Alex “Little Rock” Silva has played a major role in the history of ONE Championship’s strawweight division, and the Brazilian does not think his influence is over just yet.
“I believe I am one of the top guys in the division. My last bout against [ONE Strawweight World Champion] Joshua Pacio was a very close split-decision loss. I think I deserve one more rematch with him,” Silva says ahead of his next contest at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
At ONE: FISTS OF FURY III, the veteran “Little Rock” will face off against an opponent who’s in phenomenal form.
Rising Japanese star Minowa has won five straight matches, including a career-best victory over Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang in his promotional debut.
Silva — who currently holds the division’s #5 contender spot — has faced the best athletes on the planet during his time at the top. Still, he recognizes the need to continually improve because the conveyor belt of talent on the global stage never stops moving.
“I think he is a good, young fighter. He’ll be very hungry to get my spot in the division,” the Evolve representative says of Minowa.
“There’s always things to do. My background is grappling, so I am still working on that, but I am always working on my striking and my wrestling. That’s what I have to improve more and more.”
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Despite his new skills, the former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion will never give up his foundations. And against a fellow grappler in Minowa, Silva thinks his BJJ acumen will be his biggest asset.
The Saitama, Japan, native showcased excellent wrestling and ground control to subdue Adiwang in their contest at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III last November, but Silva thinks that style will feed right into his strengths.
“I watched his last fight against [Adiwang]. He completely controlled the whole fight and deserved to get the win. I am happy for him and to get the chance to test my skills against him,” Silva offers.
“He showed his strong side is his grappling, but I think in this case, his strength will be his weakness because grappling is my home, where I feel comfortable.
“I respect all the competitors in the division, but I believe I am the best grappler in the division and I have the skills to finish him.”
If Silva can take out the 21-year-old in his adopted hometown, he would make it hard for the matchmakers to ignore his request for a second tussle with Pacio, though it will not be that straightforward.
The bulging strawweight ranks are always competitive, so the more definitive the victory, the better his chances are of securing another World Title shot.
With that in mind, Silva’s main focus is making a statement by dispatching Minowa inside the distance.
“The strawweight division is very competitive in ONE. I believe all the top guys in the division are dangerous. They all have very high-level skills,” Silva states.
“I’ve had a good camp for this fight. I’m very prepared. I’m going to finish him in the second round. I’m going to submit him.”