small city that had no structure. I was always an athlete who had to work in other professions so I couldn’t dedicate myself 100% until after 2012. After 2012, I dedicated myself a lot to Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling. My career grew a lot, I got 10 straight wins and now I’m three years without losing. I train all year, I’m always ready. That is the difference.”
Quite clearly, based on the results, Silva is an extremely high-level fighter. Now with a handful of years of training full-time under his belt, “Blindado” is in the best shape of his career.
“Yes I’m the best version of myself right now,” he said. “Better physically and mentally.”
Fighting for Legacy
In terms of motivation to get up and train each and every day, Silva had this to say:
“Since the beginning of my career I have always fought for a story of great legacy,” he stated. “Today I am one of the best in the world in my division and I will fight to be the very best because I work hard. Now I have a daughter and I will be an example for her.”
Even when times were difficult and things weren’t going his way, whether it was inside the cage or out, Silva never lost faith in himself. He always knew he’d reach this point.
“Yes I always knew,” he affirmed. “I didn’t know how long it would take, but I knew that one day it would happen. Now it did and I’m very proud of it.”
Silva hopes to grace the UFC octagon again before year’s end and when he does make sure you tune in because he’s electric. If you enjoyed this Bruno Silva interview, check back for more exclusive conversations with the world’s best mixed martial artists.
Ryan Truland is an MMA writer who conducts interviews with athletes, provides creative pieces, and whatever else is needed to keep readers up to date on the latest and greatest MMA news.